As we close out 2012 and move into the new year, all of the tech world is eagerly awaiting the arrival of one, unique product with bated breath and eager curiosity: Google Glass. But for those of us who don't have $1500 to shell out on prototypes of that thing (and a time machine to travel back to I/O '12 to order them), we're distracting ourselves with Ouya, the Android-based gaming console. As of right now, the company behind the platform has finished shipping 1,200 developer units out.

As a teaser for the rest of us, the company has also released the above unboxing video. There's not too much to see here if you've been following along, but it's at least interesting to get a glimpse into what the retail version could resemble. Ouya is very specific in its blog post to state that everything you see is what the device might be like. The clear plastic on these units are specifically for the devs, there are no games, and the UI may be different by the time consumer models ship in March. So when you start to see the inevitable screenshots and walkthroughs, maintain a bit of healthy skepticism. Oh, hey speaking of screenshots, here's one!


So, that's what the Xbox Ouya UI is gonna be! Okay, that's not entirely fair. This is only one screen grab, and it's specifically labeled as "what it might look like when Kickstarter backers get their consoles in March." So, this may not be final. Still, if this is how it will appear then the comparisons are inevitable. Though, if you're going to take inspiration from an interface, it may as well be one of the best-selling gaming products of recent memory.

Source: Ouya

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • http://twitter.com/Szondikapitany Ádám

    What about games?

    • Pic889


      It's also going to have OnLIve.
      Anyway, if we udge from the funding it received, this thing has a rather large crowd, so once the first batch of titles become sucessfull, expect the usual Android game top devs to jump in.

      • Mark

        lol. Assuming onlive is still around by the time Ouya ships. heh

      • Cuvis

        I think history has shown that the UMPC wasn't a bad idea, just ahead of its time. The netbook, ultrabook, etc. have shown that people do want small and light computers... they just don't want to pay through the nose for them.

  • monksis

    Take my money! NOW!

  • PhineasJW

    Aside from the gaming implications, with XBMC already supporting the platform and promising hardware acceleration, this has the possibility of becoming a kickass $99 1080P media streamer.

    • tek

      You forget that this is an open platform and more money goes to the developer than M$. We don't have to rely on company support as much if something breaks because any developer can go in and fix it and give the patch to anyone that has the console. Anyone can have the freedom to develop on it without having to use and learn proprietary code. The list goes on!

      • Mark

        But Ouya isn't going to be making much money, if any at all, on the hardware. They're going to rely on their own "Game Store" for revenue. No Play Store then or Amazon App Store. When people start hacking them and adding all sorts of games and features, they're taking revenue from Ouya corporate.

        • shonangreg

          They would be taking potential money from Ouya corporate. Libraries have been doing this with books for hundreds of years, yet publishing was still a viable business.

          Please don't let the twisted logic coming out of the IP-racketeering industry poison your mind: not making all the money possible is not an inherently bad thing. Hurting customers with cumbersome copy protection schemes in an attempt at grabbing as much money as possible, however, is a bad thing.

    • Paul

      That's my take on it. XBMC will be it's "Primary" function, and when I get bored watching T.V/Movies, then I'll break out the controllers and play a few games :-) This thing is gonna rock. Too bad it's got just the Tegra3 in it. I hope they surprise us and go with at LEAST the Tegra3+ (One the One X+ has). Hopefully the difference in the chips aren't so great and the costs are about the same, that they can't do a quick swap toward the end. But either way, slick.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

      Not to be a troll or a nasty Nelson, but isn't the Raspberry Pi a better deal at $25?

      • PhineasJW

        Sure, but according to usage reports, I don't believe Raspberry Pi is capable of doing full 1080P DTS decoding.

  • mgamerz

    Hope the controllers aren't as plasticy looking or feeling like they do in the video. Doesn't look bad. I preordered one already a few months back.

    • http://twitter.com/jordandebarth Jordan DeBarth

      I hope they dont run on batteries either. Having a microUSB charger or something along those lines for them would be so much better.

      • mgamerz

        A good pair of lithium ion batteries would be great. Or inductive charging... Living in the world of wishful thinking here...

  • Wayne Randall

    Perhaps I've missed it, I am not much of an Android gamer, but can you side-load games? For instance Humble Bundle games.

    I guess I mean to say, how much Android is this Android device? Is it forked like Amazon's tablet thingy?

    • mgamerz

      Amazon's tablet runs full android...

      • http://twitter.com/jordandebarth Jordan DeBarth

        I think he means that you cant get Play Store apps on the Kindle Fire. Im pretty sure OUYA is gonna be the same way.

