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Putting Big Screen Gaming In Your Pocket.
Putting Big Screen Gaming In Your Pocket.
5,691 backers pledged $647,658 to help bring this project to life.

GameStick: Designed by Kickstarter

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Product Update

by Jasper Smith, CEO

What an amazing month. The Kickstarter campaign has been a hugely rewarding experience for our team and has allowed us to validate our invention, gain confidence in the idea and with over 500% of the targeted funding it will allow us to bring you a more highly specified product than we could ever have originally hoped for. With your help we have secured an extraordinary number of column inches and with it the interest of almost all the major retailers in the world. We’ve also signed up 100’s of Indies to our developer program as well as a number of larger developer houses such as Relentless, DotEmu, Madfinger and Hutch plus many more that we are actively negotiating with. I know it does not feel like it but it’s only been 29 days, so bear with updates on this!

And yes, we have been listening to you. We've received and read all of the {8569} emails we have received – not all of them as quickly as you would have liked, so sorry if we have been slow to respond. Some of your requests are way out there… but most are truly insightful and are really helping us make better decisions.

You designed it.

You’ve commented on every conceivable angle, but there have been three main themes: the controller and the dock and streaming so lets explain how your comments have helped us make these products even better:

Our aim was to create a controller that was not intimidating for a casual gamer and great to use for an experienced player. Not all of you liked our initial concept, but the feedback was very constructive, detailed and really useful. After much deliberation and many hours with CAD programs, prototype models, Plasticine and even more time with our controller engineering team we are excited to share with you the latest designs for the controller.

Strict rules on Kickstarter prohibit us showing photo-realistic imagery of products that have not yet been produced so for this post we are using very basic drawings to stay within their guidelines. To see more detailed images please head over to our Facebook page.

As you will see we have rounded the edges quite a bit so that our controller feels better in the hand. We then lost the groove between the middle section of the controller and the top deck so that it feels smooth all round. This helps keep the controller clean and also makes it feel more comfortable. Then we extended the palm grips so that they feel more substantial (for those tense moments just before you die in your favorite game) and also changed the magic ratio between the top and bottom edges, adding 3mm to the leading edge so that the controller sits more naturally in your hand. Next we looked at textures and surfaces, the result being that we will have a polished top deck, a metalized middle section and a rubberized bottom deck, which we think will feel lovely.

We made the D pad rubber so it feels nice to touch and provides good levels of grip. We changed the PLAY buttons to XBYA to make it as easy as possible for developers to port their games. We improved the analog sticks to use full multi-way + switch systems and rubberized the mushroom caps. We support a full a 45 degree tilt angle so that you can very accurately control the games you love to play. We also made the home button rubber so that going ‘home’ felt welcoming. We are now working on the underside of the controller and are exploring a couple of ideas that we hope to post in a couple of weeks. But we didn't stop there.

We hated the idea of having to keep plugging your controller in to charge it up (although it supports around 40 hours of game play on a single charge) and so we wanted to add a contact based charging system and also to support a full wireless charging solution that could be built in to the GameStick Dock. To do this we extruded the bottom casing of the controller in one area to only 1mm thick so that it could accept a wireless charging coil.

At the outset of this project we wanted to be able to power the GameStick from its controller so that you could stream games directly from the controller to any screen that was Miracast enabled. It is too early to go in to a lot of detail about this (but we will as soon as we can), suffice to say that we believe that in the future all of the components to run a game can and will be stored directly in the controller. You will then simply decide which screen you want to stream your games to.

We have been pioneering this work and to lay the foundation we wanted to ensure that our controller was future proof. To accommodate this we have worked on two key things; 1) re-locating the GameStick to the back of the controller so that it can more easily accept power and dissipate heat and 2) we have added a micro USB fitting in to the transport slot, which we have renamed as the Active Power Slot. This acts in two ways, a) it is a useful retaining system to keep the GameStick in the controller and b) it provides a mechanism to power GameStick from within the controller.

It has been an incredible journey.

But it’s not over yet. We still have 2 days to go and I hope that you will continue to champion GameStick on Twitter, Facebook and in person right through to the end of the campaign and beyond.

We are really proud of what we have achieved but we could not have done it without your help. With your commitment and our absolute desire to make this a great product, we can quickly change this industry for the better. Thank you so much to all of you for your wonderful support.

Jasper.

Christian B likes this update.

