Ouya, the Kickstarter-funded Android home entertainment console, has successfully grabbed $8.5 million from fans and early investors - nearly ten times the amount of its initial pledge goal of $950,000.
The console which promises inexpensive living room gaming won’t be available for general release until March 2013, but Ouya has already bagged an impressive launch line-up.
OnLive will also be accessible through the Tegra 3-powered cube, as will Square Enix’s mobile remake of Final Fantasy III. What’s more, Ouya has even bagged its own launch title in the form of Human Element. Or to be exact, an exclusive prequel to Robotoki’s forthcoming zombie horror survival game.
Many of the game available through Ouya’s game store will be free to download, with users paying for in-game upgrades and extra content should they want it.
So while you’ll be expected to cough up $95 (£60) for the console and one controller (extra gamepads cost $30/£19.25) the pay off is that you get a dedicated gaming machine with access to some great (free) games plus services like Twitch.TV, TuneIn Radio and VEVO should you want a break from gaming.
For more information on Ouya and its history, read on...
10 August, 2012
What is Ouya?
We were only saying recently, vis-a-vis an Angry Birds hack, how the Google Nexus Q missed the chance to bring Android gaming into the living room. Then we stumble across Ouya on Kickstarter and suddenly, we don’t care about the Nexus Q any more.
Ouya is an Android console that lets you play games like Shadowgun and Minecraft Pocket Edition on your HD TV. Everything is controlled using a big gamepad with analogue sticks instead of tapping on a touchscreen.
The specs for the Ouya read like those of a current-gen high-end Android phone or tablet:
- NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 8GB of internal storage
- HDMI (up to 1080p HD)
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
- Bluetooth 4.0
- USB 2.0 (one)
- Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
This gives you an idea of its gaming credentials and what types of games will be available. Plus, with this thing sitting in your living room connected to the mains, you won’t have to worry about the battery running out.
The wireless controller is a standard gaming pad that looks much like those of the Xbox 360/PS3 - four main buttons on the right plus shoulder triggers, two analog sticks and a D-pad.
Cleverly, there’s also an optical touchpad mounted in the centre, meaning that touch-based games like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja can easily make the jump to the TV screen as well; it’s more like a Wii U GamePad in this sense.
Ouya: Gamers dream, developers fantasy
For gamers Ouya represents an easy way to play console-quality Android games on TV instead of on your phone or tablet.
For developers, Ouya is an infinitely more exciting prospect. Ouya is positively encouraging devs to open up the Ouya box. Hacking and rooting won’t void your warranty and the screws used on the box are standard. In other words they’re not moulded, you won’t have to trawl the internet for a proprietary dodecahedron-shaped screwdriver - a regular Philips crosshead will do.
As it’s built on Android, the SDK is already out there and freely available. The intention is to get more developers making games without thinking about traditional barriers; licensing fees and publishing fees, just working on “next big title in your bedroom – just like the good old days! Who needs pants!?” Indeed.
Ouya: Fine, I'm sold. How much is Ouya? Release date?
So, when can we get one? Not until next year by the looks of it. Estimated delivery dates for the first round of consoles aren’t until March 2013 and you’ll need to pledge $99 plus $20 for shipping outside the US.
This currently works out as £76.44 in UK money, for which you’ll get the Ouya console plus one controller. If you want an extra controller for multiplayer fun, then this costs $30 extra (£19.28).
With the majority of Android games geared towards solo play at the minute (or at least solo screen play) it’ll be interesting to see if developers start adding split-screen support for Android games played on an Ouya.
What games can I play on Ouya?
Ouya has got versions of Canabalt, Minecraft and Shadowgun working on its prototype. Technically, any Tegra-optimised game with the THD tag should play on the Ouya, so most of these titles from our Asus Transformer Prime games round up should work.
Ouya has the potential to be very disruptive. We’re certainly excited and counting down the days ‘til payday so we can make a pledge.
Check out the video above for a better idea of who’s behind Ouya and pop over to the Kickstarter page to put your money down and learn more.