Ouya, a $100 game console for indie developers

With the explosion of mobile gaming (due in no small part to the egg-bombing Angry Birds), the Ouya was bound to happen. It’s a $100 game console powered by Android that puts indie games right into your living room.

The specs for the Ouya means this cube of games isn’t a slouch: the console comes loaded with an NVIDIA Terga3 quad-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 8 Gigs of flash storage, HDMI, WiFi, Bluetooth, and Android 4.0. A requirement for publishing games on the Ouya is making at least some of the game free to play, a la TF2 or LoL. In addition to being a video game console, Ouya will also pull down Twitch.TV streams allowing you to watch Starcraft championships and other e-sports on your big-screen TV.

Not only does the Ouya play games, its designers made the device easily hackable. There aren’t enough details to know exactly what this means, but we’re sure we’ll see a full-blown Linux distro running on the Ouya within a week of release.

As of this writing, the Ouya Kickstarter has already met their funding goal of $950,000 by taking in two million a freaking ton of money with 29 days left. This might become the most successful Kickstarter to date, and we can’t wait to see all the neat stuff and hacks for the Ouya in the near future.

Comments

  1. Indyaner says:

    I’m kinda confused about this woman talking about hackers who can hack this device. I hope she is aware that the first target for hacking would be to get free games on this console. It’s always the first thing that spread popular over every console. So what does she mean when she is so happy about the hackability-factor of her console?

    • mrbippers says:

      Usually the first impetus for hacking is to get the system open and unlocked. Often it’s to be able to run linux or the like. It’s only after this bulk of the work has been done that the piracy comes. The PS3 wasn’t hacked for years not necessarily because of the amazing security but because it let you run Linux as is. It was only after they took that away that the security bypassing and piracy took off.

    • CrashSerious says:

      mrbippers is right here. I’ll only add one thing, the people with the skills to hack the PS3 didn’t care about hacking it, until linux was removed.

      Had Linux not been removed from the slim, it’s likely that the console would not have been hacked to get it back on there– thus not opened up wider than Sony ever intended.

    • Notn4 says:

      Also what is there to pirate? if the games will be free and the only thing costing money is either upgrade to full version or hats :D So in order to lets say, hack an downloaded game to act as the paid full version (which will most likely need a bought serial key or a check at a server) would mean pretty much be the same thing as pirating a game from PSN or Live Marketplace, pretty goddarn difficult

      • Tim says:

        Exactly. I mean they could just set up a system similar to Steam. You make an account and download games. I know that steam still has some losses, but look at how well that company is doing, i mean they only have 250 employees and they rake in millions of dollars per employee!

    • jjrh says:

      I don’t know why people keep saying this. It’s no different than selling a android device that is hackable. People just aren’t pirating android apps. I don’t see this being much different in that regard.

    • dodddummy says:

      “I hope she is aware that the first target for hacking would be to get free games on this console.”

      I agree. But free software pirated software.

      http://www.fsf.org/about/what-is-free-software

  2. Stephen says:

    I predict that china will make awesome knockoffs before these guys can deliver in march of 2013

  3. rasz says:

    sooo, its an android phone, without the phone part, for $100?
    smells like those flashlights, or HD recording glasses that never materialized

  4. Tim says:

    Im happy to say i pledged $25 :D
    I know its not a whole lot, but im just a poor college student learning game programming.

  5. Chris C. says:

    The TEGRA (nudge nudge Brian, you know the drill) is quite a powerhouse, and I’m not aware of any other devices, existing or planned, near a $100 price point for it.

    If you get full access to all its power for that price, without having to purchase SDKs or access to certain Tegra-specific APIs separately, this is exciting.

  6. borso says:

    get a Pandora, the open source handheld

    • plfx says:

      The Pandora is cool, but it’s nowhere near what this is planned to be. Pandora isn’t Android, and it runs on an OMAP (i think) that is slower and doesn’t have nearly the graphics capabilities of the Tegra.

      • Anonymous coward says:

        … and Pandora’s way too expensive, IMHO.

      • Darkknight512 says:

        I have a Pandora and I must say it is awesome, but hardware wise it is a bit outdated. Though nothing rivals it since it runs a regular desktop OS.

        Indeed it runs a OMAP SOC, I have mine overclocked to 1.05 Ghz.