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      Ryan Gails on

      hey guys! just decided to back this thing! I've been watching it for a while and I'm loving what I see! Can't wait to see what color wins for the fourth color! I got the $115 pledge and added $20 for the dock! (that's how it works right?)

    2. Missing avatar

      s on

      @Justin but you can't use your tablet or phone as a controller either.

      This will be sharing space with the PS3 as well, I'm okay with a dedicated controller, I know we won't see PS3 controllers using 4.0, but PS4 may bring 4.0 controllers.

    3. Stu on

      In regards to the offset. I'm wondering just how many games on GameStick will require you to use both analogue sticks at once. I'm thinking more the left stick and the buttons, as such, the offset makes more sense to me as they are in a naturally more comfortable position on the controller. I think it has something to do with the centre of gravity with the controllers on how the positioning of the sticks is best suited.

      That's just my thinking, anyways. I don't care much either way. I use xbox at home for a lot of forza, and PS3 remotes on my Nexus 7.

    4. Matt Kaminsky on

      I've been lurking this kickstarter for about a week. Watched the videos, read the comments and finally just dove in with my pledge. I am so looking forward to this. Handheld are great, consoles are awesome but a portable console - stupendously AWESOME!

    5. Missing avatar

      Curt J. Sampson on

      I'll often bring over my own controller if I have one and it's necessary. I don't think any of my friends own four (or even three) PS3 controllers, and so a couple of us always have to bring over a controller when we want to play four-player games such as Gauntlet.

      The lack of acceptance of standard Bluetooth game controllers has always irritated me; they should be as standard as mice and keyboards are. That may well come now that people are gaming more on Android devices and the ability to send your Android device's output to an external display is becoming more common. I'd hate to have yet another device that doesn't support this.

      As for the new design, I'm not that keen on the asymmetric joystick placement. (Does everyone but me have asymmetrical hands?) And it's too bad there's no way to get a pair of analogue buttons/levers on the front. But other than that, it looks great. Using the Xbox button layout is definitely the right idea.

    6. Justin
      Superbacker
      on

      I don't accept that response. People who play video games on a device typically don't bring their own controller. If I go over to a friends how to play their Wii/360/PS3 I don't bring my own controller.

      But lets say there are people who do. Who's going to randomly have a BT 4.0 controller laying around so they can play other peoples Gamestick?

      The fact it, this project is spinning around in circles. It needs to be cleaned up and refocused properly.

    7. Missing avatar

      s on

      @Justin This is a future proofing step, but for those of us not on the bleeding edge, we can still plug into a hdmi port on a TV, power it with a wall adapter, and get gaming, no docks required. Just because your friend doesn't have a GameStick controller, won't mean they can't join the fun.

      Through miracast, GameStick would be raising the bar even further than it already has.

      Hope to see you on the leaderboards this summer.

    8. Bryan Hogan on

      Cont; as an independent adapter from the dock of course.

    9. Bryan Hogan on

      I really like where the system is going so far; however, i would love to see a way to (possibly via an adapter) that can transmit the video of the gamestick to non-miracast capable tvs and monitors. Granted, this isn't much of an issue for myself (i can just plug the gamestick into the back of my computer monitor and play), just a thought ;)

    10. Samuel Batista on

      Pleased to see you guys innovating and iterating on your product. I think some of the ideas behind the wireless charging + dock + streaming games to TVs are a little ambitious. Focus on delivering an extremely high quality and durable product, adding lots of functionality also introduces more potential points of failure (frustration).

      Eagerly anticipating my unit!

    11. Justin
      Superbacker
      on

      So....if you plan to eventually do everything from the controller then what would be the point of supporting 3rd party controllers? It seems the more you innovate this (read as change it) the more you kick out earlier ideals. I'm thinking you should of had a better foundation when starting the kickstarter. You seem to be throwing darts as you move along.

      You've gone from a simple two piece setup to some fully blown console setup and now you're bouncing the storage to all three devices? Make up your mind ;p

    12. Missing avatar

      s on

      @GameStick Grand Slam!

    13. Missing avatar

      Ryan Aston on

      1) Are the analog sticks "clickable"?
      2) Have analog triggers been considered?

    14. ZeroBiss on

      i really like this update. I think the GameStick don't need to be so retro. Need to be confort to play. I only miss 4 shouders buttons(L1 L2 R1 R2, LB LT RB RT or L R Zl Zr) But I think this "extra" buttons make the GameStick bigger, so never mind. I really the P,L,A,Y buttons... But all this thing are details. The more important is my GameStick arrive here in BRAZIL :-D.

