Update: The UOYA fund has smashed previous Kickstarter records by raising $1 million in less than nine hours.
The recently announced Android-based $99 gaming console, called the OUYA, has officially begun funding on Kickstarter today. With a seemingly lofty goal of nearly $1 million, the fund has already raised a staggering $690,000, $75K of which was raised within the first hour. What’s so hot about this proposed gaming console?
One of the largest ambitions of the console is that it aims to make console gaming far cheaper than the current $300 launch boxes with $60 for each new game. Each developer that comes onboard to make a game for the OUYA must agree that some portion of the gameplay will be free to access, the creators said. After that game makers can decide how they want to monetize their game, whether it’s in-game microtransactions, an upgrade to the full game, or a subscription-based service.
The system will also have an unprecedented amount of customizability — something that simply doesn’t exist on the console market today. Microsoft and Sony systems are largely on lockdown to prevent game piracy, but the OUYA console is powered by an Android operating system, encouraging gamers to begin working on a new title of their own, even going as far as upholding the warrantee on hacked consoles. “Every OUYA console is a dev kit,” wrote the creators. “You can create the next big title in your bedroom — just like the good old days!”
More than allowing gamers to tinker with titles of their own, circumventing the hurdle of paying a tremendous amount to access a development kit will allow smaller developers to create console experiences for much less and with far fewer restrictions than they would experience working on a Microsoft or Sony machine.
According to the Kickstarter page, the OUYA console will feature an NVIDIA Tegra3 quad core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal flash storage, HDMI out, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, and a single US 2.0 port. The wireless controller included with the console seems akin to the standard Xbox 360 controller, though the Kickstarter description says it will also include a touchpad.
OUYA was designed specifically to bring creative, cost-effective gaming back into the living room. Where PC and mobile gaming have been the realm of reasonably priced, innovative titles for some time now, the creators hope to reinvigorate those fond memories of console gaming to a generation that grew up with Super Nintendos, PlayStations, and Nintendo 64s — yearning for wider access to the kind of creative opportunities provided by gaming today.