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OUYA: The Android-Powered Gaming Console That Wants to Take on the Big Boys (Updated)

My two biggest gripes with mobile Android gaming are as follows: I don’t have a reliable controller for most of the games, and the screens are too small to really get immersed in. Kickstarter is hosting a very promising looking project called OUYA (pronounced ooh-yah) that looks to take mobile gaming back to the living room, and rival the big console makers. This Android powered console is calling on the powers of Android’s open development platform and the free-to-play model of gaming that has been all the rage recently. Can this grassroots program rattle the cages of Sony and Microsoft?

Update:  And within a couple hours of posting, OUYA went from about $600K to over $1 million and is now past their goal with 29 days still to go. That was insanely fast.

The OUYA team has created a prototype console that is based off our favorite OS and even uses parts that you might find in your phones today:

  • Tegra 3 quad-core processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 8GB of flash memory
  • HDMI connection to the TV, with support for up to 1080p HD
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • USB 2.0 (one)
  • Wireless Controllers
  • Ice Cream Sandwich

All the games that work for Android now will work on OUYA and the developers of the console are hoping to entice game developers to make games just for their console, that are made to play on the big screen in your living room. Games like Shadowgun and Dead Trigger will look and play great on your TV and even Minecraft will be included in all this fun.

One interesting note from the developer states “We’re handing the reins over to the developer with only one condition: at least some gameplay has to be free.” F2P has taken off in PC gaming recently with most games going free and then allowing you to buy upgrades to the game for real money. Microtransactions are now funding Team Fortress 2 and League of Legends, even though some players never pay a cent to play them. It’s an interesting demand but in the long run it could be beneficial for any owners of the OUYA.

OUYA is looking to raise money through Kickstarter and their goal is $950,000 to get the project up and running fully. At the time of this post they are near half that already, with 29 days to go. You can reserve a username for as little as $10 but if you want to get a console for yourself, $99 will get you an OUYA before they hit stores. This little console definitely has a lot of potential and could redefine gaming on the Android platform, we’ll just have to see how we eventually get there.

Via: Kickstarter

  • willie

    backed up also cool

  • feztheforeigner

    Wow it’s already hit $2,000,000! Fastest KickStarter ever?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jayson.marcusen Jayson Marcusen

    I would mention it with nintendo, not sony and microsoft.

  • EvanTheGamer

    WOW! Already surpassed their goal of $950k with $1mil! That was extremely quick. I better get on that before next week as that $99 price might not last long.

  • nsauce7

    Got mine but dang march 2013? Quite the wait

  • djr4x4

    4 gigs of RAM is what your prototype needs to have versus that 1 gig of RAM on the quadcore… By the time you are ready to put this on the market, you should have at least 4 – 6 gigs. No less in my opinion..

  • SKAVENG3R

    Can it be rooted?

    • http://profiles.google.com/kfelon Jason Kocian

      Yes because… “Have at it: It’s easy to root (and rooting won’t void your warranty). Everything opens with standard screws. Hardware hackers can create their own peripherals, and connect via USB or Bluetooth. You want our hardware design? Let us know. We might just give it to you. Surprise us!”

      There is also a developer edition you can order that comes pre-rooted.

  • http://profiles.google.com/kfelon Jason Kocian

    Wow they hit over 1 million dollars in less than 24 hours. Congratulations!

  • Jason James

    it hit $1,000,000

  • SD_Scott

    Hoping the remotes will sync with my TF300… Pretty much the same specs.

    • SD_Scott

      But think about rooting this and then having all the emulators you could want!!!

    • Anthony Armando

      root your TF300/tablet/phone (if you havent already) then install sixaxis controller (if compatible, only $2), buy a ps3 controller or four (if you dont already have some, $45 each on amazon), connect your mhl to hdmi adapter (approximately $10 to $15 on amazon), buy chainfire3d app if you dont have a tegra device ($4), and you are set for tv AND mobile gaming on one device. this console is redundant for someone who already has a tablet with mhl output and decent hardware, such as yourself. i do it with my galaxy nexus and it works amazingly well.

      also, check the endomondo post, i gave you another suggestion to get navigation working.

      • SD_Scott

        Yep, yep. Already set up sixaxis and have it working with my ps3 remotes. Only way to play Dead Trigger/Shadowgun. Now only if there was multiplayer…

        Thanks for the nav suggestions too. Totally stoked to be using maps instead of that other crappy app =)

        • Anthony Armando

          awesome x2! and sixaxis is indeed the only way to play DT/SG. i am glad you were able to get things working.

  • duke69111

    If this does not pan out is the money we give going to be refunded or are we SOL. Not that familiar with the kickstarter program.

    Nevermind: It has already made the $950,000 mark.

  • OhAaron

    Holy crap! It’s going to hit its funding goal today!

  • TheWhiteLotus

    I’d buy this, but only after Google releases it’s official Game Center equivalent, and it is implemented here, and I can log in with my Google account.

