OUYA: Android-powered console makes history

Making crowd-funding history, an Android-based game console has achieved its lofty US$950,000 goal in less than eight hours, becoming the eighth project to raise a million dollars on Kickstarter, as well as the official “biggest first day ever”. Less than 24 hours after launch, it’s more than doubled its funding target.

The console is known as OUYA, a “little box full of power“, a gaming console for your TV. It’s powered by NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 system, running Android. The development team contains former-IGN digital distribution head Julie Urhman, One Laptop Per Child and Jambox designer Yves Behar, Xbox project co-founder Ed Fries and Amazon Kindle’s Muffi Ghadiali – among other notables.

OUYA’s entire premise is based around being open and approachable to indie developers and hobbyists, breaking down the walled garden of traditional living-room games machines. (The company has already announced that rooting the device will not void any warranties.)

It looks like it’ll be pretty easy to work with, too – here’s the 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

…and because it’s running Android, it does all the cool stuff your smartphone is capable of, too: Not just games. Expect Twitch TV and other nifty apps to pop up and support the new device at launch or pretty soon afterward.

The console will be officially fully funded on August 1st, and is expected to come to market in March 2013. If you want one as close as possible to launch, it’ll cost you at least US$99. Pledge more cash, get more stuff: A developer kit (including 12 months of game promotion!) or a day with the development team, among others.

As they say: The revolution will be televised, and you have a chance to get in at the ground level.

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