The Kickstarter bandwagon keeps on rolling, and a very interesting new passenger just jumped on board. Los-Angeles based company OUYA recently came out with a pitch video for a new game console of the same name. The OUYA is being marketed as a completely open console, providing freedom for developers and even hackers to tinker with it however they want without the roadblocks of licensing or purchasing an SDK. Every OUYA is a dev kit, meaning absolutely anyone who has one is free to make games for it.What’s more, it runs on Google’s Android OS, meaning there’s a pre-existing community of developers who already know how to program for it. Although the full launch lineup is still under wraps, a number of developers are already working on games for the system. Canabalt will be getting an OUYA port, as will Minecraft.
Perhaps the most surprising feature being touted by the team behind the console is the open invitation for hackers to do what they please with its hardware. The whole thing will be held together by standard screws that are easy to get at, and taking it apart apparently won’t even void your warranty. They even hint at a willingness to provide hardware design documents to those interested in creating custom peripherals. While the hardware specs aren’t anything revolutionary(only 1GB of RAM?), they seem pretty solid for the price point, which is $95 for early adopters. The OUYA supports 1080P resolution, a step above the 360 and PS3, and runs on NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 processor. Also that controller looks pretty damn comfy, don’t you think?
Conversations with potential partners are still in progress, but a deal with Twitch.Tv is already cemented. Being able to watch League of Legend and Starcraft 2 matches from the comfort of your living room was used as one of the big selling points in the pitch. Somehow I think those who are interested in doing that already are, but I guess having a means of doing it straight from a console couldn’t hurt.
Is the OUYA going to achieve its stated goal of revolutionizing the console market? Seeing as it’s not even out yet it’s obviously too early to say, but it’s certainly an ambitious idea. It should be interesting to see if the OUYA company can really provide such an open platform and turn a profit at the same time.
For more information about the OUYA, including the pitch video and a complete rundown of the specs, check out their Kickstarter page.