Ouya: The $99 hackable Android game console

Ouya console

The developers of the Ouya won't try to compete with the billion dollar corporations battling for console dominance with the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii U. The makers of the protoype console powered by Google's Android OS are looking to play their own game, focusing on downloadable, free-to-play video games that can be experienced on a low-cost, high-power device. Follow along for every step of the console's creation — from its Kickstarter funding to its planned release in March 2013!

22 updates and 2811 comments below.

Jul 25 2:15p

Ouya CEO defends game sales as 'better than we expected'

On Monday, reports surfaced that Ouya is, so far, a console without any major breakout hits. For the most part, gamers are sticking to free games on Ouya rather than upgrading to paid titles. The evidence reported was anecdotal, with a handful of developers speaking on how much money they've made — from a couple hundred dollars to a few thousand. But while some might look at Ouya's software sales and say the console, which has been on retail shelves for about a month, is failing to catch on...

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Jul 22 8:44p

Ouya has no hit games so far, reports say

On Kickstarter, Ouya was a blockbuster, raising more than $8.5 million in one of the most successful campaigns in the crowd-funding site's history. With critics, Ouya has so far been a dud, and the Android console has dealt with shipping problems as well. Now, it seems, Ouya is dealing with one more hurdle — gamers are reportedly largely sticking to free games, rather than upgrading to paid titles. According to reports from Edge, IGN, and Gamasutra, a handful of developers say they've seen...

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Jun 25 1:49p

Ouya console launches at Amazon and Best Buy, but early backers are still waiting

The $99 Ouya gaming console was one of the most successful Kickstarter projects of all time, raising over $8.5 million. After a three-week delay, the console launched at a number of retail outlets today, promptly selling out at Amazon and Target. But some early backers are still waiting for results. When Ouya posted on Facebook to celebrate a Reuters piece about the console, supporters responded in the comments, complaining that they were still waiting on pre-orders or Kickstarter rewards....

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Apr 30 9:56a

Ouya announces 'Soul Fjord,' an exclusive disco-infused dungeon crawler from 'Portal's' Kim Swift

When we tried out the pre-launch version of the Ouya console, we were disappointed with the catalog — there was plenty to play, but it was still distinctly lacking any halo titles. As Ouya prepares for a retail launch in June, one of its long-awaited exclusives has been unveiled: it's by Quantum Conundrum and Portal developer Kim Swift's team at Airtight Games, and it's called Soul Fjord.

As you'll see in the trailer, the hook of Soul Fjord right now is its aesthetic, described as a fusion...

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Apr 05 10:23p

Ouya fires back, says pre-release console isn't ready for review

Ouya is responding to early reviews of its pre-release Android gaming console, saying that the software is still unfinished. In a statement to GamesIndustry International, the company explains that the 60,000 Kickstarter backers currently receiving their machines are participating in a "preview period," and that it plans to send out review consoles in early- to mid-May, constantly improving the product ahead of its June retail release. When we reviewed the Ouya earlier this week, we thought...

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Apr 04 11:01a

Ouya review: can an indie console take on Sony and Microsoft?

Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo may no longer be the only names that matter in gaming, but the "big three" is still very much alive in people's minds. Even as iOS and Android have gotten better games, and better hardware to run those games, capital-G Gaming remains something done with a controller and a console, and something we do on our big-screen TV. Maybe that's why Ouya struck such a chord when it <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2012/7/2/3134004/ouya-a-99-hackable-android-game-console-designed-by-yves-behar/in/3589315" >hit Kickstarter last July</a>. Basically, the company described a $99 box that would take the many great Android games off of your 4-inch phone and put them onto your TV. Ouya <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2012/8/9/3229673/ouya-kickstarter-campaign-ends-with-8580359-raised/in/3589315" >shattered its Kickstarter goal</a> (and a few records for the platform) en route to 63,000-plus backers and more than $8.5 million in funding for the Ouya, and now nine months later is getting ready to drop its namesake console on the market. Ouya's always said all the right things. The console will be cheap, they promised, and upgraded often. It'll be totally hackable, so users and developers alike can do much more than even Ouya has in mind. It'll be small, simple, and filled with games people want to play. The pitch left me sitting on the pre-order page many times, ready to plunk down $99 for another console I'd wish I had time to use. It certainly won over our esteemed editor-in-chief, Joshua Topolsky, whose crisp Benjamin purchased the Ouya I've been playing games with all week. Ouya's promise is now a real thing, in the hands of its many backers now and on store shelves beginning June 4th. Has it earned a place next to your Xbox? Has it made your Xbox obsolete? Let's find out. Continue reading »

