The final GameStick design

We may see four or more new consoles launch in 2013 — two from hardware veterans and two from a couple of small companies looking to disrupt everything.

One of those disruptive consoles, the GameStick, is available for preorder starting today. The Android-based microconsole is the size of a thumb drive and plugs right into a television’s HDMI slot. GameStick costs $79 and begins shipping in April.

GameStick, like its competitor Ouya, started as a Kickstarter campaign. The project raised over $600,000 on the crowdfunding website. PlayJam, the developer behind GameStick, will have to fill its Kickstarter orders first before it can start shipping out preorders made on its website.

“January was a pivotal month for GameStick with the success of the campaign ensuring that we could bring the device to life,” PlayJam chief marketing officer Anthony Johnson said in a statement. “Since the campaign closed, we have received thousands of emails from individuals keen to ensure they remain one of the first to receive the product. By continuing to offer GameStick on preorder, we will be able to maintain momentum ahead of our planned retail activity.”

PlayJam didn’t announce its plans for retail. Retailers like Target and Best Buy will begin selling the Ouya in June. It wouldn’t surprise us to see GameStick follow suit.

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