Meet Ouya, a $99 Android-based game console

Free games, Twitch.tv, and an open door.

July 10, 2012 / 08:14 PM EDT / (@salromano)

The world’s first Android-based game console is in development in Los Angeles.

Ouya, a “little box full of power,” will cost $99 when it launches at retail, and will boast an “open design” that allows developers to create their games in the living room and take advantage of the TV set.

Every game released for the platform will be free in some way, be it by releasing a zero dollar game, or by including a trial version.

Award-winning designer Yves Behar and his firm fuseproject are working on the console’s user interface and design. Its controller will include: “fast buttons, triggers, laser-precise analog sticks, a D-Pad,” and a touch pad for games making the move from mobile to the big screen.

And considering it’s an open console, hackers are welcome to root it.

E-sports service Twitch.tv will have its own app on the platform.

Games confirmed for the platform include Samurai Vengeance, Dead Trigger, ShadowGun, racing Live, Triple Town, Minecraft and Canabalt.

Here are some choice quotes from key developers on the platform:

  • “This has the potential to be the game developer’s console. It’s about time!” — Brian Fargo (founder of inXile)
  • “Who wouldn’t want a beautiful piece of industrial design that sells for $99, plugs straight into your TV, and gives you access to a huge library of games?” – Jordan Mechner (creator of Prince of Persia, Karateka)
  • “If Ouya delivers on the promise of being the first true open gaming platform that gives indie developers access to the living room gaming market, yes that is a great idea. We will follow the development of Ouya and see how it resonates with gamers. I could see all current Mojang games go on the platform if there’s a demand for it.” – Mojang (developer of Minecraft)
  • “I’m excited for Ouya! I am a firm believer that there is always room to challenge the status quo.” — Jenova Chen (thatgamecompany, creator of flOw, Cloud, and Flower)
  • “The prospect of an affordable, open console — that’s an idea I find really exciting.” — Adam Saltsman (Semi Secret, creator of Canabalt)
  • “Our games will work so well on a TV, we just need an easy way to get them there. Ouya could be it.” — Marek Rabas (Madfinger Games)
  • “An open game console that gives independent game developers the flexibility to experiment with their games and business models on the TV, is something that’s long overdue.” – David Edery (Spry Fox, creator of Triple Town)

Interested in Ouya? It’s launched a Kickstarter today with a $950,000 goal, which, at press time, it’s already surpassed at $1,554,700. The console is currently “very” far along, and the team expects to have “a finished product ready to ship to you in March.”

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  • Malcolm Reynolds

    A Roku with a controller, minus all the media streaming apps.
    Cool.

  • rockman29

    Sweet, $99 to lose all the functionality of the phone or pad.

  • http://gematsu.com/ Sal Romano

    I can get behind this. And at $99, it’s hard not to be. Definitely something I’d love to mess around with. Hope it’s out this year.

    • hush404

      March 2013 is the earliest they’re aiming for.

      • http://gematsu.com/ Sal Romano

        Ah, didn’t see that in the FAQ. Going to add it to the post!

  • Traveller

    If only there were an iPhone version. Translated ESPGALUDA 2 on my TV..

    • Traveller

      What’s wrong with an Iphone version!? The games on there are just as good as Android Games. Only way I’d buy this is if CAVE finally releases their stuff on Android.

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      Interesting.
      In an NISA topic you were bashing PS3 owners “you people never learn” for liking 2D games and yet you are craving a 2D schmup on your TV?!?!
      Nom nom nom. Hypocrisy tastes yummy.

      • Traveller

        Wait. While I understand that I am a hypocrite sometimes, I will correct you on one thing; I wasn’t bashing PS3 owners ( I own a PS3 myself.. ) I was bashing NIS for being a developer that assumes that, in our next gen gaming age, 2D games are still the way to go. Also, ESPGALUDA actually uses 3D models. Hell, CAVE’s they’ve been using 3D ever since ESP Ra.De.

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          You said and I quote “YOU PEOPLE NEVER LEARN”.
          Not sure how else to interpret that statement.
          Just b/c ESPGALUDA uses 3D models does not mean its not a 2D game!
          LoL.
          NISA makes niche titles much like those CAVE schmups you love.
          Either way, lots of people enjoy them so I’m not sure why you are so angry about them existing
          Just play and buy what you like

      • LordKaiser

        High def detailed 2D it’s better than many full 3-D games. Look at Rayman Origins.

