Xbox. Play Station. Nintendo.
These are established gaming consoles and the most popular ones. Come 2013, there might be a new player in the gaming console wars, and one that runs Android at that.
Remember the name Ouya. The name represents a new approach to console gaming, one that promotes openness and even encourages hacking. The console is designed by Yves Behar who’s best known for designing the Jawbone Jambox and the $100 One Laptop Per Child XO laptop.
The goal of Ouya is to bring the openness of mobile and internet platforms to consoles. It seeks to adapt the mobile app business model for the TV because Ouya believes that TV is still the best screen for playing games. There will be a marketplace for these games much like Google Play where games will feature some form of trial content. These games are called free-to-play. Developers will have control on how they will want to earn from the game, which could be anywhere from in-game purchases, subscriptions, or a price to unlock the full version of the game.
The console is cheap and is housed in a small box with the following specs:
- Tegra3 quad-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 8GB of internal flash storage
- HDMI connection to the TV, with support for up to 1080p HD
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
- Bluetooth LE 4.0
- USB 2.0 (one)
- Wireless controller with standard controls (two analog sticks, d-pad, eight action buttons, a system button), a touchpad
- Android 4.0
Developers and consumers are free to augment the software and hardware if they like. The Ouya is built to be hacked and the system can be rooted without voiding warranty. Each unit will even be integrated with tools to restore a rooted unit to its factory settings. The Ouya will also include a copy of the system’s software development kit.
Ouya is still being developed but when it hits the market in 2013, it will definitely become big in no time.