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Old Jun 7, 2013, 08:44 AM   #1
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BlueStacks' GamePop Console Bringing iOS Games to TVs




While we've covered work by BlueStacks to bring Android apps to Macs and PCs, the company has an even more interesting announcement to make today, revealing that its upcoming GamePop set-top box designed to offer subscription mobile gaming on TVs will also include support for iOS games. 9to5Mac has more on the developments, which include word that Fieldrunners developer Subatomic Studios will be the first major partner on the service.
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As for what developers will have to do before submitting their apps, John tells us it's as simple as changing in-app payments to use Google or Amazon like the rest of the content on GamePop. The rest of the magic is handled by BlueStacks' API-level virtualization technology dubbed Looking Glass. It's what will allow just about any iOS game with next to no tweaks to run on the TV through GamePop. John notes it's similar to how BlueStacks' "Layercake tech does a ton of heavy lifting to make Android apps work on PC and Mac." It will also take care of mapping controls for each app to the various controllers planned for the device including iPhone and Android apps and a physical controller that will sell with the GamePop console.
GamePop's subscription service is priced at $6.99 per month, with the company offering a free set-top box and controller to customers signing up for a one-year contract before the end of the month. After that, the box and controller will cost $129.

Apple has been rumored to be looking at opening up its Apple TV platform to third-party applications, perhaps alongside a new television set product. When Apple launched the redesigned Apple TV in late 2010, Steve Jobs noted that the company could launch an Apple TV App Store when the time is right, but the company has yet to announce any efforts in that direction.

Article Link: BlueStacks' GamePop Console Bringing iOS Games to TVs
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 08:46 AM   #2
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Free marketing tip for GamePop in future: In publicity photos, don't cover up half your logo so it looks like 'gamepoo'.
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 08:47 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Porco View Post
Free marketing tip for GamePop in future: In publicity photos, don't cover up half your logo so it looks like 'gamepoo'.
Great catch! Maybe it was intentional
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 08:47 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Porco View Post
Free marketing tip for GamePop in future: In publicity photos, don't cover up half your logo so it looks like 'gamepoo'.
haha. Great spot!
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 08:49 AM   #5
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oh, yeah. i would like to play clash of clans on a pc. nothing better than a game that takes hours to accomplish anything unless you fork out money for in-game currency.
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 08:49 AM   #6
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The aesthetics of it seem really nice, but a little impractical...
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 08:56 AM   #7
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I don't see this working out well for iOS developers who choose to use it. The "only" thing that devs need to do (switch payment mechanism) is something that has a remarkably high chance of getting their app rejected.



I certainly don't wish failure upon them, I simply don't see how this will be accepted by Apple unless gamePop actually comes to some explicit agreement with Apple.
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 09:03 AM   #8
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I certainly understand that this is a lot more ambitious than just streaming games to the Apple TV, but the article on 9to5 is being a bit hyperbolic with phrases like "today it becomes the first to bring iOS games to the TV."

Well, no, I can play Jetpack Joyride on my TV right now with an Apple TV. Any of the 'touch-the-screen-anywhere' games work just fine this way.

I wish BlueStack success with this, but the reporters should focus on the important part here which is the alleged controller integration.
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 09:08 AM   #9
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Airplay already does this
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 09:11 AM   #10
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and why would I pay for this subscription when I can mirror my device over Apple TV?
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 09:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porco View Post
Free marketing tip for GamePop in future: In publicity photos, don't cover up half your logo so it looks like 'gamepoo'.
Maybe they were trying to associate themselves with these guys :P

http://m.youtube.com/#/show/gamerpoop?&desktop_uri=%2Fshow%2Fgamerpoop
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 09:16 AM   #12
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this kind of move sort of reminds me of openfeint. with their social network leaderboard, etc... it's all good. until apple announce game center.

they can be the first to market this. but when apple comes late to the party, apple can be the winner.
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 09:35 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Porco View Post
Free marketing tip for GamePop in future: In publicity photos, don't cover up half your logo so it looks like 'gamepoo'.
Disgruntled employee?
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 09:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaywood View Post
and why would I pay for this subscription when I can mirror my device over Apple TV?
Mirroring introduced a lot of lag that makes any game that requires fast, accurate input difficult to play.

I don't know how much better gamepop would be - as I'm still trying to wrap my head around what exactly it is! There's a console box, and a controller 'like none you've seen before'. Where does the iOS device fit into this system? Or does the console replace the iOS device and just play iOS games? If so, does it connect to the App Store? Or will it just play iOS compatible games hosted on its own store? And if so, does that violate Apple's T&Cs?

Very confused..
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 09:37 AM   #15
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If you look at the only place the company name shows up in the picture for this article, you might get a laugh.

Update: Darn, didn't read the other postings first. I guess that what I found most interesting about this article is the same thing others did.
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 09:37 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porco View Post
Free marketing tip for GamePop in future: In publicity photos, don't cover up half your logo so it looks like 'gamepoo'.

Nice
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 09:41 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Tankmaze View Post
they can be the first to market this. but when apple comes late to the party, apple can be the winner.
Interesting thought, but what if they come to market now with some hack hardware that doesn't sell, get all their games ready for the TV format, then WHEN Apple does come out with a TV, they are first to market for Apples AppleTV App Store.

