Ouya aims to bring free Android games to the TV with $99 console

The Google Nexus Q might be good enough for your garden-variety home media sharing for video, pictures, and music, but gamers will want to keep their eyes on a new Kickstarter project called Ouya. It aims to be an open Android-powered gaming console that retails for $99. One of the main goals is to provide a home platform that's free from the big-money competition and publisher pressures that plagues traditional console gaming and keeps hip indie devs away. Here's a spec rundown on the Ouya.

  • 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

There's already a bunch of developer interest, including the guy behind Canabalt, the folks at Owlchemy Labs (Snuggle Truck and the upcoming Jack Lumber), Madfinger Games (Dead Trigger, Shadowgun, Samurai II), the devs behind Triple Town, and even Madden NFL 12 showed up on one screen, indicating EA is getting involved.

The one catch? All developers submitting their game has to provide at least some gameplay for free. That's awesome for end-users, even if that means that freemium upgrades, in-app purchases, and banner ads are likely to be found everywhere. Twitch.tv is also on board for streaming live sessions of StarCraft and other games, so we may very well see other non-gaming apps get involved.

Ouya's Kickstarter campaign is already well over half of the way to their $950,000 goal after launching just this morning, but there are still plenty of pre-orders available for backers. Ouya is expected to ship in March 2013, and backers will get their mitts on it before it hits stores.

Gamers, are you interested, or do you think there will be something just as cool (if not cooler) out by springtime next year? Will an open Android box be able to realistically compete with Xbox and PlayStation, or has Google TV already shown us just how well Android does on the big screen?