With just under a month to go, Ouya, an Android-based home gaming console has surpassed the $4 million mark on Kickstarter (as of the publishing of this article). The initial goal was only $950,000. I guess there are a lot of people out there, 32,062 to be exact, that want something a little different out of their home console gaming experience.
The Ouya is an open-style game console for televisions based on Android's design platform. So if you can make a game for the Android you can make a game for the Ouya. One of the main selling points is that ANYONE can make a game for the Ouya and get it out there. No more retail fees, no more royalty fees, no more massive distribution costs. Effectively, it's a console made for gamers but designed for developers.
I also really love the selling point that hackers are welcome. I nearly chuckled out loud at that statement on the Kickstarter page and when it was mentioned in the promo video, which you can watch below.
Now for everyone thinking "Ohhh, this will murder home console gaming" it's not quite like that. The most core games that will be available from the start are games most mobile gamers will already be familiar with, including Minecraft from Mojang, Shadowgun, and Deadtrigger from Madfinger Games. And speaking of core games...right now the go-to-engine for high-end mobile titles is the Unity Engine, so we can expect to see the Unity tech showcased quite a bit early on in the lifecycle of the Ouya given that most devs don't want to deal with the licensing fees attached to other AAA engines such as the CryEngine and Unreal Engine (although the UDK is still highly supported).
I'm sure the biggest obstacle of the Ouya will be finding a mainstream audience, but assuming that's not the actual goal of the project then I think Ouya will be perfectly fine with a more niche development and support community. I can easily see this becoming the home console rendition of Linux.
The project is also being heavily supported by a lot of indie-devs right now who just want to make and create great games. So even if we're not seeing Uncharted 3 quality titles on the Ouya, you can bet your bottom dollar you'll be seeing plenty of original and creative games nonetheless.
You can donate to the project just for kicks (they've already surpassed their goal by a substantial margin, to say the least) or you can learn more about the open-development platform that could help breathe some new life into the home console arena by visiting the Official Kickstarter Page. You can check out the specs for the console below.
• Tegra3 quad-core processor
• 1GB RAM
• 8GB of internal flash storage
• HDMI connection to the TV, with support for up to 1080p HD
• WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
• Bluetooth LE 4.0
• USB 2.0 (one)
• Wireless controller with standard controls (two analog sticks, d-pad, eight action buttons, a system button), a touchpad
• Android 4.0