Ouya the Next Generation Console

I hope you are excited as I am. I’m not even a gamer, but I can appreciate what this product is going to bring to the gaming industry. If you haven’t heard about it, don’t be surprised this product only exists as a prototype.

What is Ouya?

Ouya (prounounced like Booyah without the B) is an Android-powered open gaming console designed by Yves Behar, who also designed the One Laptop Per Child laptops.  I say “open” because usually game developers must get permission from the companies behind the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii and pay for expensive development kits to make games for those consoles. However, with Ouya developers won’t need to pass that hurdle. Instead, every Ouya will be its own development kit so developers won’t need to purchase a license or an additional software development kit. And it will be open to all kinds of developers, hackers and hobbyists.  What is even more impressive is this console will sell for under US$100.

I mentioned earlier that this product is not even on the market, as it’s only a prototype. However that won’t be for long. What I find pretty impressive is that Ouya was hoping to receive US$950,000 in 30 days on Kickstarter, which is funding platform for creative projects where people like you and me and investors can donate to a project’s fund, but instead received over US$3 million in over 2 days!!! That is super impressive. According to the Kickstarter blog, the Ouya project raised $1 million in pledges in its first eight hours — making it the fastest Kickstarter project to reach the million dollar mark. It definitely seems like there is a demand for this technology as so many developers are turning away from game console development and more towards mobile and social games. With Ouya, developers are able to come back to television worth game development. It shouldn’t be long before we start to see these consoles in shelves, the scheduled launch date is set for March 2013.

However, even with all this success there is a lot of doubt. Ouya will be equipped a Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal flash storage this is significantly less powerful than the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and even more so next generation games. In addition, with an open source console there is a concern on piracy.  Although there are doubts, it is pretty remarkable that Ouya received more than 24,000 backers in only two days. I guess we will have to wait until March 2013 to determine if this new console will give the traditional console giants a run for their money.

Would you help fund this startup? Do you think it has a chance to make an impact in the gaming industry?

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