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Kickstarter Console Project Meets $950K Goal In Eight Hours

The Android-based console met its goal the same day it was posted, meaning it's no longer a question of if, but when.

It's pronounced OOH-YAH. Exactly like that.

We have generally done our best around here to avoid writing every Kickstarter-related video game project out there. To do so would be to subject you to endless stories of people making weird mobile zombie games, or what have you, and that's not really important to many people. However, sometimes there are projects that definitively go beyond the usual scope of gaming Kickstarters, and the Ouya is one such case.

Posted today, the Ouya was proposed as a new gaming console based on Android 4.0. The full technical specs can be found on the Kickstarter page, but the basic gist includes a Tegra3 quad-core processor, 1 gig of RAM, 8 gigs of internal Flash storage, and full HD support.

Of course, the big potential draw for developers is the freedom they'll have to develop for the device. In fact, everyone will have the opportunity to design for the device, as it's billed as hacker friendly. Rooting the console won't void your warranty, and hardware hackers are encouraged on the Kickstarter page to "create their own peripherals."

The other potential big draw would be the price of the console: $99.

The original budget for the Kickstarter funding was $950,000, a number that's already been surpassed a mere eight hours after its initial posting. In fact, at last tally, it's hovering dangerously close to the $1 million mark.

An Android-based box to put in front of my TV maybe isn't number one on my priority list, but it's kind of amazing the groundswell of support this project garnered. Obviously there's an audience, so all that's left to do now is see how the product shapes up. You can check out the Kickstarter pitch video below, if you're curious.

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448 Comments
Posted by Alex
It's pronounced OOH-YAH. Exactly like that.

We have generally done our best around here to avoid writing every Kickstarter-related video game project out there. To do so would be to subject you to endless stories of people making weird mobile zombie games, or what have you, and that's not really important to many people. However, sometimes there are projects that definitively go beyond the usual scope of gaming Kickstarters, and the Ouya is one such case.

Posted today, the Ouya was proposed as a new gaming console based on Android 4.0. The full technical specs can be found on the Kickstarter page, but the basic gist includes a Tegra3 quad-core processor, 1 gig of RAM, 8 gigs of internal Flash storage, and full HD support.

Of course, the big potential draw for developers is the freedom they'll have to develop for the device. In fact, everyone will have the opportunity to design for the device, as it's billed as hacker friendly. Rooting the console won't void your warranty, and hardware hackers are encouraged on the Kickstarter page to "create their own peripherals."

The other potential big draw would be the price of the console: $99.

The original budget for the Kickstarter funding was $950,000, a number that's already been surpassed a mere eight hours after its initial posting. In fact, at last tally, it's hovering dangerously close to the $1 million mark.

An Android-based box to put in front of my TV maybe isn't number one on my priority list, but it's kind of amazing the groundswell of support this project garnered. Obviously there's an audience, so all that's left to do now is see how the product shapes up. You can check out the Kickstarter pitch video below, if you're curious.

Staff
Edited by iAmJohn

I'm just throwing it out there: this is a terrible idea for a console and the people who have made this succeed are bad people.

I mean, forget how awful Android is as a platform in general with its general lack of standards for everything including apps and compatibility across versions, they're launching this thing on Ice Cream Sandwich? That makes a lot of sense - use an Android base that only 10% of Android users even use with Jelly Bean coming out really soon. Great thinking there guys; that's not going to worsen the market fragmentation issue at all!

Posted by Stubee

@iAmJohn said:

I'm just throwing it out there: this is a terrible idea for a console and the people who have made this succeed are bad people.

Did you write that comment on your iPhone?

Posted by Krenor

can't wait to play all those amazing android games on my 1080p TV...

Posted by ZeForgotten
@iAmJohn said:

I'm just throwing it out there: this is a terrible idea for a console and the people who have made this succeed are bad people.

But Angry Birds! on the big screen!! 
 
I actually have no idea what this thing would be able to handle but it seems like it will happen! 
Posted by Village_Guy

It would be interested to see this being a success and having them take their place on the market, but chances are this will be a catastrophic failure - and even if it is a success, they have a market that already have their consoles.

If they make a console that looks competitive and keeps the low price, that comes out around when the next-generation consoles roll out, they could have a chance. But at that point they are still wouldn't have many (if any) games...

Posted by FuriousJodo

@iAmJohn said:

I'm just throwing it out there: this is a terrible idea for a console and the people who have made this succeed are bad people.