Mar 27 1:28p

Makerbot partnership lets gamers print their own Ouya case

Ouya is positioning itself as a hackable, Android-based gaming console — so now it's letting users modify its case as well as what's on the inside. Thanks to a partnership with Makerbot, the 3D-printing files for the Ouya console enclosure are now available; users can download the files, modify them as they see fit, and then 3D print their own custom cases. You can download the 3D printing files right here and also see a variety of brightly-colored Ouya cases. While it remains to be seen...

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Mar 11 4:30p

Ouya won't support some online features at launch, wants to be built into your television (update)

Ouya's $100 Android game console will begin shipping to Kickstarter backers in just over two weeks, but it will be missing one potentially important feature. Here at the SXSW Interactive festival in Austin, Texas, company founder Julie Uhrman tells us that the device won't support online multiplayer games — not even by the console's retail release in June. It's coming, though: she says that the feature will arrive "sometime this year."

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Watch this: Joshua Topolsky interviews Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman at 3PM ET / 2PM CT

Today at SXSW Interactive at 3PM ET / 2PM CT, our very own Joshua Topolsky will be interviewing Ouya founder and CEO Julie Uhrman. Her hardware startup plans to launch its hackable $99 gaming console to retail stores this June, and will be delivered to Kickstarter backers by the end of March.

Check back here at 3PM ET (2PM CT) to watch the keynote live below.

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Feb 28 12:25p

Ouya shipping to Kickstarter backers March 28th

$99.99 gaming console Ouya will be shipping to its Kickstarter backers on March 28th, the company has just announced. A full retail launch is still planned for June, but the console will be shipping soon to more than developers, who started receiving kits late last year. We're also hearing about some potentially exciting new Ouya projects. While we already knew a bit about what was coming to the platform, the company has announced that designer Kim Swift (of Portal and Left 4 Dead fame) and...

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Feb 13 5:23p

Ouya CEO says upcoming Android console will be 'best Tegra 3 device on the market'

We're getting ever-closer to the launch of Ouya, the $99, Kickstarter-backed, Android-powered gaming console, and the company's CEO Julie Uhrman has been making the rounds to give eager buyers more info on what they'll get when the console launches this summer. While we already knew Ouya was powered by Nvidia's Tegra 3 processor and that it would run faster stronger than other devices (since the console plugs into the wall and isn't reliant on a battery, unlike most Tegra 3 devices), it...

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Feb 07 5:48a

Ouya founder promises new $99 console every year, better game discovery

"I'm obsessed with how little I sleep," says Ouya founder and CEO Julie Uhrman, touching her Jawbone Up. She says her kids are to blame. However, it might also have something to do with another child of sorts, another Yves Behar-designed product: her company's $99 Android game console. Once a Kickstarter project, the Ouya will now be sold at Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and GameStop this June, a tall order for a company as new as hers. And yet, Uhrman is thinking much further ahead than June....

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Feb 05 1:20a

Ouya console will be sold at Best Buy, Target, and GameStop for $99.99 in June

Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman has announced the first details of retail availability for the Android-powered games console. If you missed out on Ouya's successful Kickstarter campaign and wanted to pick one up in stores, you'll be able to do so at Target, Best Buy, and GameStop, and the console will also be sold through Amazon and the company's own website. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Uhrman says that Kickstarter backers will get their consoles in March, orders from the Ouya site...

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Feb 01 3:53p

Game developers discuss the Ouya's hardware limitations and the future of indie gaming

Since developers began receiving their Android-powered Ouya consoles late last year, several have demoed the non-final software and hardware online and shared their thoughts on the highly anticipated device. In an interview with Engadget, Super Crate Box developer Rami Ismail says that issues with the controller's trigger buttons and analog sticks are being resolved before the console's final release based on his team's feedback, but this doesn't address other complaints about the...