  • AlexKCMO

    I’m going to pledge $25, but I don’t think this is going to be a great idea. The mobile space is, to put it frankly, booming. There are constant new advancements all the time from new processors, specs, and “the next big thing” In just 1 years time, we went from the Tegra 2 being a groundbreaking dual core to a Quad (pseudo Penta) Core Tegra 3.

    This year has been a bit slower on the hardware front, but considering my TF101 is technically obsolete by current tech standards. They’re planning the console with today’s standards. If this really takes off, it will only slow down hardware development on tablets and phones much like the XBOX 360 and PS3 have slowed down PC gaming and hardware.

    Also, what’s to keep other companies from creating a better experience? I remember several manufacturers making 3DO consoles. So let’s say Asus waits for this to be released, sees there’s a market for it, and releases their own console that has a Tegra 4 with 4 GB of RAM, a working GPS, and support for 10 connected devices at once.

    Then this becomes obsolete and we get Android console wars.

    I like the concept, and my contribution is for the Proof of Concept to be successful, not necessarily for the product.

    Also, Android 4.0…. really? Time for 4.1. They need to promise to keep this thing heavily up to date.

    • EndiSky

      Having Android Console Wars would only be a bad thing for people that have to have the latest and greatest thing at all times. At a price tag that is low enough ($100-$150) I feel that upgrading the unit when new specs come out wouldnt be that hard to do. Even better, if they created a modular system INSIDE the user accessible case that would allow for component upgrades that the end user could EASILY do.
      then you could have the latest and greatest for a small fee as opposed to buying a whole new unit.

    • David

      The biggest issue with things like the 360 and the ps3 and such, and why it’s such a pain to “convert” to a new system is the price of the games. they’re usually 60 a pop, and they don’t always include backwards compatibility. That’s rather negated by it playing android games, because it’s what.. 5$ once over and it’ll play on any supported version of the OS? So they could release a new console every month, and so long as you log in with your google account, and such you have your games. They come with you. Which gives this a distinct advantage over other consoles. So I don’t think this would slow down development of android/ the mobile space simply because it’s the equivilant of a new sub category of phone that’s main purpose is to connect to a tv vs make phone calls.

  • http://www.kovdev.com/ koveleski

    Ooo-yah!

  • Al

    I sticking with Microsoft when it comes to home consoles. Love the Xbox, 360, and will get any future Xbox consoles.

  • Knlegend1

    This is a toss up. Great idea but the issue with consoles in my opinion are that they are restricted to the television. If you purchase a tablet with similar specs, all of what they are trying to offer can be done, on a tv or mobile. I do see people adopting to this and modifying it to do more. It may work, I’ll keep my eye on it but I’m more interested in say a nexus 7. I’m sure the community will take this into another world.

  • Trevor

    So THAT’S what the Kool-Aid guy was saying when he ruthlessly smashed through people’s house walls.

  • James_C_L

    She’s a female?

  • regkilla

    Please allow payment by PayPal or Debit Card! :D

  • Anthony Armando

    i dont understand why anyone would want this if they intend on buying a tablet/phone. all you have to do is root, install sixaxis, buy a ps3 controller (supports up to four), get an mhl to hdmi adapter, and hook that to a tv/monitor. which is exactly the same thing. that is my setup and it works amazingly well. and as a bonus you can take your gaming and saved games anywhere you want seamlessly.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1032562264 Nnamdi Onuoha

      I was about to say the same thing. I already play all of these on my tv through my xoom.

      Their product is already redundant!

  • Clifford Gadd

    It’s a cool idea but what’s the difference between this and my transformer prime? Because right now I already connect a HDMI to my tv and use the USB slot to connect a controller? Of course that whole combo was like $610. So I suppose if it were marketed somewhere around $200 dollars that would be a good price.

    • Anthony Armando

      for real. the only difference is entry price, but if you already own a rootable tablet/phone you can do the exact same thing already AND it is portable. i do this now with my galaxy nexus. i am sure the project will do more to advance android gaming….but that has advanced fantastically well on its own.

  • http://twitter.com/Lancer033 Keith Hollis

    I like the concept, but i don’t see how this is anything more than a good version of Google TV with a gaming controller.

  • fvqu

    I can’t imagine this being very successful, I’m predicting it will be a flop. PC gaming is the way to go.

  • regkilla

    Modern Combat 3 meet OUYA!

  • arthur2142

    I just checked out the Kickstarter page…they are going up by about $10,000 every 5 minutes or so…I don’t think they’ll have a problem meeting their $950k goal! I’m in for $99 + $30 for a second controller!

  • http://twitter.com/whoisajimmy Jim

    oh my god, they’re going to be done raising their 1 million in a day. O____O

    • moelsen8

      it’s gone up like $100,000 in the time this post has been up. that’s Fn nuts.

      • EvanTheGamer

        And there’s a little more than 1000 spots left for the $99 price. Wow. 10000 spots gone in a day, wow!

        This might be the fastest project to reach its goal yet.

  • KennyVeltre

    Would we be able to put emulators on this and play old school games?

    • moelsen8

      it says completely hackable. i’d say yes.

