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BlueStacks offering free GamePop Mini hardware option with game subscription service

BlueStacks will launch a more compact version of its GamePop microconsole for free alongside its subscription-based mobile gaming service later this year, the company announced today.

The free GamePop Mini hardware will be released alongside the $129 GamePop microconsole, announced by BlueStacks earlier this year. Like it's full-sized counterpart, the Mini will run Android software Jelly Bean 4.2 and will connect to televisions via an HDMI cable supplied with the console.

For $6.99 a month, owners will have access to a library of more than 500 mobile games, including Halfbrick's Jetpack Joyride and Fruit Ninja. Through GamePop's Looking Glass technology, iOS games will be available to play on the GamePop consoles as well.

"We have always planned on having a free console option," said BlueStacks CEO Rosen Sharma in a press statement. "The biggest value of the GamePop service is its content — not the box. Hardware costs have come down so fast that we're able to undercut the rest of the market. With the free promotion we've been doing in June we're already seeing a ton of adoption. That volume then attracts more developers and therefore more and better content. It's building momentum."

"We want to make things as easy as possible for app developers to come on board," added developer relations team member Ben Armstrong. "There is a virtuous circle between great content and volume that we're having a lot of early success jumpstarting that so far. The launch titles a service comes with are critical."

The GamePop console is currently available for pre-order through its official website. Pre-orders placed before June 30 will net the full-sized console for free alongside the paid subscription service. The GamePop Mini will be available for pre-order on July 1.

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