The Ouya is a $99 video game console with an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, WiFi, Bluetooth, and USB ports. It runs Google Android 4.0, comes with a wireless game controller, and it’s designed as a low cost platform for playing Android games on a big screen TV.

But it can also run apps that aren’t games. And that means that you could use the $99 set-top-box for a variety of purposes. One of the most obvious? A media center PC. It turns out there’s an app for that.


XBMC is a media center app for Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. The developers are working on an Android version, and now they’ve announced that they’re working with the Ouya team to make sure that it runs on the $99 box.

This isn’t exactly a first… XBMC started out as Xbox Media Center, a project for transforming the original Microsoft Xbox video game console into a media center before the project branched out to support other hardware.

XBMC provides a full-screen interface for navigating music, movies, pictures, and other media using a TV and remote control. It also supports dozens of plugins that let you stream media from websites including Hulu, Amazon, Grooveshark, and NPR.


While the Ouya console only has 8GB of storage, it would make a pretty great media center if you plug in a USB hard drive for extra storage or stream media from a shared network drive. You could also use it to do nothing but stream media from online audio and video sites, and it’d be sort of like a more versatile Roku box.

The only catch is that neither the Ouya console nor the XBMC app for Android are available yet. Ouya is still in the fundraising stages, and plans to start shipping developer units to donors in December and finished products to customers in March, 2013. Pre-orders through Kickstarter end on August 8th, 2012.

The XBMC app is still under development. The developers have released the source code, but if you want to try out XBMC for Android on an existing phone, tablet, or mini PC, you can download a pre-compiled (but beta) build from the Miniand forums (among other places).

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7 replies on “XBMC will turn the $99 Ouya gaming console into a media center”

  1. OUYA just shipped units out to their Kickstarter backers, so Chris is already eating crow. From the list of games coming out now and right after the commercial launch in June, it seems the Indie devs are well represented in addition to the heavy hitters, so MonkeyKing1969 may be dining along side him as well…we’ll just have to see how it plays out over the next few months, but it’s looking like a win for the consumers at this point. Can’t wait until mine arrives soon, for the games, but especially for XBMC. 🙂

  2. hard to find xbmc for android, plus i hear that it fails with tegra two hardware so far, so we wait for now

  3. As OUYA matures as a product we are seeing more and more of the same big corporate entertainment ventures show up on it. Sure, It is not a bad thing to have XBMC or OnLive on this device, because they aren’t killing kittens after all. Yet, we can already see that what the OUYA people have done with the money of the people who didn’t give them $99 is to just buy or buy influence with established content providers. So, eventually we have to concede this console will feature the same developers and the same business partners as the other consoles and handheld devices.

    With the big Juggernaut content providers on it first, how is OUYA different? It won’t be a incubator for innovative indie projects. It won’t free the chained up developers suffering under the tyrannic grip of big business console makers…because that is fiction folks. And, it without a doubt won’t be the least expensive (or even the best) open hardware on the market.

    This console will do nothing more then merely add some “off-shoot” Android hardware to the mix. If that makes you say “Oh Yah!” then you’re the Kool Aid man because you transparently full of the Kool-Aid. 😉

  4. No, it won’t, because the OUYA will never see the light of day. Its creators, on the other hand, will see plenty of daylight as they relax on the beach with your money.

    1. dont be such a wuss dude, have you no clue how many people here are fed up with the same shit different console crap released every cycle.
      OMFG….a new halo or call COD4 is out…..oh wait drm, map packs and extra downloadable’s that were originally stripped away from the core gaming experience from that heavily expensive $69 game you bought from the store.
      Even if your right about ouya failing big time it’s a step in the right direction(steams a good start too but still addresses a small niche) and a fight we need to preserve so gaming can head in the right direction.
      Free to develop for with no restriction paves way for creativity.

      So…next time you pop in those call of duty’s …..Ask yourself;
      Are you pro developer ?…..or are happy to see the publishers and corporations produce more junk while they reap the cash benefits from your hard earned dollar?

    2. @Chris. That’s a very uninformed comment. Kickstarter projects attract pledges for money, but donations are not charged until the product is shipped.
      If the OUYA never appears it’s zero risk for potential customers.

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