I wouldn't be surprised if they already have developers working on an jailbroken AppleTV. This is a good gamble if you want to be running out of the starting gate.
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 09:46 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whooleytoo View Post
Mirroring introduced a lot of lag that makes any game that requires fast, accurate input difficult to play.

I don't know how much better gamepop would be - as I'm still trying to wrap my head around what exactly it is! There's a console box, and a controller 'like none you've seen before'. Where does the iOS device fit into this system? Or does the console replace the iOS device and just play iOS games? If so, does it connect to the App Store? Or will it just play iOS compatible games hosted on its own store? And if so, does that violate Apple's T&Cs?

Very confused..
Hi there,

We won't be mirroring at all. The device will run natively on the console using our API layer. If you want to do an IAP, you can no problem using another payment method through Amazon or Google. The games will be on our cloud and don't touch any Apple bits so it does not violate any T/Cs or the Developer Guidelines.

You can download our companion app on your iPhone, iPad or Android device and use that to play the games, or you can use the included controller. We do all the device mappings ourselves to ensure that no lag occurs and the experience is seamless for the user.

- Ben from BlueStacks

Last edited by benarmstrong; Jun 7, 2013 at 09:46 AM. Reason: added name
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 09:54 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by iisdan View Post
Airplay already does this
But it is native to the device and not to the ATV itself.
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 10:08 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benarmstrong View Post
Hi there,

We won't be mirroring at all. The device will run natively on the console using our API layer. If you want to do an IAP, you can no problem using another payment method through Amazon or Google. The games will be on our cloud and don't touch any Apple bits so it does not violate any T/Cs or the Developer Guidelines.

You can download our companion app on your iPhone, iPad or Android device and use that to play the games, or you can use the included controller. We do all the device mappings ourselves to ensure that no lag occurs and the experience is seamless for the user.

- Ben from BlueStacks
Thanks for the clarification!

Technically, that sounds more interesting to me than mirroring, which IME isn't responsive enough for many genres of games. The game running on the device, with Bluetooth(?) controller sounds much better - if it's a good controller.

I wonder about the legal side of it. Although you say you're not using any Apple bits, I don't know if there's any restriction from Apple about usage of iOS/Cocoa apps outside the app store. (i.e. something along the lines of "if you submit this specific app to the App Store, you can't sell it anywhere else" or "If you develop an app using Xcode/the iOS SDK, you cannot deploy to non-iOS devices").

Anyway, sounds good. Hope either: a) this is a great gaming option, or b) it prods Apple into action.
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 10:50 AM   #21
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Meh. Most of the good games are made for the small touchscreen. And won't transfer well to tv and controller.

You can't use a touch screen to things if you're looking at the tv screen.
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 11:13 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by whooleytoo View Post
I wonder about the legal side of it. Although you say you're not using any Apple bits, I don't know if there's any restriction from Apple about usage of iOS/Cocoa apps outside the app store. (i.e. something along the lines of "if you submit this specific app to the App Store, you can't sell it anywhere else" or "If you develop an app using Xcode/the iOS SDK, you cannot deploy to non-iOS devices").
OnLive is a service providing a similar functionality that seems to be available on iOS. You can effectively use Windows apps on iOS. The service also supports games, but I can't seem to verify if the OnLine Desktop Client supports the gaming plans or not. There would certainly be overlap where software available on iOS could be used on the virtual Windows machine instead, but in the OnLive's case, the primary goal is to enable access to software NOT available on iOS (Flash and Office, primarily).

In BlueStack's case, many of the Android games in question will have iOS counterparts, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Apple definitely needs to make a decision on how to handle this NOW. They'd better not approve it and then later change their mind when it becomes popular (like AppGratis). They've got to start doing a better job thinking apps like this through. The press loves to eat them alive when they pull a popular app. Rejecting an app no one has ever heard of is a far safer move .
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 11:20 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rednival View Post
OnLive is a service providing a similar functionality that seems to be available on iOS. You can effectively use Windows apps on iOS. The service also supports games, but I can't seem to verify if the OnLine Desktop Client supports the gaming plans or not. There would certainly be overlap where software available on iOS could be used on the virtual Windows machine instead, but in the OnLive's case, the primary goal is to enable access to software NOT available on iOS (Flash and Office, primarily).

In BlueStack's case, many of the Android games in question will have iOS counterparts, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Apple definitely needs to make a decision on how to handle this NOW. They'd better not approve it and then later change their mind when it becomes popular (like AppGratis). They've got to start doing a better job thinking apps like this through. The press loves to eat them alive when they pull a popular app. Rejecting an app no one has ever heard of is a far safer move .
From what I know of both services, gamepop will be a little different in that the iOS games will be running on non-Apple devices, as opposed to being streamed from another device/server. That may bring its own legal interpretations and issues.

As I understand it, the only thing Apple would need to approve is the (optional) controller app for iPhone. If you just use the device's physical controller, there's nothing for Apple to approve. However, there's always scope for a legal challenge, and Apple could always changes the App Store T&Cs to make it awkward for app developers to make their apps compatible with the box.
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 11:53 AM   #24
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Doesn't Apple TV already do this through Airplay?
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 11:59 AM   #25
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So they're introducing a subscription service to allow you to play games that you own already on your tv? This seems like a terrible business model. A device you buy once, sure. A $7 fee forever? What the hell?
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