      • rv6502 says:

        You’re right except that the OpenPandora can now run Android too.

        but its rather expensive, not worth the price unless what you really want is a mini pocket-able Linux machine with a mini keyboard AND gaming controls AND resistive touch screen, in a clamshell format.

        its a very specific niche.

      • leesamn says:

        Still loving my pandora but i do crave something of a similar format with much more power.

  7. shigllgetcha says:

    this seems perfect for game streaming like onlive.
    given they are compatible with the hardware

  8. h_2_o says:

    personally i’ll wait until they actually deliver then another month. 85% of the people expecting to play every game on earth and realize angry birds get really boring will be dumping these on ebay and cl for $50 all day long.

  9. SFRH says:

    Oh boy, a game console coming out in 2013 that will be horrifically underpowered compared to every other game console out at the time, and will be under-powered even compared to other Android phones at the time?! WHERE DO I SIGN UP?!

  10. xorpunk says:

    cool now people can go spend months or years producing free content..

  11. chikinpotpi says:

    Why do the games have to have “free to play content?” all this does is reinforce the pay-to-continue model that people like EA are abusing now. I want to buy a game, and get that whole game. If the game costs $65 up front but delivers an oblivion like experience that’s ok.

    This pay as you go model allows them to trick people into spending more on the game because its only “Just a little more” and i believe it is the disease of the industry — not the cure.

  12. jeditalian says:

    sh!t, I want to pay $100 for an NVIDIA Tegra3 quad-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 8 Gigs of flash storage, HDMI, WiFi, Bluetooth, and Android 4.0. (as long as it also is connected to a sizable touchscreen and battery)
    or u know.. i could just build a sizable touchscreen, and power it via battery, and call that a hack.

  13. nah! says:

    i want that console, and then use it for something completely different

  14. dana says:

    My only thought is that the specs include one USB port, but I’d recommend four.

    One for a USB drive (hard or flash), two for a keyboard and mouse (or one for a wireless keyboard and mouse dongle) and one for an IR receiver dongle (for an IR remote when you use it as a media center).

    Yes it has Bluetooth. Yes you can get Bluetooth keyboards, mice and remotes, but Bluetooth keyboard, mice and remotes are ridiculously expensive for some reason.

    • Chris says:

      If they keep only one port, then get a cheap USB hub.

      • dana says:

        I sometimes have problems with self-powered devices and USB hubs, especially cheap hubs.

        Say you have a keyboard, mouse, self-powered 2-1/2″ USB hard drive and USB speakers on a hub (as kind of an extreme, but not unreasonable example). An unpowered hub might not be able to supply enough power, especially for the hard drive and speakers, but a powered hub would require another power brick. Which could have been avoided if they had included the extra USB ports to begin with.

  15. RandomReader says:

    credit crunch, xmas, console for the kids with android market, win win

    If they can get onlive on it then it can cater for the hardcore gamers, with streaming media its what a smart TV should be. as it is the thing is an android tablet with no screen and a quality controller and custom interface while is built to be nice and open so all us readers wishing for cheap hardware to pull off some random crazy things well this will help fill a hole even for us, failing that its a prity geeky paper weight

    and wasn’t the PS3 cracked and then they pulled linux support after as its first crack took advantage of linux starting up or something? but mhe what do i know

    Awsome work!

  16. cmstar0 says:

    I backed this yesterday and am astonished at the support. This box could be so useful. But I’d be happy just for the games.

    What we really need some big name game studios to support, or you know, for a decent M.U.L.E. port (aka Alpha Colony http://kck.st/KJREBJ)

  17. Jeremy says:

    Next stage of evolution from those $70-80 Android “stick computers” that are running single core 1.5 cpus.

  18. Pun says:

    Forget anything specific to this platform (I’d probably nuke it anyway). The hardware and android support are enough for me. I want a hackable, powerful, HTPC running Android for $100. This might be it.

  19. MinusData says:

    pledged the $99 + $30 . i saw tripletown in the pictures and got excited. Whats nice is that it has the android market so even if its a complete flop as far as games go, you can always get everything off of the market. Netflix, hulu, crackle, your previous purchases if you have any, make it worth so much more than $100 to me. Plus, chances are that whatever you buy on the system can easily be put on your phone for on the go. cloud save option would be nice!

  20. Galane says:

    One USB port??? This is a game console, not a Macbook Air.

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