I mean, forget how awful Android is as a platform in general with its general lack of standards for everything including apps and compatibility across versions, they're launching this thing on Ice Cream Sandwich? That makes a lot of sense - use an Android base that only 10% of Android users even use with Jelly Bean coming out really soon. Great thinking there guys; that's not going to worsen the market fragmentation issue at all!

Yeah I don't understand why people are freaking out about it. It's essentially an Android phone you plug into your TV. I really don't see it being very successful, it's not like you're going to be playing the new Assassin's Creed on this or anything.

Edited by Sooty

@iAmJohn said:

I'm just throwing it out there: this is a terrible idea for a console and the people who have made this succeed are bad people.

I mean, forget how awful Android is as a platform in general with its general lack of standards for everything including apps and compatibility across versions, they're launching this thing on Ice Cream Sandwich? That makes a lot of sense - use an Android base that only 10% of Android users even use with Jelly Bean coming out really soon. Great thinking there guys; that's not going to worsen the market fragmentation issue at all!

It doesn't matter if they use ICS or not, it's gonna be heavily customised anyway, as long as it runs the same games it's a non-issue. Android's a great platform...for phone, not so much tablet (yet - it's getting there app wise) or anything else however.

This is a stupid fucking idea and people funding it should be ashamed of themselves. Android doesn't even have a great selection of games to begin with and who the hell wants to play this stuff on their TV? REALLY? The sales pitch by them making it sound like PC gaming can't be done on a HDTV is also dumb.

Not to mention...you can already connect a lot of Android phones to a TV, and play games (mostly emulators) via a bluetooth controller (PS3 pad works), if you know, you're that crazy.

So why does this exist again?

Edited by GalacticGravy

I'm really excited for this. As a console collector it was a no-brainer to put my money down.

I wonder how many people rushed to it because it's just something new.

We've been waiting forever to hear real details about the big new systems, and here comes this little dude. I finally got to read some specs. See some new designs. I think it's really exciting to see a new avenue open up for consoles. I want to play on a couch with a controller. I don't want to be hunched over a keyboard or craning my neck down to look at a tablet. I want to sit back and play a game, and I really hope this comes through and does a good job.

Edit: In reference to the "Oh boy...phone games on TV..." people, this isn't how I see this at all. Sure they'll be there, but finally some smaller developers have a console they can develop for. It might be cool to see what comes out of it. Maybe the specs aren't so good, but come on. The entire cast of Indie Game: The Movie will never work with Microsoft again. They got so fucked by the big companies that I think someone like Team Meat may jump on something like this and make something interesting. You guys seriously have to chill.

Posted by Sackmanjones
@Stubee

@iAmJohn said:

I'm just throwing it out there: this is a terrible idea for a console and the people who have made this succeed are bad people.

Did you write that comment on your iPhone?

God I hope so

-Sent from my IPhone
Posted by Chalian

i can play games on my tv? WHAT!!! Tit tv nice.

Posted by zeekthegeek

Boy oh boy phone games on my HDTV. Barf.

Posted by Elazul

@iAmJohn said:

I'm just throwing it out there: this is a terrible idea for a console and the people who have made this succeed are bad people.

I mean, forget how awful Android is as a platform in general with its general lack of standards for everything including apps and compatibility across versions, they're launching this thing on Ice Cream Sandwich? That makes a lot of sense - use an Android base that only 10% of Android users even use with Jelly Bean coming out really soon. Great thinking there guys; that's not going to worsen the market fragmentation issue at all!

Not to mention that no one in their right mind is going to buy an entirely new piece of hardware to play fucking phone games on their TV.

Edited by iAmJohn

@Sooty said:

@iAmJohn said:

I'm just throwing it out there: this is a terrible idea for a console and the people who have made this succeed are bad people.

I mean, forget how awful Android is as a platform in general with its general lack of standards for everything including apps and compatibility across versions, they're launching this thing on Ice Cream Sandwich? That makes a lot of sense - use an Android base that only 10% of Android users even use with Jelly Bean coming out really soon. Great thinking there guys; that's not going to worsen the market fragmentation issue at all!

It doesn't matter if they use ICS or not, it's gonna be heavily customised anyway, as long as it runs the same games it's a non-issue. Android's a great platform...for phone, not so much tablet or anything else however.

This is a stupid fucking idea and people funding it should be ashamed of themselves.

