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GamePop to get iOS games, too

The as-yet-unreleased Android gaming microconsole shoves another feather in its cap: it's not just for Android games anymore.

The GamePop console looks a bit like a Boxee cube.

BlueStacks' GamePop console for playing Android games on your TV announced on Friday that iOS-only games also will be available to its subscribers.

Using a new mobile-to-TV technology it calls "Looking Glass" to convert iOS games for play on non-iOS devices, GamePop has revealed that iOS-first Subatomic Studios will include its games as part of the console's $7 monthly subscription service. The console will sell for $130 when it's released later this year, but is free to early adopters at through June 30.

Subatomic is known for the popular Fieldrunners game. While its games are currently available across several platforms, including Android and Steam, Fieldrunners helped define the early iPhone as a viable gaming platform, said John Gargiulo, BlueStacks' marketing chief.

BlueStacks CEO Rosen Sharma wouldn't describe how the Looking Glass technology works in detail, but he did say that it's not an emulator. "Looking Glass works at the API-level. It's not emulating," he said. "It embraces all aspects of running the [game] app and using the [GamePop] app as the controller."

Gaming expert Tadgh Kelly said that the news was welcome, but that there's still a lot of development necessary before microconsoles that bring mobile games to the TV become viable. "It may not be here today or tomorrow, but for my money the microconsole is at that stage where Facebook was when they just turned the API on," he said.

This may come as a disappointment to Rosen and friends, but Kelly wasn't confident that GamePop will win in the nascent microconsole wars. "We're in the early stage of the idea, we're trying to figure out the best way to do it. I fully expect the microconsole to be like this for a little while. It's fun times, and it's weird times, and it should be," he said.

When asked what he thinks Apple's reaction will be to GamePop's announcement that iOS games will no longer be limited to iOS devices, BlueStacks' Rosen confessed, "I have no idea."

Correction, 11:10 a.m. PT: This story has been altered to indicate that Subatomic Studios' games are available not just on iOS but on several other platforms, including Android and Steam.