The Ouya is a soon to be released $99 gaming console. It was funded in August, 2012 via Kickstarter to the tune of $8+ million, and hardware should be shipping starting in April. The console is based on Android Jelly Bean and includes a 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, a wireless controller with standard controls (two analog sticks, d-pad, eight action buttons, a system button), a touchpad and Ethernet port. The Ouya crew describes the project as an “open gaming console”, which in their definition means that developers won’t have to pay to develop and list their games with Ouya, and the SDK is free to download. Also, all games published will either be free or at least free to try.
To generate interest in Ouya the team in cooperation with Kill Screen are sponsoring a game development contest called CREATE with prizes totalling $45,000! Just download and install the Android SDK, and the Ouya software development kit (ODK), read the documentation, and code up your game idea. The contest runs through January 23, and official rules can be found on Ouya/Kill Screen CREATE page. (We note that the contest is open to persons who “backed or purchase an OUYA on Kickstarter or ouya.tv”, but with 63,000+ backers and purchasers to date that’s a substantial audience.)
The developers specifically designed the Ouya to be hacker friendly. The device promises to be easily rooted and will include a debug console, and rooting will not void your warranty. The device will also be physically easy to open, with standard screws used to fasten the console together and a USB port for making peripherals. They also promise to make the PCB with clearly documented test points. We shall see and report when the hardware becomes available.