Android home gaming consoles are nearly arriving for the consumer market, but one at least needs a little more time in the oven to bake. It’s the GameStick, the super portable USB-stick style device that plugs into an open HDMI port on your TV to turn it into an Android-powered gaming machine, and its release schedule is being pushed back another month until August, with a retail launch to follow after that, because of a need to gather more feedback related to the GameStick UI so that it can be refined prior to wide release.
GameStick wanted to nail the user experience strikes me as a familiar refrain; another company, Leap Motion, which also achieved lots of support from the community for a novel idea, said something very similar when it delayed its own product recently. In both cases, the apprehension about getting things right the first time around is understandable, since these are products that have few if any antecedents with demonstrated success in the wider consumer market.
The GameStick delay, though another one on top of its first ship date slip, isn’t yet one that should really raise any eyebrows – projects typically underestimate how long it will take to go to market on Kickstarter. The Ouya was also delayed from its original planned launch by three weeks, owing to “demand” on the retail side. BlueStacks’ GamePop hasn’t been delayed as of yet, but it’s targeting a more open-ended end of year launch, and that gives it some flexibility to make sure the experience is just right before putting too fine a point on things.
All of these companies are venturing into relatively uncharted territory, so delays are fine; you can’t hold them to the same standards as an Apple or a Samsung, and even those giants sometimes encounter problems shipping exactly on time. One, two, or even three small delays isn’t surprising; but once the months start to fall away and you don’t hear much, that’s when it’s time to worry.