Gamestick: the “most portable” gaming console

GameStick

Used to be that you’d have to fly out to CES to catch a glimpse of the future. Fortunately now you can save on your carbon footprint and simply head on to Kickstarter and marvel at what could be. Even better you can actively make a difference and bring amazing technology, art and music into the world. After endless whining in the 2000s about the internet and consumers killing these things it’s great to see people banding together to produce something like The Thrilling Adventure Hour.

For those interested in the possible future of gaming PlayJam – a SmartTV casual gaming platform have launched a Kickstarter campaign for GameStick – their dedicated games console. If you’ve ever played Game Dev Centre you’ll have a glimpse of how difficult a venture this is (you’ll need an elusive Hardware Engineer for a start).

GameStick is a small yet powerful, dedicated games console that plugs directly into a TV’s HDMI slot and comes with a fully featured Bluetooth controller – ready to go right out of the box. When on the move, the two combine into a single unit, putting big screen gaming right into the pocket. The device will be compatible with other Bluetooth controllers enabling multi-player functionality yet priced at just $79.

“We wanted to create a games console that helped further our overriding mission to bring affordable gaming to the big screen. Not only that, we wanted to push the boundaries of what has been achieved up to now by packing sufficient power into the most portable of devices, enabling users to carry that experience with them wherever they go.” – Jasper Smith, CEO PlayJam

GameStick will feature a purpose-built game store through which users will be able to browse and download content. 100s of high-quality Android games will be available – at Android game prices so your over spend will stay pretty low, whilst your levels of enjoyment should run pretty high.

Update: 1000+ Kickstarter backers pushed the team over their $100,000 funding goal in just 30 hours. In a press release celebrating their success the team also added that they’ll be providing XBMC and DLNA support to the console so home theatre enthusiasts have a whole other reason to rejoice.

Update 2: Check out this GameStick unboxing video

 

NetGear NeoTV makes your TV smarter

If your TV has an HDMI port, you can make it instantly smarter using NetGear’s NeoTV Streaming Player.Not only that, but Android and iPhone users can use their mobiles to control the telly too (there is a remote control bundled with the device for those who don’t own a smartphone).

NeoTV

So what does the Streaming Player do? Well, it allows you to connect your TV so you can stream all kinds of content, from news and games to TV programmes, films and music from sites such as YouTube, NetFlix and Vudu.

There are two ways to get a connection; either using the built-in high-speed 300Mbsp Wi-Fi, or via an Ethernet cable. And if you keep in touch with friends via Facebook and Twitter, you can do that on your TV too.

The NeoTV Player lets you get fast access thousands of films and TV programmes from Netflix, as well as millions of YouTube clips and hundreds of 1080p HD new movies from Vudu. Other NeoTV Player channels include Picasa, Pandora, Napster, blip.tv, Revision3, Crunchyroll, and so on.

If you’re after more news, you can get it at channels such as The Economist, Make Magazine, TED
and TMZ.

Vudu Apps, which is a companion to Vudu HD movies, also has a number of free channels offering videos, music, news, photo browsing, weather and social networking. If you fancy a game, choose from the likes of Rockswap Adventures, Blackjack Royale, and Texas Hold’em.

The cost of this ‘brain transplant’ for your goggle box? £159.99

For more information, log on to www.netgear.com/ntv.

NetGear has also just announced the launch of a wireless router that offers improved Wi-Fi speed and range.

The N900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router (model number: WNDR4500), offers up to 900 megabits per second of combined WiFi speed, support for 450 Mbps in both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands; and six highly sensitive internal antennas, boosted by ultra-high-power radio amplifiers

Installation is said to be quick and easy, with no CD required, and NETGEAR Genie is a free utility for PCs and Macs that shows a simple dashboard for monitoring, controlling and repairing home networks.

The router is priced at around £175..