Ina Fried

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BlueStacks GamePop Console Plans to Run iOS Apps Using Virtualization

Emulation specialist BlueStacks has an interesting feature up its sleeve for its upcoming GamePop console.

The company already announced that the device will be able to run games written for Android. But, in a surprise move, the startup is announcing Friday that the set-top box will also be capable of running games written for Apple phones and tablets. It’s doing that through a virtualization process BlueStacks is calling LookingGlass.

It would appear to be the first non-Apple device capable of pulling off such a feat.

“Developers really like this because it gives them another way to monetize,” CEO Rosen Sharma said in an interview. Those who have written their apps for iOS would work with BlueStacks to offer their games through GamePop.

Does Sharma expect Apple to take a dim view of what it is doing?

“I don’t know,” Sharma said. “That’s the honest answer.”

Sharma said that BlueStacks was careful not to use any Apple code. It takes the developer’s apps and runs them using its emulation software. With its Android engine, BlueStacks uses Google’s open source code to actually run the software, but Sharma said that LookingGlass doesn’t use any Apple code.

BlueStacks plans to have hundreds of iOS and Android titles running on GamePop when the console is released later this year, probably this winter. The company is offering the console and controller for free to those who preorder by June. The service will cost $6.99 per month, including the games.

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