Surprising everybody from left field, the Ouya slipped out last week claiming to be a new type of Android-based game console that would be cheap and encourage hacking. What we didn't know was that it would not be bringing next-gen graphics, but rather, mobile gaming to the living room.
Founded by Julie Uhrman, Ouya will attempt to fulfill the space between mobile and console gaming in the living room. Uhrman says that mobile gaming is where all of the growth has been, so it was only natural to bring that experience to back to the TV.
Let's make the games less expensive to make, and less expensive to buy. With all our technological advancements, shouldn't costs be going down? Gaming could be cheaper!
We're handing the reins over to the developer with only one condition: at least some gameplay has to be free. We borrowed the free-to-play model from games like League of Legends, Team Fortress 2, Triple Town, and many others. Developers can offer a free demo with a full-game upgrade, in-game items or powers, or ask you to subscribe.
Because Ouya runs on Android and comes with a developer kit, virtually anybody with any coding skills can get a game up and going.
You can create the next big title in your bedroom - just like the good old days! Who needs pants!? Forget about licensing fees, retail fees, and publishing fees.
What will a $99 Ouya box get you? About the size of a Rubik's Cube, the Ouya is a very small device. Inside is a Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, HDMI out, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth LE 4.0, one USB 2.0 port (no 3.0 equals sad face), Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and a wireless controller that includes dual analog sticks, a D-pad, eight action buttons and a touchpad in the center (for games that are better served with touch controls).
Launched on Kickstarter today,
the Ouya project already has over 2,500 backers and has secured over $330,000 out of the $950,000 goal (as of this writing) Ouya has surpassed its $950,000 goal with over $1 million in funding from over 8,000 backers in under eight hours. The first Ouya consoles should arrive by the first quarter of 2013.
What do you think? Do you want to play mobile games on your TV?
Editor's Update: The Ouya money hose just won't shut off. $950,000 was already a pretty lofty goal, but the console is now at a whopping $2.7 million in Kickstarter cash. In an update on its Kickstarter page, the Ouya crew has promised "stretch goals," or "what we can do if we raise more money." These commonly include more features or accessories, which for Ouya could mean better hardware for more powerful games, or a controller attachment that could whip you up an espresso while you play.