It’s official—an ambitiously hackable Android system is challenging the mobile gaming market, and it’s coming to your living rooms next year. It’s called the OUYA.
First revealed to the gaming industry a few weeks ago, the OUYA is aimed at providing indie game developers with an open-source console solution that will allow them to distribute their titles to the “living room gaming” market without having to go through one of the “Big Three” console makers.
As I type this article, the OUYA Kickstarter fund has passed its $950,000 project goal in just one day.
Moreover, if the rate of project backers continues to pour in, this Kickstarter will be one of the network’s most successfully crowd-funded products, and should easily clear the $1 million mark by the end of the day. As a response to the massive demand, Team OUYA even doubled the number of $99 reward tiers form 5000 to 10,000, which guarantees an OUYA console before they hit stores.
Citing a “brain drain” of the gaming industry’s best talent to the mobile space—where production and development is far cheaper and more profitable—the OUYA team is putting their foot right in the middle of the industry’s established pecking order.
To that effect, the OUYA boasts a star-studded team of talent, with people that contributed to the Xbox lineup, the Kindle Fire, the “One Laptop Per Child” charity, and other notable groups. Tech-wise, the OUYA runs on Android 4.0 and boasts a number of impressive specs:
- Nvidia Tegra 3 processor
- 1080p HD via HDMI
- 1GB of RAM
- 8GB on-board flash storage
- Bluetooth 4.0 LE
- 802.11b/g/n wireless support
- USB 2.0, SD card ports
Now, the real question is whether Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, and several other gaming developers are going to let this Android console make it to market without a real fight, especially considering that the hackable nature of the system should lend itself to easily playing ROM files and pirated copies of past and present licensed video games. Granted, that’s something that tech-savvy gamers can do with their living TV sets now, but the OUYA could make it much easier for more people.
Right now, we’ll simply have to wait and see. Whatever happens, it’s going to be interesting.