Ouya, stylized as OUYA and pronounced as “Ooh-ya” is a project announced on Kickstarter, the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects, in their own words. So what is it? It’s the world’s first open source video game console that runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich! What does that mean for us consumers? An awesome price tag of just 99$ and free games! Ouya is a console being developed by a panel of experts including the co-founder of the Xbox, Ed Fries and world renown designer, Yves Béhar. With biggies like those involved, it’s safe to say that the Ouya is in capable hands.
Originally made over 7 months ago and displayed to developers and manufacturers, the Ouya has seen unanimous praise from the game industry and many indie developers have already signed on. After the fantastic response, the makers of Ouya, Boxer8, decided to go public and initially set a target of 950,000$ to see how many people were interested in the project. Hardly 8 hours after it was announced on Kickstarter, the target was met and as of just 1 day since announcement, the amount pledged is over 2 and a half million dollars! This value isn’t static either, just refresh the page and see the pledge go even higher! With a tentative March 2013 release date set, Boxer8 is working hard to reach that deadline and it already has a working prototype with games and UI. In a few months even more working prototypes are supposed to be available.
OUYA – Technical Specs
As of now the tentative specs for the Ouya are as follows:
Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor
1 GB RAM
8 GB of internal flash storage
HDMI connection with 1080P HD support
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth LE 4.0
USB 2.0 port
These specs could be bumped up owing to the tremendous response.
How is OUYA different?
Ouya is completely open source, it’s going to run on the highly customizable Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. That means all games will employ a “freemium” model. Most or all parts of the games will be free to play, you only have to pay if you want to, for extra content or such. Open source also means that users will be able to publish and distribute their games on Ouya’s distribution medium, the Ouya Store. No licensing fees, no publishing fees, no strings attached. All you have to do is keep the game in a “freemium” model. Ouya will also be able to run some Android apps and will come with Twitch.TV, that allows you to watch E-sports livestreams.
The controller is also set to be quite different. It will have 2 analog sticks, 8 action buttons, a system button, a D-pad and a 3 inch touchpad. Developers are working to make the gaming experience more immersive and make use of the 3″ controller embedded screen as well. Another cool thing is that you can take apart the console and mod it as you like, add new ports, create new peripherals and customize it without voiding your warranty! Still a bit skeptical about the games? Then take a look at some of the games set to be available on the Ouya: Minecraft, Shadowgun, Dead Trigger, Triple Town and much more! Developers are signing up and will soon make their games available on it. Industry stalwarts like Brian Fargo, Jenova Chen (Developer of flOw) and Jordan Mechner (Creator of the Prince of Persia series) are supporting the Ouya, what else could anyone want?
Is this the future of gaming? The Ouya definitely challenges the status quo and could be a revolution not only in gaming but also in content delivery. It’s one of the few products that gives the user complete control and complete access. As of now it’s even open to suggestions and with the amount of pledges rolling in, it could be further improved. If you’d like to pledge an amount and basically preorder an Ouya then click here.
Drop us a line and let us know what you think of the Ouya, Ooh yeeeaaahhh!