According to the press release, this $99 machine will feature an Android-based operating system, and be built around tech perfect for streaming content (though, they are clear to point out it is a console, not a set-top box). Word is the system is being built with the idea of bringing Indie and Free- to-Play games to players in a living-room set up. Think iPhone/iPad games and F2P PC titles on a home console. The controller even features a small 3.5″ touch screen to allow for similar control options as iOS devices, in addition to dual analogue sticks, a d-pad, face buttons, and triggers. Plus the system will feature TwitchTV support so you can watch your favorite gaming streams.
AND it will have Minecraft at launch, free to play.
The OUYA was brought to Kickstarter to help fund the final $1million, part of which would go towards 1st party software support, and making the open-source and hackable-nature of the console even more robust. Which sounds awesome.
The project was fully funded in a matter of hours.
A fully hackable system aimed at Indie and F2P content might just be the console I’ve always wanted, but never knew I did. Lately, I’ve found myself playing Indie and F2P games more and more; a safe estimate is that such games make up about fifty percent of my gaming time. While not what I play exclusively, I find the ideas these types of games bring forth — be they creative, gameplay, artistic, or monetary ideas — to be fascinating and by far the most forward thinking models in the industry right now. When I get excited about games these days I get stoked about Halo 4 and gush over Skyrim just like anyone else; but in the past year, games like Bastion, Super Brothers: Sword and Sworcery EP, Tribes: Acsend, and Hawken have me stoked on experiences that are equally compelling, filled with loads more creativity and passion than most of the big AAA titles, and at a fraction of the price.
So the idea of a console that will support and encourage these experiences to grow and flourish, and bring them to new audiences, may just be the very thing this industry needs to see a much-needed jolt in innovation. I would love to see more designers making things like Dustforce and Fez, and maybe even the big-name publishers will begin looking for more creative and “risky” games to publish. I mean, I enjoy neck stabbing and dazzling graphics as much as the next guy, but few games have ever drawn me in as much as Bastion did. And while I have yet to play it, Journey seems to be one of this years must-play games because of the way it lets you interact with the world and other players — things you’d never hear about a Call of Duty or God of War — and I hope the OUYA will bring us more great games like that.
Not sure when this machine will be released, but for now, I’m way stoked to see what comes out of this. And hey, if Jenova Chen is getting excited about this, then so should you!
Read more about OUYA here.