Ouya: A hackable, $99 gaming console is in the works
Innovative games on mobiles and tablets are the rage these days as console makers and traditional video game publishers scramble to keep gamers hooked. But a new startup is embracing the openness of mobile and Internet platforms and developing Ouya, a $99 gaming console for the television with software and hardware that is designed to be hacked.
The Android-based console is being built by a project founded by Julie Uhrman, a former executive at video game website IGN. Microsoft Xbox veteran Ed Fries is an advisor and Yves Behar of design firm Fuseproject will design the console. The device will include a controller with a touch pad and a free software development kit.
“The current console market is closed, it’s expensive to develop and it’s expensive to buy games. And we really wanted to turn that idea on its head by creating an open game console where it was inexpensive and affordable for gamers both on console side and game side.” Uhrman said.
The team hopes Ouya will bring innovation to the good old video game console by attracting “indie” or independent game developers and makers of Triple-A game titles in a bid to capture the imagination of casual and core gamers alike.
Moreover, all the games will be free-to-try. That means developers can pick any plan to monetize their offerings like micro-transactions through sales of virtual goods or subscriptions, as long the gamer can try the game at first for free. The game developer-Ouya revenue split will follow the standard 70-30 model.
With an undisclosed investment from individuals that include video game developer Brian Fargo of inXile entertainment and Internet entrepreneur Jay Adelson of the social news site Digg so far, Ouya hopes to raise $950,000 on crowd funding site Kickstarter on Tuesday. Funds will help complete product development and get initial game development rolling.