    • Anthony Armando

      there are tons of emulator options available for your android tablet/phone already…so most likely you can do it with this too.

    • EndiSky

      Absolutley

  • InyRules

    I LOVE that they welcome people to hack and tinker with it. We’ll be seeing a lot of cool hacks for it.

  • moelsen8

    holy hell look at the total go up

  • Jeremy

    i backed this for $99 dollars 2 hours ago. best money i ever spent. Great IDEA! hopefully it will progress android gaming even further!

  • Robert Jakiel

    Awesome idea! I do this with my Transformer Prime so a dedicated console would be sweet!

  • moelsen8

    this kind of functionality should be built into google tv/nexus q. and then those two rolled into one. it surprises me that google hasn’t seen this potential.

    but yeah, this thing looks awesome.

    • r0lct

      I agree. If there was ANY sign of something useful (for me) in the Q on the horizon that included gaming I would cancel this and jump on the Q train. But so far all I hear is “the Q is going to be magic once its hacked” but I’m waiting on a single specific example.

  • KennyVeltre

    I wish i had a job so i could back this.

    • moelsen8

      i wish i had a better job so i could forget about $100 for the next 8 months. it’s real tempting.

  • http://twitter.com/whoisajimmy Jim

    …Not Google certified = :(
    Also I’m really surprised that they decided to go for 1g of RAM…

    • EricRees

      Yes, 1 GB of RAM seems small to me, especially given the year that it’s going to take to get this project running and out the door. It’s going to be way behind at that point.

      • r0lct

        I think (hope?) like the Pebble watch it’ll get a spec bump before funding is over.

        • EvanTheGamer

          4GB ram would be ideal in the year 2013. hahah

  • Jason Purp

    That home screen is dangerously close to the Xbox dashboard…

    • EricRees

      I had the exact same thoughts when I saw it. Microsoft would have no qualms about coming after them full force for that if they wanted.

      • Jason Purp

        And they probably will. This can be seen as a potential threat to the Xbox. Maybe not a big one, but nevertheless, a threat.

        • EvanTheGamer

          Wouldn’t even matter. The next Xbox (720) will/should be released near the end of 2013. Plus the new dashboard will obviously have a huge face lift.

  • ddevito

    The Nexus Q will essentially have this functionality (and more) coming soon…stay tuned

    • http://profiles.google.com/davidukfl David Wanless

      but for $200 more

      • ddevito

        but is controlled 100% by Google – and to folks like me, that’s quality worth the price. I’m not saying the Q is great, right now it’s not, but I feel there’s more to the Q than (currently) meets the eye. I think Google has bigger plans for the Q. Time will tell.

    • r0lct

      Did you read the info on the project? Apples and oranges.

      • ddevito

        yes – and I understand the nature and intention, but that’s a lot to ask for (and I’m not referring to price), and I fully applaud a market disruptive, I just don’t think this one is worth investing in

        • r0lct

          I completely respect you lack of interest in the product.

          I was more commenting on the fact they are not just taking Play Store games and putting on a TV, it’s much, much more. Hopefully in a good way. :P

  • Jordan

    old news

  • DroidBricker

    I love this idea but what does it have over something like the Nexus Q and a gaming controller?
    EDIT: Nevermind….for $99 this is sweet!

    • r0lct

      The games aren’t just going to be out of the store. They have a few 3rd party makers who are going to build games specifically around these specs and a controller.

      You’re basically buying into a new console ecosystem that will lower the cost of entry for video games makers and have a much wider selection of games (which will of course be good and bad) and therefore should also see a lower cost for the games (compared t consoles), especially for the the indy and small devs.

      The Q is just playing from the store which may or may not play well on a TV.

  • EvanTheGamer

    I sent this in and received no credit. :( hahah j/k

    Anyways, yes, if done right, this could definitely be the next big thing in home console entertainment, especially it being Android based. I’m backing this as soon as I get my next pay check.

    I look forward to seeing its progression in the next several months.

  • r0lct

    I backed it, I think this could be big.

    • EvanTheGamer

      A cloud save option would be brilliant!

      Could play Amazing Alex on my Galaxy Nexus then play the game on my OUYA where I left off. Would be freaking incredible.

      • r0lct

        That’s the dream. :P

      • moelsen8

        we need that to begin with on android.

        • r0lct

          big yoda fan? :P

          • moelsen8

            funny, you are!

          • michael arazan

            Do or do not, ouya support, their is no try.

    • http://www.deathbycone.com Jared Kotoff

      $99 with games like Dead Space and Mass Effect Infiltrator make this actually a cheap and viable gaming option for non-gamer.

    • Knlegend1

      this is true!!!!

    • EvanTheGamer

      Hey, by any chance, was your CC charged as soon as you sent in your pledge?

      If I read the FAQ correctly, they won’t charge you until the project is funded, which is on Aug. 9.

      • r0lct

        Correct, no charge until the end date.

        • EvanTheGamer

          Yeah, figured that out as soon as I pledged. haha. Seriously can’t wait! I love experiencing new things!