Gamestick console release date delayed

Image caption Gamestick, shown here in prototype, will now be shipped to backers in June

The UK-designed Gamestick handheld console, due to launch this month, has been delayed due to "high demand".

The Android-powered device, which was funded by a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, will now launch in June, manufacturer Playjam said.

In a statement, the company said it was victim "of the success we have created".

The console faces competition from other similar products, including the Ouya which began shipping in March.

Gamestick will be sold exclusively at Game stores in the UK, with other retail partners set up in 26 other countries.

Over $600,000 (£392,000) was raised when Playjam placed the Gamestick on the Kickstarter website.

In a message to its 5,691 backers, the team explained the setback.

"The main production run has gone from a few thousand units to tens of thousands of units. This has meant that we have had to change production methods and move to high-volume tooling."

Angry backers

The company now predicts the first backers will receive their consoles in the last week of June - more than three months later than planned.

Many backers reacted angrily to the update.

"The biggest problem with this update is that there is no apology for the delay to all the Kickstarters who are eagerly waiting for Gamestick to ship," wrote one backer, Sandesh Deshmukh.

"Looks like Gamestick is taking its backers for granted and I do see a hint of arrogance in that attitude."

Others lamented that due to their nature, Kickstarter projects are prone to delays.

"Shame about the news, but I can live with it," wrote Simon Dick.

"It's not as if Kickstarter is like placing an order on Amazon, I'd be way more concerned if they were silent about anything."

Upon its release, the Gamestick will enter a small but rapidly growing market for cheap games consoles.

The Ouya console, also a Kickstarter project, began shipping last month.

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