But how long will that compatibility last? Will they continue to update the firmware to make sure it's compatible with the latest OS, or are they just going to hope that their content producers will keep developing for every version of Android because there's no across the board standard and Google's Android Update Alliance was a titanic failure? That latter issue has been one of the huge sticking points for Android development; this doesn't help, especially not when a minority of Android users have Ice Cream Sandwich and there's less of a chance for it to take off now that Jelly Bean is in the wings.

Posted by solidlife

This seems really dumb but Hey prove me wrong!

Edited by leejunfan83

Sega should do this for their next console

OUYA : "A new kind of video game console" yeah a shitty one

Posted by Kidavenger

Not a bad idea if it can do what they say it can for $99, I find that highly unlikely though.

Posted by SomeJerk

Somebody didn't put ICS on their 2007 Android phone, which happens to be impossible = they're not part of the 10% of Android users with ICS. Those statistics of fragmentation are as dumb as the people using them, so stop using them and making yourself look like quite the fool. Android fragmentation is a fact. It's not meant to be iOS. It's meant to run on anything that can run it, it's the business plan, and it's an ugly side-effect that we have people like Huawei actually making cheap phones running the bare minimum hardware into Android devices..
 
..but to build a console around it doesn't make sense at all. The Miselu music device does.

Posted by Tarsier

'if i wasnt a female id say big balls' . .. . . .. . .. this is a tim and eric skit

Posted by skyline7284

Who's going to develop for a console with 7,000 units?

Posted by Sooty

@iAmJohn said:

@Sooty said:

@iAmJohn said:

I'm just throwing it out there: this is a terrible idea for a console and the people who have made this succeed are bad people.

I mean, forget how awful Android is as a platform in general with its general lack of standards for everything including apps and compatibility across versions, they're launching this thing on Ice Cream Sandwich? That makes a lot of sense - use an Android base that only 10% of Android users even use with Jelly Bean coming out really soon. Great thinking there guys; that's not going to worsen the market fragmentation issue at all!

It doesn't matter if they use ICS or not, it's gonna be heavily customised anyway, as long as it runs the same games it's a non-issue. Android's a great platform...for phone, not so much tablet or anything else however.

This is a stupid fucking idea and people funding it should be ashamed of themselves.

But how long will that compatibility last? Will they continue to update the firmware to make sure it's compatible with the latest OS, or are they just going to hope that their content producers will keep developing for every version of Android because there's no across the board standard and Google's Android Update Alliance was a titanic failure? That latter issue has been one of the huge sticking points for Android development; this doesn't help.

IIRC all games work as far back as Android 2.2, some go even lower than that - that's already around 2 years back. The games that require Tegra or whatever are a whole different issue however.

Posted by Red

If I want independent games on my TV, I'll just hook up my laptop.

But I've never wanted independent games on my TV.

Posted by SlightConfuse

Phone games on my tv what a revolution

Posted by MildMolasses

Until I see console style games coming for this thing, I have not interest. The idea of sitting by my tv to play phone games doesn't appeal too me. I can't see how this won't be flooded with shit that will making finding any gems all that much more difficult

Posted by felakuti4life

Oh! The Android platform!

Edited by Rapid

As cool as I think a open console could be for indie devs, I could see the potential for people to make and flood it with crap exploitative games as well (DSiWare / Facebook Style games)

Posted by pornstorestiffi

Hackers are going to do sick things with this, i approve.

Posted by Flacracker

What... I just saw this a few hours ago and it was 300K...

Posted by Orange_Pork

Android on anything is a big no thanks, especially on a console. The entire point is to minimize fragmentation.

Posted by iAmJohn

@Sooty said:

@iAmJohn said:

@Sooty said:

@iAmJohn said:

I'm just throwing it out there: this is a terrible idea for a console and the people who have made this succeed are bad people.

I mean, forget how awful Android is as a platform in general with its general lack of standards for everything including apps and compatibility across versions, they're launching this thing on Ice Cream Sandwich? That makes a lot of sense - use an Android base that only 10% of Android users even use with Jelly Bean coming out really soon. Great thinking there guys; that's not going to worsen the market fragmentation issue at all!

It doesn't matter if they use ICS or not, it's gonna be heavily customised anyway, as long as it runs the same games it's a non-issue. Android's a great platform...for phone, not so much tablet or anything else however.

This is a stupid fucking idea and people funding it should be ashamed of themselves.

