We're less than a week away from GDC 2013, the gigantic game developers conference in San Francisco, and the first inklings of the hardware we're likely to see are starting to poke out.

While everyone's tongues will be wagging about Sony's PS4 and Microsoft's Xbox 720, one console maker might steal a little limelight from the big guns.

GameStick, a portable, Android-based TV console, announced this week that dev kits are in production and will ship by the end of the month, though in a slightly larger form than the final version. SDKs for GameStick should be ready to go by the end of this week, too.

All good for devs, but for attendees of GDC (and anyone following along at home), the real prize might just be seeing GameStick in the plastic flesh for the very first time.

ARM in arm

Several reports indicate that GDC will see the GameStick come to life, and while we don't have official confirmation, there's a good chance next week is gearing up to be the US$79 system's big debut.

According to GameStick, major retailers in the U.S., Europe, Australia, Scandinavia, Africa and China are knocking on its door to get units, and more than 500 developers have signed on or are close to jumping on the GameStick bandwagon.

Part of that interest may be due to a partnership between the company and a certain major chipmaker.

"Some great partnerships are being lined up with major corporations that should put GameStick very firmly on the map, including one with a chip designer responsible for the core architecture of 95 percent of the microchips used in every mobile phone worldwide," an update on GameStick's Kickstarter page read.

"In completely unrelated news, if you happen to be at GDC this year, please come visit us on the ARM stand. Further details on these partnerships to follow."

No need to read too hard between the lines here.

TechRadar will be out in full force at GDC 2013, and you can be sure we'll have our eyes out for that first glimmer of GameStick hardware plus the "number of announcements" the company also has planned for the week.

Truth be told, we're tickled to see the many "alternative" game companies slated to show or be discussed at GDC. While we can't ignore the influence of Sony and Microsoft on the gaming world, the fact that the likes of GameStick, Oculus Rift and Valve will be out in force is really revving our reporting engines.

Check out our GDC hub page for all the latest on the show, and let us know what you're most excited to see at GDC in the comments below.

Via The Inquirer