The first Ouya $99 video game consoles are expected to ship next week to customers who backed the team’s Kickstarter campaign. Users will be able to download and play games on their TV using the small Android-powered game system.

While most of those games will be Android titles optimized for use with a gamepad and TV (instead of a phone or tablet with a touchscreen), you may also be able to play games that were never intended for Android at all — because the Ouya supports emulators.

Ouya video game console

Developer Paul Lamb has ported his Mupen64 emulator to the Ouya platform, which will allow users to play Nintendo64 games with an Ouya.

Other developers are also working on emulators for the classic Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and possibly other consoles as well.

It’s no surprise that you can use emulators on the Ouya. After all, folks have been designing and running game console emulators on Android phones and tablets for years. And users will be able to side-load any of those apps onto an Ouya.

But the Ouya team is also taking a pretty liberal approach toward emulators in their app store.

In a nutshell, as long as developers don’t offer any copyrighted games or other content, they can distribute their apps in the Ouya store. Lamb’s Mupen64 emulator, for instance, was already approved (although he needs to remove from copyrighted artwork from his screenshots and submit it again).

If you already have an Ouya (or pretty much any other Android device), you can also download the latest beta version of Mupen64 from Lamb’s website.

Theoretically it’s possible for folks to buy a PlayStation, Nintendo64, or other game disc or cartridge and use special hardware and software to rip a video game ROM for personal use with this sort of game emulation software. Most people don’t do that. Instead they download games illegally from the internet, which is why emulators tend to hang out in a relatively gray legal area.

But it’s good to know that in addition to supporting a growing number of Android games, Ouya’s $99 game console will also be able to play hundreds of classic games that were always meant to be used with a TV and gamepad.

The Ouya game console features an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage and comes with a wireless game controller. While the first units should ship on March 28th, if you weren’t a Kickstarter backer you’ll have to wait until June to get your hands on one.

via and GameFans

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12 replies on “Ouya game console will support N64, NES, other classic console emulators”

  1. I hope the larger console companies and developers jump on this train and profit on selling old games on this new console. Square Enix has already started leading the way. I can only hope others follow. Honestly, its not like anyone buys a N64 straight from Nintendo anyways. So, this is a new way they can easily profit if they quickly provide the greater classics for a cheap price

  2. It would be so great if N64 or SNES games could be bougth like any other app for few bucks and played on the OUYA. But Nintendo or Sony would never give the green light anyway.

  3. Moot point as the system is open.

    You’ll still be able to run an “regular” version of Android and enjoy all of your favorites, even of you can’t within the Ouya ecosystem.

  4. Si officailly supporting the the grey market…sounds like a hood wsy to be sued.

  5. I hereby dub this console, considering no one knows how to pronounce its name, the “Vowel Console.” Get it? Because they’re all vowels. What do you think? ha

  6. Sounds great. I can easily spend 99 bucks to play my N64 favorites again.

  7. Good luck running the OUYA OS on chinese hardware.. They require a valid serial number for anything to work, and that is validated by the server.

  8. If Ouya ever becomes successful, I’m sure the gaming companies will go after them over some legal loophole about this in order to snuff Ouya out. Easier than going after Android itself or phone makers since Ouya is technically a gaming console.

    1. Why? That seems like a very roundabout way of limiting the software you can already run on Android…

      A PS3 controller (if you don’t have one) and any Android device will suffice for emulation.

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