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          I agree. I was calling out Traveller for bashing PS3 owners and NISA for their 2D games on Ps3 and then in this topic he is begging for a 2D schmup.

  • KingOptimusOrigins111

    I probably buy this just to play when I feel like doing something casual. Like if haven’t bought a new game for my PS3 and I’m getting tired of playing the same games, I would used this to hold me till I buy a new game for my PS3. I would also used this to check out the games people make with the hacking device.

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      I use my Vita, iPhone, psp, 3DS, Wii, GC, Ps2, Ps1, Saturn, DC, Turbo Grafx Express, GBASP, DSlite, GB, SupaBoy, Snes, Nomad, Lynx, FC Twin, GG, PSPGo, when Im not playing my PS3.

      • KingOptimusOrigins111

        I use steam but not that much. My PS2 & PSP are broke got to get them fixed. My N64 & Original Xbox 2001 acts crazy sometimes. My Nintendo consoles are getting tiring to play so OUYA would give me something fresh.

  • hush404

    I like the idea and I’ve supported them through their kickstarter page, but console competition it is not. Fun, creative way to get more people gaming, it is. It’s also, hopefully, a wake up call to the big 3 whom need to better open up their consoles and embrace a more open environment where competition helps fuel good titles, not whom ever has the biggest marketing team.

    I’m also looking forward to rock solid emulators of older systems with a great controller on my TV. Android has a ton of very well built emulators for various systems, we just need some port overs and we’re good.

  • http://gematsu.com/ Zero

    I think the key word here is potential. Besides, people are already willing to support it now, I’m really excited to see what indie developers make for it.

    Let’s be honest, most of the innovation in games these days is coming from the indie titles. I think the Ouya is going to prove to be an important step for gaming.

    I suppose we just have to stay tuned and see what happens.

    • rockman29

      Indie titles for which platform again?

      • http://gematsu.com/ Zero

        Great question. I won’t pretend I’ve played every indie title released in the last few years.

        I’ve played a few on a variety of different hardware. I’d probably say most of mine are on console. I’m counting the games that start as indie titles and luckily get picked up by publishers.

        Sure, I’ve dabbled with some of the games on mobile devices, I’ve even played a few on PC. Honestly, sometimes I don’t hear about some of these games when they first come out.

        Why do you ask?

  • manasword0

    That price level is sexy.

  • zakou

    I for one don’t like steps back when we are living and aiming for future.

    I have played hundreds of android games, most of the on the go and that’s what they are for me, “games on the go”

    Android games are inferior to what we already have on the market.

    And personally I think this is a bad move since we have a 720/WiiU/PS4 around the corner.

    • http://gematsu.com/ Zero

      The Ouya will give these smaller developers a chance to make better games though.

      They can do far more with this than a mobile phone for example.

      Specifications:
      Tegra3 quad-core processor 1GB RAM 8GB of internal flash storageHDMI 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

      We have to wait and see how things turn out, I wouldn’t really say it’s a step back, not yet anyway.

      • 8201a

        how are they able to make this so cheap?

        • http://gematsu.com/ Zero

          I’m really not to sure. They might just be selling the console cheap?

      • zakou

        I should have made myself more clear but I’m against android/iOS games simply because:

        Android games are all simple for causals and most people are casuals, this is a bad sign to hardcore gamers. Look at angry birds or farmville hundreds of milions playing.

        We see more and more concentration on casuals*looks at kinect* by this other follow*looks at the PS move*

        This is another step for casuals as the android market is filled with casual games.

        I will be very shocked if this android-based console will have any interesting games for hardcores.

        • http://gematsu.com/ Zero

          I understand exactly what you are saying, I’m hoping they can possibly branch out with the Ouya. Like you said, most games on the mobile market are casual focused, maybe they can work on games with the hardcore in mind using the Ouya? Have to wait and see.

  • zeopower6

    I love how it’s at over 2 million now. :] Looks like it’ll make 3 million soon!?!

    • http://gematsu.com/ Sal Romano

      2.5 million now. So, yeah, probably.

      • zeopower6

        Yeah, it was going up suuuuper fast. It’s at 4.35 million right now. I wonder what it’ll stop out at. D:

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/mirandalawson2?feature=results_main Miranda Lawson

    Doesn’t sound like it has interesting games coming out on it. This console actually sounds kind of cheap if you ask me…..