There’s been a lot of hype on tech blogs recently about low price, Android-based game consoles that will support open source games.  Well, with the amazing success of OUYA on Kickstarter’s funding platform, the hype is only growing!  With an original funding target of $95000, when the offer closed just a couple of weeks ago the developers had raised an unbelievable $8.6 million from 63,416 investors from all over the world!

So, what makes OUYA so special that more than 60,000 people were willing to pledge their support for a product that has yet to be seen, let alone put on the market?  In a word – vision!  Specifically, the vision of the developers who are designing an advanced Android game console, designed not for your iPad or Galaxy Tab but for your TV screen and surround sound system.

Ouya

In a sense, the designers have gone full circle.  The original games consoles such as Pong and the Atari, hooked up to your TV screen.  Today, more and more games are for pricey game consoles or your mobile computing devices. But this comes at a cost: the consoles are expensive and the games can cost an arm and a leg.  Mobile computing is great – but it lacks the excitement of playing on a 47″ HD screen with full surround sound!  This is OUYA’s vision – to bring the world of affordable gaming back to your TV screen, but with all the improvements that 21st century technology has to offer.

Ouya

The final production prototype has yet to be released and, according to OUYA, it should come out by March 2013 when it will be available to all those who pledged their support (and money) for just $99!

What can we expect from this new console?  Well, the new OUYA game console is being designed by “fuseproject“, the same team responsible for designing the Jambox wireless speaker system and the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) XO laptop computer.

Fuseproject

At the heart of the OUYA is a quad-core Tegra-3 processor and it comes with 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage, Bluetooth and wireless. But the beauty of OUYA isn’t just in its technology – it’s in the opportunities it presents to the users and the developers.

The driving force behind OUYA is the company’s founder, Julie Uhrman.  In her own words: “OUYA is a new game console for the television that’s built on Android open-source technology.  It’s an inexpensive game console for gamers.  All the games are free to try, and anybody who wants to develop a game for television, we allow them to do this….it’s open for hackers who want to tweak the box and make it their own.”

Ouya Julie Uhrman

OUYA has gone back to the original conception of the internet – free (well almost) and open to everybody!  The team at OUYA wants their platform to be “hacked”!  They are encouraging developers from all fields to hack their platform for any application, and project. And from what we’ve heard, this machine can do a whole lot more than “just” high-level gaming.  They allow developers, corporate and independent, access to the technology of their console and in return, the developer offers a free-to-play version that can be upgraded or expanded at any time.

In the end, this will be a fascinating piece of technology to keep an eye on!  We predict that there is a great future in store for OUYA and similar platforms that build on the concept. 63,416 backers willing to pledge their money, sight unseen, must mean something.

By the way, if you missed the Kickstarter campaign, you can Pre-Order Ouya now at Ouya.tv starting at $109 with an expected delivery set for April 2013.

What do you think about Ouya? Does it capture what the future holds for consumer gaming? Share your thoughts on comments!

 


About the Author

Michael Goldstone is a tech geek with a habit of spending way too much time playing and reviewing new video game systems.  Michael also enjoys computer games. His two projects at the moment include searching for the best free casino game website, and the best racing game on the internet.

 

 

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