Console gaming has seen a dramatic new entry this passing week. The console in question is none other than the Android-based, OUYA. Just a few short days ago, the development team took to KickStarter to ensure funding of this project. Their goal was to reach $950,000 by 9th August 2012 to “kick start” the production process. With only four days having passed, roughly 31,000 backers opened their wallets and forked out a combined $4m. This has set all sorts of KickStarter records, not to mention a whole host of others not accounted for.
The question at the start of all this was whether or not to support this venture. Since it’s already passed the expected target, by some margin, the questions have changed quite a bit. The developers would like to sell the OUYA console for $99 when it goes on sale in Q2 of 2013, a price that has many people scratching their head.
This console was not designed to compete with the likes of Microsoft’s Xbox, Sony’s PS3 or even Nintendo’s Wii, but does offer a unique and affordable alternate for the casual gamer. OUYA will initially run on Android OS 4.0 with free-to-play games available for download. Once all falls into place, a number of paid Android games will be made available for gamers to enjoy. The hardware specifications of the OUYA include a Tegra 3 Quad-Core processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, HDMI-Out, WiFi-enabled, BlueTooth and one USB 2.0 port. These specs will match what you will find on a number of Android-based tablets, but offers a great alternative for those using their tablets solely for games, with the inclusion of a wireless controller. With Tegra powered games such as Shadowgun, Samurai Vengeance, Dead Trigger, Sonic the Hedgehog, Modern Combat 3 and N.O.V.A. 3, to name a few, I’m sure there’s enough buy-in for this to work. This will only serve as a catalyst for improved gaming development for the Android platform, as the whole premise of this concept is to open up the gaming market, which has been walled off by big-name developers offering titles at over R600 that are based on a copy-paste effort of previous releases. Ouya’s main objective is to prove that innovation, developer taste, low-cost and TV all matter.
Although backing this project will still have positive results in the future, it isn’t quite a critical now as when it was listed. One of the big questions that remain for potential backers is how much to donate, since we all want to get our hands on one as soon as it becomes available. If you have anywhere from $99 upward (since the $95 donations have all been taken) to spare on a donation on this project, you will earn yourself a shipment before it arrives in stores.