The Ouya is a $99 video game console designed to connect to your TV. It runs Google Android and features a wireless controller, letting you play Android games on a big screen.
There are some big names attaced to the project including OLPC and Jambox designer Yves Behar and game industry veteran Julie Uhrman, so the project has raised a bit of buzz. Now it’s also raised a lot of money.
Yesterday the folks behind Ouya took to Kickstarter in hopes of raising $950,000 to get the product off the ground. In less than 24 hours, backers had pledged well over $2 million.
As of 11:10 this morning, the project had passed the $2.8 million mark.
Folks aren’t just throwing money at the Ouya. Around 20,000 people have pledged $95 or more to reserve one of the first game consoles once they start shipping in March, 2013. A smaller number has pledged $699 or more to get one of the developer edition models which could ship as soon as December, 2012.
The developers had originally promised to send units to the first 10,000 people that pledged $99 or more — but that figure has been extended to 80,000… for now.
Since the project has 28 days to go until the fundraising campaign ends, the Ouya folks are looking at “stretch goals.” Basically, since the original goal was quickly smashed, we could see additional software, hardware, or other features added.
The team is taking suggestions at [email protected] There’s also a survey to see which games users would most like to see made available in the Ouya game store.
As of now, the Ouya is a box with an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, HDMI, WiFi, Bluetooth, and USB 2.0. It runs Android 4.0.
I feel most people who have paid the $95 to get the console will find they will toss it in a closet or under a bed after two months. It will be neat, but it won’t be better or more useful then then a typical PC, tablet, or smartphone most of them already own.
Now, the people who gave OUYA $5000 or even $10000 for developer systems and help – their money is down the drain. They just paid $5,000-10,000 to provide free games (probably with microtransaction back-ends to make money) to a constituency of owners who will be tossing the device in a closet or under a bed by May of 2013. The crowd to sell into will be tens of thousands…then thousands…then hundreds and then nobody. They might as well have given that money to Nigerian e-mail spammers.
I really hope some big game developers take interest in this. I’m sure at first most games will probably be just ports of existing Android games targeting controller versus touch screen input but that’s not enough for me to go out and buy this. As of right now, there aren’t really many games in the Play store that I’d actually buy and play in front of a TV.
How well does playing touch based games work with a controller? That is if this thing officially allows playing Google Play games without hacking.
They’ll have their own app store, so games will probably be checked for gamepad compatibility — but there’s also a touchpad built into the controller, so you should be able to handle tap-and-swipe gesture-based games.
Will this just play games that’s available to all Android devices or are they trying to also get devs to make Ouya specific games? If the latter, then I hope they’d make games on par with the other consoles they’re trying to compete with. Of course, the prices would expectedly be higher than the typical Android game if so.
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