Thoughts: BlueStacks App Player

This little program is available for PC, Mac, and Linux. They’re also planning on bringing out a microconsole. What does it do, you ask? It lets you run apps from your phone in full-screen on whatever computer. Android apps. Why would you want to do this? I don’t know. Maybe you don’t have an android device or an Ouya. Still. I don’t know. I really don’t. It seems gimmicky and more for people desperate to play some mobile game, which would really surprise me, because most of what’s there you can take-or-leave, and anything that’s of any real worth ends up on everything else anyway, for better or for worse. It’s not a cloud thing. You actually download and install the stuff, you just have access to Google’s Play store and with your google account, you can synch stuff from your devices and also choose where you want to install the item, like Google Play on your PC normally asks.

To begin with, you’re presented with a very ugly, low quality screen of apps you can check out or purchase. And by low quality, I mean grainy and fuzzy to all hell. After going through the strange process of setting up everything, which certainly left me wondering if my computer would remain alive thanks to some cryptic, not nice looking screens telling me what it’s doing; I installed Mushroom Wars. It took a seemingly long time to download a 48 meg game. When I went to run it, I got an error. It would not start. This isn’t a good first impression. I tried again, and the game ran. And let me tell you, it is a bit on the blurry, grainy, and ugly as sin side in fullscreen. Of course it would be. It wasn’t designed with my monitor’s resolution in mind. Of course, I felt like I had to squint to make it look better, and oddly enough, squinting did work. You can change how big you want the window, but whatever. I mean… in all honestly, people could just as easily stick with their Facebook crap, since isn’t that what most people do when they’re not playing social games on their phones and tablets? And amusingly enough, you can get Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, Pinterest, and all your social apps and run them full screen under this app, why? Because you can and it’s not completely pointless at all.

I don’t know why this exists. Just get an Ouya if Android stuff interests you. If you already have an android device, just sideload stuff with the Ouya and not bother with this PC garbage.

Or you can wait and get BlueStacks Gamepop microconsole and pay $6.99 a month to play all the Android crap you want. The console will go for $129 and there’s no details as to what it actually does. It just states you will have access to hundreds of paid Android apps, updated daily, for free. Then elsewhere it throws out a number of 500+ with $250 worth of paid Android games. You can get their mini miniconsole and controller for about $17. If you cancel your subscription before 12 months, you have to send your mini miniconsole back and pay $25. The only difference I can discern is the size and they say it won’t be compatible with all of the peripherals their big microconsole will/may have.

But what the hell is the point of the subscription? Can’t you just buy the games you want to play and access what you already own? Why deal with a library of probably crap, and probably stuff that’s already free? Most stuff out there for mobile devices are microtransaction driven things, so how the heck will that work for those addicts? It’s so ambiguous.

Lastly, here’s a quote from their FAQ:

What is the hardware inside the system and what does the controller look like?

We have not yet announced this level of detail but suffice it to say all games will run as fast or faster than they do on a top mobile phone. The controller is like none seen before and we’ll be sharing more details soon.

Like none seen before. The N64 controller was like nothing I had seen before. The Steam controller is pretty wild, too. So what is it going to be? A little trackpad thingy since we’re talking about playing touch-based games? How about some crazy thumb-trackball thing? Oh! I’ve got it! Those old labyrinth games where you guide a ball through a maze. No one would see that coming.

Honestly, an Ouya at $99 seems a better deal for this kind of thing, or just getting an Android device of some kind be it phone or tablet. This whole thing just confuses me.

They’ve stated a winter release, and it is winter. Will this exist? I guess we shall have to see and see what videos turn up on YouTube, as I’m really curious as to what this thing really does and why anyone would want one.

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