Ouya, a USD 99 TV game console project using Android 4.0 has made a stunning debut on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter — hitting a million dollar mark after just 8 hours.
The game console is slated for a March 2013 release and the team behind it promise that it will offer a flexible and open gaming environment that the market wants, which will bring back the good old days of console-TV gaming. As of now, the sleek silver and black cube along with its equally cool controller are just on their prototype stage.
Ouya founder Julie Uhrman said, “It’s ironic, all the growth in gaming is moving to mobile platforms, we’re seeing a lot of AAA developers leaving their console shops to go to mobile, yet three out of every four dollars is still spent in the living room, a majority of gaming time is still spent on the TV, and if you survey any gamer they’ll tell you their No. 1 platform is the TV.”
Ouya is now the fastest project in Kickstarter to reach the million dollar threshold in just 8 hours of going live. The team has initially hoped for USD 950,000 pledges in one month for the consoles to be produced. Support for the project has been huge that as of the time of this writing, barely 3 days of being online, the amount of pledges reached USD 4 million already.
“We never anticipated that it would blow up like this,” said the Ouya founder to Black Hawk Reviews – Online Games.
Hardware specs for the Ouya console include 8Gb of storage, 1Gb of RAM and NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor which could churn out decent 3D display at 1080 pixels. They don’t sound impressive and particularly powerful when compared to PS3 or Xbox but it’s a pretty good bargain considering the price tag.
And although it runs on Android, it should not be expected to be have complete touch-based interface. Ouya will have standard wireless controller that includes 8 action buttons, a D-pad, 2 analog sticks and a touchpad for gesture-based controls.
The most appealing thing is that developers could make games for Ouya minus any publishing, retail or licensing fees that usually come with creating a game. That’s because its OS is fully rootable and every console will come with a free SDK pre-loaded on it. In fact, Ouya even welcomes hackers to tinker with the system — something that could also backfire to other consumers who might become targets of fraud.
The only condition they require is for developers to have some of the gameplay for free.
“Our only requirement is that the gamer have the opportunity to play some aspect of it for free. We don’t like the idea that you pay $60 for a game and feel cheated. We want anybody to have the opportunity to try the game,” Uhrman said.
Still, Uhrman is of the opinion that major game publishers might also come on board because their console could give them easy access to an open digital distribution environment — all without reducing their games’ values.
The console will also reportedly support game-focused video streaming service, Twitch.tv.