UPDATED: Open Source Console Gaming and Development: Ouya Crazy, Like a Fox

In the gaming industry, consoles have typically been limited to development houses with deep pockets and dedicated staff to help field their product. But, no more says Ouya founder Julie Uhrman. The future of the gaming console will come from the open community and Ouya hopes to be the first to blaze the trail.

ouya console

If all that isn’t enough to catch your attention, then there is even more for you to enjoy below.

Even more good news, at the time of this first write, Ouya is already funded at $1.5 Million and reached that number in only eight hours.  Kickstarter typically is a 30-day funding cycle for the target and Ouya is already on its way to doubling its target in just the first day! The Ouya initial project’s goal was to raise $950,000.

So what is Ouya?  It’s a company that will bring to market a console that is entirely based on open platform standards. It’s a big promise. From carrying Android 4.0 on board, the NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, an HDMI output, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity, 1GB+ RAM, and 8GB+ storage, the Ouya packs just enough under the hood to be a competitor. Though the system lacks power in the graphics department when stacked up against currently available consoles, the Ouya team does not see this as an issue.

The Android platform is where this console breaks the mold of conformity and heads straight for the open development space — and all for the estimated cost of $99 per unit. The main sales pitch is what gamers dream of: the Ouya console will be “hackable” and customizable based on whatever the user knows how to and/or wants to do. (Anyone who has played around with Android will know the power of this statement and will benefit from it greatly.) The bootloader is entirely unlocked and the system wide open, with absolutely no risks of voiding any warranties here.

ouya game screen splash

The controller looks like a hybrid of the current Xbox and PS-style controllers. Its sleek and simple design understates the software which is where this device shines. As part of the Android family most, if not all, Android apps are native on the console. Additionally, software companies will support the project in the free-to-play space. Games will be introduced via a trail and/or demo delivery system, similar to the PlayStation Network. The bottom line: the goal of the Ouya team is to place SDKs in developers’ hands as quickly as possible to bring more titles to the table for launch.

The concept of a completely open gaming console is a big deal in an environment that has been ruled by limited options. Its success is going to be based on how successful Ouya is at gaining titles and content for their platform. Though, with early partners in the Android space, indie development, and content partnerships with organizations likeTwitch.tv already in the bag, this is a project worth watching.

I’m Chris Poirier and this is aNewDomain.net!

UPDATE #1: As of 12:53pm EST 11JUL12 Ouya is now funded at just under $2.9 Million with 28 more days left in it’s Kickstarter.  That’s $2.9 MILLION in just 24 hours and on is now over three times it’s requested funding level!  According to Kickstarter, this crowdfunding attempt is now the first ever in their history to make over $1 million in its first eight hours of fund raising.  (See the official press from Kickstarter here: http://www.kickstarter.com/blog/ouyas-big-day)

UPDATE #2: At the end of their full second day of funding via Kickstarter, Ouya is now up to nearly $4 million raised! Check out their latest update here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ouya/ouya-a-new-kind-of-video-game-console/posts

Image credits: Ouya via Kickstarter.com

About the author

Christopher Poirier

Technology Advocate, Journalist, Gamer

2 Comments

  • I know i sound sexist, but I think it’s great to see that this particular project is founded by a woman. I mean, society doesn’t look at women as being passionate about gaming. Let alone, starting a big open sourced project on gaming.   1UP to them.

    -RAP, II

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