    15. Patrick Hill on

      This may seem like a stupid question but I assume the new design has modified the carry case as well?

    16. Paul on

      This is a great update guys. I look forward to seeing the forbidden renders! :)

    17. Missing avatar

      Andrew Mcgregor on

      I do like the new design but I think I prefer the original,it was more retro and compact.
      However I still really want this product

    18. Missing avatar

      Jeroen Wolf on

      @Paul: I like retro too... the old nes controller is absolutely superb... but when playing games for a long stretch it will be more comfort (at least for me) if the controller is well designed and if there is a nice grip to it.... Just have my 'concerns' that the controller won't become too big. The original is a handy device to carry arround in your pocket from one place to another, if it will get to big this will compromise the transportability... ;)

      @tim... puzzle style games rock :)

      p.s. I know a great idea for the gamestick it self.. I work a lot with dlp projectors and wireless presenting is on everbody's mind t my work. Now you have hdmi and android into one stick. If it's possible to make an app to stream directly from an apple device (ipad/ iphone) or an android device (samsung note or an htc one x) and mirror the screen to this stick this will be absolutly unique and the education sector, but also the corporate sector will want this I think. Now you only have the apple tv for mac :( It's a little off topic, because this hasn't anything to do with the controller, sorry ;)

      I like al the possibilities... this could be a real gem....

      @jasper/gamestick team: any more info on the software it's running (for example xbmc support like the ouya) would also be appriciated.... :)

      Jeroen

    19. Missing avatar

      Willie Little on

      Great new design! Love it, can't wait to get my hands on it

    20. Tim Jones on

      I love the new design. The previous "squared" design was a bit of a question mark for me, but I thought that it would work as well as an old NES controller.

      @Paul - While I was okay with the original "old-school" design, I'm very excited over this new design. There is a reason that the big boys changed the controller designs - ergonomics and usability. I much prefer the Xbox controller for gaming sessions over the Wii remote used as an NES-like controller. It's also why I only play puzzle-style games on my DS. I can play using the Xbox 360 controller for hours (when real life allows).

    21. Tim Graupmann on

      And word on supporting HDMI in and HDMI out. That way the stick can sit between an existing HDMI to act as an Android HDMI coupler with benefits.

      That would allow you put a Android overlay on top of an xbox game, or on top of your existing dvd player. When the game stick detected an idle state you could display a 3d live wallpaper.

      The game stick could act as a capture device.

      There are a lot of possibilities with this.

    22. Syraca Studios on

      This is great! I'm a developer backer and can't wait to make awesome games for GameStick!

    23. Missing avatar

      Gobot on

      Changes all look very positive!

      I'd still prefer a "playstation" style analogue stick layout, rather than the xbox style - i.e. with the d- top left in a horizontal line with the buttons rather than have the analogue sticks offset, but I guess that's a personal preference thing.

    24. Missing avatar

      Chris Edwards on

      Miracast support would be perfect! Does the dock act as a Miracast adapter or anything for TVs without?

      Chris

    25. Missing avatar

      vgambit on

      I like the redesign.

      Paul, if you don't like it; withdraw your pledge. There's still time.

    26. Missing avatar

      Paul Mindemann on

      I would have preferred the original design.

      Apple doesn't design products that are super form-fitting or have rubber buttons or whatever... they design products that are gorgeous, and that makes them desirable. The more this becomes like an Xbox or PS controller, the less I want it. The original NES controller is simple and iconic--so much so you see T-shirts with the design. You'll never see that with an Xbox controller. There's a lesson to be learned.

      Anyway, what I backed was what I saw in the original design. Please don't stray far from what we were shown to garner that original support. Simple is good, if done well.

    27. Missing avatar

      Jeroen Wolf on

      Great new design.... :)
      P.s. I'm also interested in the micro SD card slot in the stick (e.g. to save the game state does it record the progress onto the micro sd card?)... And with the new design does it still go into your trouser pocket ;) since transportability of this device was of my main reason I 'bought' it... hihi...

      keep up to good work and nice to read the progresses...

    28. Missing avatar

      Lori Dando on

      You guys are amazing! So stoked for the final product! :)

    29. Mark Müller on

      Way to go guys, can't wait to get my hands on this :)

    30. Ryan Jean on

      I, for one, welcome our new gaming overlords...