Jul, 10 2012

A new Kickstarter project has been raking in the dough, pulling in over $800,000 since launching this morning and nearly meeting its funding goal with 29 days left on the clock. So what is all the fuss about? OUYA, an Android-based gaming console that looks to bring existing titles we already love to our HD television sets at a price that nearly everyone can afford.

The concept is simple: the catalog of games for Android has grown from an inadequate selection of shoddy games just a few years ago to a robust trove of titles that include such console-quality fare as ShadowGun and Max Payne. And while our devices have grown more than capable of handling such gaming experiences, the form factor of both the tablet and smartphone leave more than a little to be desired. Manufacturers have somewhat remedied this problem with the inclusion of HDMI outs and the ability to pair devices with gaming controllers, but OUYA looks to simplify things even more.

For $99 OUYA provides a gaming console powered by a Tegra 3 processor and featuring 1GB RAM, 8GB of internal storage, 1080p video support via HDMI, Bluetooth LE 4.0, USB 2.0, and WiFi 802.11 b/g/n. It all runs Ice Cream Sandwich and has access to all the games we currently enjoy on other  Android devices. The hope is that after funding is met (and at this rate the goal will be more than exceeded) developers might look to work directly with the folks behind OUYA to offer a few exclusive titles specially tailored to the console. The end game is a low-cost machine designed to play games priced for Google Play, with an emphasis on free-to-play (and freemium) gaming.

So why do we need an Android console when our phones are mostly capable of doing all the same things? There is a certain quality to be expected when a device is designated for one purpose rather than designed to handle an abundance of tasks. Why do you think Google made the Nexus Q? It’s all Android but it was built specifically to act as a cloud jukebox. With OUYA we could expect the same dedication to design and detail to be applied to gaming on an Android device, and aside from convenience, it could provide the sort of experience we have yet to see from a smartphone or tablet, bridging the gap between console and mobile gaming once and for all.

[via Kickstarter | Thanks, Aaron!]

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