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As Android gaming console OUYA ships, competitor GameStick gets delayed

PlayJam GameStick (alternate)

For a market that many say is dying off, the video game console business is surprisingly hopping in 2013. It’s not just the PlayStation 4 and the Next Xbox hitting shelves either. The Android-powered Kickstarter success story OUYA is slowly trickling out to early backers and developers this very second, and while early reviews suggest that the console is still dealing with some significant growing pains, it’s on track to smooth out operating system and content problems before final units hit retailers in June. Then there’s the GameStick, another Android console from PlayJam. That little device is still on the way and unfortunately it’s going to miss its proposed April release date.

“When we started this project we were unsure how successful it would be,” wrote PlayJam on the GameStick Kickstarter page on Saturday, “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.”

“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 more to high volume tooling.”

The short version is that while the company expected to get the diminutive console in players’ hands by the end of April, the new manufacturing process won’t actually be complete until the end of May. PlayJam now expects GameStick consoles to be sent out on June 10, just in time for E3 2013.

GameStick will still run you just $79 when it does become available this summer, undercutting OUYA by $20. Unlike OUYA, which is a small box roughly the size of a snow globe, GameStick is actually the size of a USB drive and plugs directly into a television’s HDMI port.

The tech is coming but it’s still not wholly clear just what people can play on GameStick when it goes on sale this summer. PlayJam says that it has around 600 developers supporting the platform, an almost identical claim to OUYA, and while large mobile game publishers like Disney are on board, there’s no word on what kind of exclusives PlayJam may have secured.