        • mgamerz

          I doubt they'll have the funds to licence through Google plus the whole always free to play won't work with it. But I'm sure some devs will get it working.

    • jm9843

      OUYA is totally an Android device (running 4.1 Jellybean). They've just written some API's to to handle OUYA specific things like input, in-app purchases, etc.

      You could definitely side-load the Humble Bundle games assuming that you're willing to familiarize yourself a bit with the Android Debug Bridge (adb). That is, until someone comes up with an easy "one-click" solution. Controls would vary by game but the OUYA gamepad has a built-in touchpad for pointer input while the system has Bluetooth which you could conceivably use to sync a PlayStation 3 or Wii controller.

      With OUYA's open mantra, I don't see a problem loading games that you've already purchased like that. Personally, I'll be supporting OUYA by re-buying some games from them. I was a really early backer on the project and want to see it succeed.

      • Wayne Randall

        Nice, thanks. I have supported Humble Bundle thrice now and have really no use for those games. Since they are DRM free, my son is now trying them out on his N7. Knowing I can/could move them over to Ouya is a plus. I think I can manage a little ADB until an easier solution exists. I am sure my son will be very interested in this device before long, it's right up his ally.

  • mark

    Did they say all the games will be free to play?

    • mgamerz

      Yes. But that doesn't mean it won't have In App purchases or other ways of making money. It could mean that you have a demo and you pay to play the full version.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

        Not too different to Steam.

        • mgamerz

          It's how they said its going to be. Every game must have a free version, be it a demo or one supported by IAP, or just totally free.

    • Cuvis

      Yes, all the games will have some portion that's free to play. They can monetize by doing in-app purchases, or offering a shareware-style free demo/pay to unlock full version arrangement.

  • Cherokee4Life

    One of the best things I ever help fund on Kickstarter!!!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/Mad_Llama Jeremy Gill

    Games on Android are taking up more and more space. How is 8 GB going to be sufficient for a game machine? It doesn't look like it has expandable storage.

    • mgamerz

      Somewhere I heard it had a MicroSD slot... though I can't seem to find a reliable source. It might support just plugging in a USB stick into one of ports...?

      • Austin00

        I think your right about the USB port.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

      We also need to tell that to Google because their Nexus devices are tiny. Nexus 4 max size = 16GB.

  • CuriousCursor

    And you're telling me this is supposed to compete with the current gen console and/or next gen ones? Nowhere close.

    • Stipe Hodak

      Current gen consoles are 4-5 years old, the next gen comes out next year. The newest console is Wii-U which runs roughly similar hardware and they're betting on the new touch interface controller to be the thing that sells their console. And I doubt next gen will really bring a huge improvement that will make it worth investing $400 vs $99...
      Besides, if you like Ouya, you probably already backed it, if not, there are and will be other consoles for you...

      • CuriousCursor

        Wii was never built to play the high requirement games that PS3 and 360 run. If this is only supposed to compete with Wii then I guess it has a shot but it won't be able to compete with PS3 and 360 (and their successors) with these specs.

        • enomele

          They aren't making it for you. And they are not trying to compete with any consoles, at least directly.

        • ssj4Gogeta

          Developers develop for platforms which are popular, regardless of their compute power. Look at the PC gaming scenario - even current mid-end GPUs run circles around current consoles, yet developers target consoles and PC's get ports.

    • jm9843

      Compete how? AAA, big-studio, multi-million dollar budget, 100+ person development staff? No.

      As the first open, indie and emulator friendly console that rewards creativity and great gameplay? Absolutely.

    • Google_is_the_Higgs_Boson

      I don't think this will compete with the big dogs, but I see this being good for independent /Amateur developers...

  • casinrm

    I would love to buy this but I'm holding off due to rumors of the Steam console. I would have to go for Steam if the rumor turned out to be true. Too many good games and I have my friends on there too.

  • drew

    So how is this any different than plugging a phone into a tv and pairing a Ps3 controller And playing The Crap out of some dead trigger?

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/no6969el Noel Barcellos

      The having to plug your phone into a tv and find your PS3 controller part.

  • Palmer Nyako

    so this runs android apps correct? can i sideload apks like gta 3, vicecity and play?

    • Andrew Ruffolo

      probably won't have support for the controller though... so then it would be completely useless. This dev kit is for those who want to make a controller compatible game or start from scratch.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

    Definitely looks more tempting as a low cost-indie game console a few months down the line, but I still want to wait until its release before I would splash my money on it.