gamepop-ios-iphone-ipad-apple-01I've been following the curiosity that is the GamePop for quite a while now, and it seems like details on its release are firming up at an alarming rate. The set top box is now available for preorder in two different flavors: Agreeing to a $6.99 monthly service for the next year before June, or just buying the GamePop outright at $129.99 after that.

What sets the GamePop apart from other set top box game machines like the Ouya is that it uses proprietary "LookingGlass Technology" which, if the dream is to be believed, allows developers to port their iOS and Android games to the device with "next to no tweaks" to get them running. The idea being, with the porting process being near zero-effort, the GamePop should have a massive library of games. There's even "around 500" ready to go for launch.

As we've discussed quite a bit on our podcast, I'm really just not sure what kind of market there is for stuff like this. Gizmos like the GamePop to me feel a lot like the various "50 Games in 1" game consoles that seem to pop up in random mall kiosks that both mysteriously appear and then vanish like a fortune teller's tent in Are You Afraid of the Dark around the holiday season. To be fair, GamePop is actually loaded with the real games instead of hilarious half-broken knock-offs like Superb Murio Brothers and Duck Scrunt... But, I just don't know.

The vast majority of the "big" name games they are touting as launch titles weren't designed with any kind of TV play in mind, so, while there are "around 500" games, how many of them will be great experiences? I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

  • n8equalsd

    Or you can just buy an Apple TV.

    • xStatiCa

      The delay with mirroring is ok for some games but for a lot of the fast action games I play the lag/delay is too much which really detracts from the gameplay. You could hook up an HDMI connector to your iphone/ipad but I certainly don't want to play games with an adapter and cable sticking out of my device.

  • Xander1428

    Why not just use apple T.V mirroring?

    • JJE McManus

      I've tried that. Specifically with the Walking Dead app. The lag was horrendous. It was barely tolerable for people watching the screen but with regards to playing, it was impossible.

  • ratsinheat

    These TA articles have been knocking it out of the park lately. Entertaining and critical, I like it. And Are You Afraid of the Dark reference ftw!!

  • 1Fcm

    So is this Apple approved? How did they manage this without Apples involvement?

  • Doom

    I think I will wait for GameDock :)

    • xStatiCa

      Gamedock seems to have digital controls that will limit the games that work well with it. I see it as being as useful as the icade type controllers. Useful and great for some games but not enough control for most games that I play.

  • joaquin_ondamoon

    Can't you just hook up your iPad to your HDTV via an HDMI cable? How is this better/different?

    • Protoman

      Yes, I do it all the time.

    • PureRumble

      Im not comparing this to the hdmi cable idea of yours, but i do have something to say of the latter.

      And that is that it used to work perfectly with the 30 pin connector since it actually could output hdmi, but then they screwed the sh*t out of this perfect setup with the introduction of the lightning connector which cant output the hdmi format on its own.

      Now they have placed a tiny computer inside of the hdmi adapter that does the work, and the whole www went crazy about how cool and innovative this is

      But... Guess ten times in what format the iphone/ipad outputs the video to the hdmi adapter. U guessed it! The Apple TV mirroring video format that even by itself has lots of lag and ugly video artifacts. Recall that this way of encoding was designed for broadcasting over the air to your apple tv (via a router), not through a hdmi adapter and cable.

      They didnt feel like introducing a new format that would be much more suitably designed for the job and decided to go with the mirroring encoding format as it was already there at hand and deemed to be a solution of "adequate quality" (words of an apple employee that was trying to defend the idea on a comment board)

      With other words, once there was a perfect way to play ios games on the big screen with no lag nor delays... And then they shoved a half-a*s solution down our throats due to the new connector and because they didnt feel like doing things properly...

      • Protoman

        I'm glad I'm still rockin' the 30 pin! Didn't realize they changed it to the mirror format on the lightning connectors. That's pretty weak of Apple to do. I always wondered why Jobs was against ditching the 30 pin, seems he was wiser than I assumed.

      • klouud

        So can we do HDMI out on the Lightning connector or not?

      • PureRumble

        U can. But there will be a delay between your device and the big screen that makes games where quick reaction is important nearly unplayable. And it will definitely not be good if you intend to score high results on say modern combat multiplayer.

        U can also expect lag and choppy frames on graphically intense moments in the games (such as explosions and quick maneuvers)

        On a side note, video playback gives nice video artifacts and skipped frames (im a what u can call videophile)

        Just search the web for Panic's examination of the lightning hdmi adapter for details

      • klouud

        well that sucks! Thanks for the reply.

  • xStatiCa

    I would have pre-ordered this if it were not based on a subscription model for game content. With the only income being the subscription fee that income would have to be distributed between all the game developers on the platform. That would limit the amount of games overall you could have on the platform at one time.

    What they should do is have a subscription model with a limited number of games like they are doing for marketing purposes but along with that allow other paid games. This would allow the game catalog to grow as big as Apple if it really is very easy to port games.

    I would pre-order tonight if this is how it would work.

  • Protoman

    I don't see why apple just doesn't treat their iDevices as if people might use them as consoles. Seems like stupid marketing to me, but than again Apple has never had the most logical of intents in regards to their products.

    • iammane

      We're just not the majority... Most people want to browse the web, read magazines and occasionally fling a bird at a pig. Any time I see anyone with an iPad they are doing something really fucking mundane, it's just how the market is...

    • Karzay

      It's not that they don't see whats happening. Appstore profits tell them whats happening. Apple just doesn't want their iOS devices to be turned into gaming consoles. It's simply not their "vision" for their products. The problem is that the ants are taking over the anthill. Eventually, they will have to embrace it or lose everything to someone else.

      I'm pretty sure Nintendo is working on this. I'm willing to bet their next console will be a mobile console. Everything they are doing is pointing to it.

  • GamerGuy

    Has anyone actually tried controlling a game on your device while watching it on a tv? I plugged my iPad 2 into my 52" tv. Looked great, but the problem is trying to control the game. Having to look at the iPad way too often to touch the right areas. Horrible idea without a controller like the iCade 8 Bitty (which is awesome for games that support it).

  • pdSlooper

    Subscriptions remind me of the Bad Ol' Days of the late 80s and early 90s, when electronics stores would try to hard sell stuff at my parents on monthly installments (for a hefty total ultimately much greater than the full price) and they'd be there arguing about how, no, they just wanted to pay the full price right now. It was excrutiating, especially at my age. I seriously wanted eyebeams that could kill salesmen.

    • Protoman

      Gods, I'd kill for eyebeams.

      • pdSlooper

        I'd kill for eyebeams, on the understanding that said killing occurred after the acquisition of the eyebeams. :D

  • klouud

    This would be great if you could save across platform through iCloud - but you probably can't. I just want bluetooth connectivity and a physical controller for my ATV3 and I'll be happy.

  • obamakilledusa

    1) This machine will never EVER be able to connect to the apple app store.
    2) Therefore only a "jail break" type of situation can happen here where you can only play ios games that are -NOT- on the app store.
    3) Emulation is painfully slow, so all ios games will run like shit.
    4) this gamepoop device does not have gyro, accelerometers, touchscreen, compass etc, SO WHAT IOS GAME WOULD EVEN WORK !!!!!!!!!!