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Jan 29 2:03a

First crop of Ouya game demos is a grab bag of scrappy indie insanity

The $109 Android-powered Ouya gaming console garnered a lot of attention when it raised $8.5 million on Kickstarter earlier this year, blowing past its initial funding goal of $950,000. With an expected release only two months away, everyone’s anxious to see what indie developers will be able to pull off with the new hardware, and we’re now getting our first look at the results of this month’s 10-day online Ouya "game jam." Judging from what we’re seeing of the 166 prototype games produced so...

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Dec 31 1:13p

Ouya developer kit walkthrough offers early look at the Kickstarter-funded console

Ouya's Android-based gaming console is reaching the hands of developers this week, and some lucky recipients have taken to YouTube to share impressions of the early hardware and its user interface. Code Zombie Games has uploaded a lengthy overview of the entire kit as the studio works to port an existing Android title to the TV screen. The developer version of Ouya features a frosted, see-through build that provides a glimpse at the silicon in both the controllers and console itself. Ouya...

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Dec 27 1:32p

Ouya developer kits begin shipping, Dev Portal website launched

The first developer kits for the highly-anticipated Ouya gaming console are shipping out earlier than expected. As pointed out by SlashGear, one customer has posted the text of their shipping notification in a thread over at the Ouya forums, with several individuals on Twitter also remarking that their devices are on the way. Ouya had originally announced that the first batch of developer kits would be shipping out tomorrow, December 28th — but an Ouya spokesperson has informed us that d...

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Nov 30 3:13p

Ouya developer consoles to ship on time, available alongside SDK on December 28th

The Ouya game console already has the distinction of being one of the most highly-funded Kickstarter projects of all time, and now it's about to get another distinction to its name: shipping on time. The founders have posted an update with a photo of an actual prototype of the device, and they say that developer consoles will ship on December 28th. Additionally, the software development kit for game-makers will be made available to everyone — not just purchasers of the developer console — on...

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Aug 09 4:51p

Ouya begins life after Kickstarter with $109 pre-orders

Ouya's crowdfunding campaign just finished, and now the project is letting would-be owners pre-order the miniature console outside of Kickstarter. For those in the US, you can pre-order an Ouya along with one controller for $109, while the rest of the world can expect to pay $119 for the controller/console set (bundles with additional controllers are also available). Back in July Ouya managed to reach its initial funding goal of $950,000 in just eight hours, and since then has garnered...

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Ouya Kickstarter campaign ends with more than $8.5 million raised

Ouya's Kickstarter campaign ended today, with the project raising $8,596,475 from 63,416 backers at the time of publishing, exceeding their target goal by nearly 805 percent.

The Ouya Kickstarter campaign first launched July 10 with a funding goal of $950,000. Promising an elegant, affordable console built on the Android operating system, the Ouya campaign broke funding records by reaching its goal in only eight hours.

The $99 hackable console, designed by Yves Behar, was met with...

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Aug 07 8:13a

XBMC and Ouya team up on integrated Android media center

The team behind XBMC — the iconic cross-platform, open source media center which recently made its way on to Android — will receive early access to prototypes of the much-anticipated Ouya games console, making sure that the app provides a smooth experience on the platform. The two organizations claim a natural affinity based on their shared reliance on Google's open source operating system. According to a joint announcement posted on the XBMC blog and Ouya's Kickstarter page this morning,...

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Jul 11 12:51p

Yves Béhar discusses the Ouya as the console nears $3 million on Kickstarter

The $99, Android-based Ouya game console Kickstarter project reached its goal in less than eight hours and as of this writing — just over day since it launched — it's closing in on three million dollars in support. The designer behind the console, Yves Béhar, took the stage at the Mobile Beat conference today to talk about how it all came together. The Ouya is up against the biggest players in the consumer electronics industry — Sony and Microsoft — but Béhar thinks that the gaming console...

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Jul 02 11:36p

Ouya: a $99 hackable Android game console designed by Yves Behar

We don't often report on startups without a physical product to their name, but when you've got sponsors like Ouya does, it's hard not to pay attention. According to a posting on AngelList, Ouya has recruited the talents of Yves Behar to build a $99 Android game console that you can connect to a TV, with a high-concept developer ecosystem that's as free as can be. Any developer will be able to publish games, claims the listing, and all games will be free to play. Even the underlying hardware...

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