OUYA, the $99 Android gaming console, now on Kickstarter
Last week we report on OUYA, the $99 Android gaming console that was being made to be completely hackable. Well, just a few hours ago, the OUYA dream become more of a reality.
The team behind it have actually already got a prototype ready, but now they actually need to produce it. Obviously this requires funding, and funding isn’t always so easy to get. Fortunately, group-funding sites like Kickstarter exist, and seem to be working well for the OUYA team. The project has been online for barely a day and has already had $290,000+ USD pledged towards its $950,000 goal.
As you’d expect with any Kickstarter project, there are rewards for your generosity. From $95 you could reserve an OUYA console and controller, but the 1000 person limit has already been hit for that. However, by pledging $99 or more it looks like you can still grab the same deal. It will be an additional $20 for us Aussies to have it shipped to us. There are a few other very nice rewards for pledgers with a fatter wallet, from developer bonuses to custom branding on every console manufactured (be prepared to pledge over $10,000 for that last one).
Now let’s talk a little bit about the console itself. OUYA plans to reinvent the gaming industry, but utilising the power of Android and the developers behind its apps. As previously mentioned, the device is being made to be as ‘hackable’ as possible. How? Every single OUYA device is a developer kit. There’s no cost to developers for licensing or SDKs as everything is being built upon Android, known for being quite open-source. All developers will be required to include a version of their game with at least some free gameplay, which will lead to a healthier varity of apps available for OUYA.
Droid Gamers noted that Yves Behar will be in charge of designing the Ouya. Also on board is Ed Fries, previously VP of game publishing at Microsoft during the XBOX years, Amol Sarva from Peek.com, Julie Uhrman of IGN is labeled as the CEO and Co-Founder, Muffi Ghadiali from Amazon Lab126 who helped make the Kindle, and finally Peter Pham from Color.
It’s a team with a lot of big names involved, but it looks like the product has quite a lot of promise. It’s specifications are very exciting:
Tegra3 quad-core processor
8GB of internal flash storage
HDMI connection to the TV, with support for up to 1080p HD
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth LE 4.0
USB 2.0 (one)
Wireless controller with standard controls (two analog sticks, d-pad, eight action buttons, a system button), a touchpad
I’d expect to see RAM a little higher, but the inclusion of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is pleasing and the addition of a Tegra3 quad-core processor with a wireless control and touchpad is a delight.
You may want to view the Kickstarter video for a better idea:
There’s a lot to say about this amazing device and I have no doubt we’ll be reporting on it quite a bit over the next 6-12 months as it reaches its final stages of development.
If you missed it, here’s the link to the Kickstarter project for OUYA.
UPDATE: 8 hours after making this post and still barely a day since the Kickstarter project started, over 1.5 million USD has now been pledged!
Are you going to pledge and purchase an OUYA? What are your initial thoughts on the groundbreaking device?