When we started this project we were unsure how successful it would be. Our expectation was that we would do an initial run of a few thousand units and then go from there. What happened next was a whirlwind. We’ve now got 27 retailers around the world engaged and placing orders for our micro-console. We have GameStop in the US and Game in the UK as our lead retail partners, but with over 5,000 stores between them we are in a remarkable position to scale this project.
With your support and backing we have created something that quite literally could help re-shape the games console industry. Quite a feat if we get it right.
Dev units shipped.
Key to making this happen is getting developers behind us and so far over 600 developers have signed up, including many great indies and major studios. We’re working on bringing some great titles to the TV and over the coming months we will make some announcements on some of the awesome exclusive content we have in development. We’ve also signed strategic deals with companies like Amlogic and ARM which will help us promote our network throughout their huge eco-system. To harness this potential we have started shipping out the GameStick DEV units to our developer partners and will ship out the remaining units this week and next. One batch has been held up in customs because of the current issues around the use of air-freight to transport lithium batteries which exist within our controller. Hopefully this batch will be released next week.
Using your feedback on these units we have already begun to make refinements on the final production model. We have adjusted the movement on the shoulder buttons, changed the analog stick assembly, moved the LED configuration, re-designed some of the buttons, changed the texture on the analog stick hats and put a mechanical door on the back of the controller so that when GameStick is being used the slot in the back of the controller is closed. We’re looking forward to getting further feedback from you all.
Main Production Run.
The main production run has gone from a few thousand units to tens of thousands of units. This has meant that we have had to change production methods and move to high volume tooling.
Initially, we planned on demand for around 1,000 units so we were going to use silicon molds, which is what we have used for the GameStick DEV units. These don’t take much time to make, but they also cannot cope with the high volume production that we now need. As a result we have had to move to much higher end tooling which is being made in both China and Germany. To create these tools takes around 3 months and is a huge investment for us – one we can only afford to make once. Whilst this work has been underway for a while we have had to slow things down a bit to ensure we can get the final controller amendments prototyped and tested before the final tools can be finished.
Initially we had hoped to deliver GameStick to you at the end of April. We now expect to complete mechanical tooling about 4 weeks later at the end of May. Then the units are assembled, tested and assuming there are no issues, packed prior to shipping to each territory. We expect to ship around the 10th June. The volumes are now too large for us to be able to afford to air-freight them, which was our plan, so now we are going to have to use sea freight to deliver them. That's going to take around 2 weeks. Then we have fulfillment in territory – which we estimate will take between 1 and 5 days depending on where you are located. This means we think the likely date of arrival of your hand crafted GameStick will be at the last week of June.
Whilst we would have liked to ship earlier, we are, to a large degree, victims of the success we have created together. It is so rare to get the opportunity to deliver a project of this scale and we need to ensure we don’t trip over ourselves. We’ll give you a weekly production update going forward so that we can share the ups and downs of pulling together the numerous threads of a developing a new ecosystem for console gaming. As ever, thank you for your support.
The GameStick Team