But how long will that compatibility last? Will they continue to update the firmware to make sure it's compatible with the latest OS, or are they just going to hope that their content producers will keep developing for every version of Android because there's no across the board standard and Google's Android Update Alliance was a titanic failure? That latter issue has been one of the huge sticking points for Android development; this doesn't help.

IIRC all games work as far back as Android 2.2, some go even lower than that - that's already around 2 years back. The games that require Tegra or whatever are a whole different issue however.

Which works for the types of simple phone games they've made up to now, not necessarily for larger experience type things that Ouya is trying to promote while also falling back on "but hey guys, phone games on our system based on an already-outdated OS!" And yes, I know I'm preaching the choir here.

Edited by tfleming84@gmail.com

This thing is going to be emulator city. And to all of the people whining about fragmentation of Android, I'll say this: There is no ethical duty to prevent fragmentation. If ICS seems like the best fit for these guys, it's there prerogative to use it.

Posted by JeanLuc

Very interesting idea. Curious to see what happens.

Posted by Sin4profit

I like how you can watch Twitch and dream about all the games you're not going to be able to play on that thing.

@Tarsier said:

'if i wasnt a female id say big balls' . .. . . .. . .. this is a tim and eric skit

is that literally a Tim & Eric skit? cause that was the point where i turned the video off.

Truth is, if they can market the thing as a general media device as well i feel like it may have a chance for survival, outside of that it just looks like the all over again.

Posted by Emperor_Jimmu

Isn't the PC an open platform that lets devs make games cheaply?

Posted by PrivateIronTFU

Oh, right. Now I remember why I've been coming to this website less and less.

Posted by captainanderson

RAH RAH SKEPTICISM RAH RAH SMART PHONES DON'T HAVE REAL VIDEO GAMES RAH RAH KICKSTARTER RAH ALEX NEWS STORY

Posted by zudthespud

Over 100 people have the Developer pack. If this thing takes off it could be huge. More power to them. I love the idea of an indie console, that is open to being hacked and modded.

Posted by hawkinson76

I have zero interest in this. Less than the WiiU, even (and I don't even own a Wii).

I can already use my computer to play more demanding games AND indie games (love those bundles, IGF nominees, etc).

I have no interest in the modest hardware, or any "good enough" hardware. The current generation consoles, when new, were a great value, containing components far more expensive than the up front cost (recouped in license fees tacked on to games, but a good value none the less because you choose the games). I expect a lot from the new consoles in 2013/14. I expect Microsoft and Sony to invest big in the hardware, go into the red, and provide variety of services (some of them will even be good). If not, I'll put my money into a PC upgrade.

Edited by Spoonman671

If there are good games, I might buy it.
 
Although 1GB of RAM seems a bit on the low end, as does 8GB of flash.  Presumably, storage will be expandable, but will memory?  If it is, will developers bother taking advantage of it, or will they mostly stick to trying to fit their games within 1GB of memory?
 
Also, they need to give me a better look at that controller.
 
EDIT: Also, who really gives a fuck what OS it's running?

Posted by bassman2112

@PrivateIronTFU: Feel free to stop coming, I'm sure we'll be fine without you =)

Posted by OriginalGman

I'm very happy that this project reached its goal so quickly. It means I don't feel the need to fund it just to support independent game makers, which I feel is important. And now I can wait and see if this actually pans out into something I would want to buy.

For something like this, I'd rather make that decision when the physical object exists and can prove itself on its own terms, without having someone talking for it. In the end, all Kickstarter has done is turn us into investors, but instead of betting with large sums of money on a project being profitable, we bet a small sum and get the product as a consolation prize (hopefully). I'm not an investor and I don't want to be. I'm told enough pie-in-the-sky stories on a daily basis.

Posted by Christoffer

I thought web and mobile games were popular because of the convenience of not needing extra periferals. Oh well, a million bucks says otherwise I guess.

Online
Edited by Smokey_Earhole

@tfleming84@gmail.com said:

This thing is going to be emulator city. And to all of the people whining about fragmentation of Android, I'll say this: There is no ethical duty to prevent fragmentation. If ICS seems like the best fit for these guys, it's there prerogative to use it.

This. This is an emulation fan's dream come true. And most everyone else here seems to massively misunderstand the project while being busy flinging hyperbolic shit - this device has nothing to do with running smartphone games on a big screen, Android fragmentation (hilariously unimportant) or the Google Play games catalogue. This is all about empowering the indie developers with a dev friendly and open system, and what I believe is actually a really interesting business model.

