Meet Ouya, a $99 Android-based game console

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

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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