You could read up on the project before making silly nonsensical comments, just saying. Would make you look a bit less like a tool.

Posted by Marokai

So many here seem to be missing the point.  
 
But at the end of the day, what is this hurting anyone? I think it's a neat idea that could have positive effects in the industry, or at worst just do absolutely nothing at all. I think that's a risk perfectly worth taking.

Posted by CABBAGES

This could be great.

Im betting alot of people will love this for emulators alone

Posted by Sooty

@iAmJohn said:

@Sooty said:

@iAmJohn said:

@Sooty said:

@iAmJohn said:

I'm just throwing it out there: this is a terrible idea for a console and the people who have made this succeed are bad people.

I mean, forget how awful Android is as a platform in general with its general lack of standards for everything including apps and compatibility across versions, they're launching this thing on Ice Cream Sandwich? That makes a lot of sense - use an Android base that only 10% of Android users even use with Jelly Bean coming out really soon. Great thinking there guys; that's not going to worsen the market fragmentation issue at all!

It doesn't matter if they use ICS or not, it's gonna be heavily customised anyway, as long as it runs the same games it's a non-issue. Android's a great platform...for phone, not so much tablet or anything else however.

This is a stupid fucking idea and people funding it should be ashamed of themselves.

But how long will that compatibility last? Will they continue to update the firmware to make sure it's compatible with the latest OS, or are they just going to hope that their content producers will keep developing for every version of Android because there's no across the board standard and Google's Android Update Alliance was a titanic failure? That latter issue has been one of the huge sticking points for Android development; this doesn't help.

IIRC all games work as far back as Android 2.2, some go even lower than that - that's already around 2 years back. The games that require Tegra or whatever are a whole different issue however.

Which works for the types of simple phone games they've made up to now, not necessarily for larger experience type things that Ouya is trying to promote while also falling back on "but hey guys, phone games on our system based on an already-outdated OS!" And yes, I know I'm preaching the choir here.

It's not that a big deal if it's on Android 4.0 or 4.1, none of the changes in Jelly Bean are relevant to this 'console'. The bigger issue is that it's a terrible idea which won't even function with most of the games on the Android market as very few support bluetooth controllers.

Edited by iAmJohn

@tfleming84@gmail.com said:

This thing is going to be emulator city. And to all of the people whining about fragmentation of Android, I'll say this: There is no ethical duty to prevent fragmentation. If ICS seems like the best fit for these guys, it's there prerogative to use it.

I don't think anyone is arguing that there is an ethical duty to prevent fragmentation, just that it's a serious problem that makes Android a complete bitch to develop for. That already puts Ouya at a disadvantage, because it's asking people to focus development on a platform based on an outdated Android OS that a few Android users have access to without rooting their device and there's no talk of them upgrading the OS. You're already asking developers to program around your indie console that's not going to have the largest userbase; forcing them to put in the extra work necessitated by releasing on Android if they want any other non-ICS based device to play it strikes me as dangerously pushing their luck.

@Sooty said:

The bigger issue is that it's a terrible idea which won't even function with most of the games on the Android market as very few support bluetooth controllers.

Ahahaha, I hadn't even considered that. Oh man, this is gonna be something else.

Posted by D_W

Wow. When I saw it this morning it was only at 100k and I honestly didn't think it would make its deadline. Mainly due to how low it's specs are (really 1 gb of ram? 4 is barely enough to minecraft and some of the other games they mentioned).
 
But good on them I guess. We'll see how it does when it comes out next year.

Posted by GS_Dan

@Spoonman671 said:

If there are good games, I might buy it. Although 1GB of RAM seems a bit on the low end, as does 8GB of flash. Presumably, storage will be expandable, but will memory? If it is, will developers bother taking advantage of it, or will they mostly stick to trying to fit their games within 1GB of memory? Also, they need to give me a better look at that controller. EDIT: Also, who really gives a fuck what OS it's running?

People won't be making dedicated games for it, just high-end Android games. Games like Dead Trigger are actually quite impressive visually, even if the games themselves are kinda terrible.

Posted by Gravier251

A platform for playing free phone games on a TV, along with somewhat limited specs, a small install base and a peculiar controller with no button differentiation other than colouring on the thin circles on the buttons? Err... I'll pass.

I'm pretty surprised how quickly it has been funded, I suppose the open aspect has it's draw, but I just don't see how this will have any lasting appeal beyond initial novelty. I may be wrong, but that is my opinion on what is shown so far.