Begone, doubters. OUYA -- the Android-based game console that shattered about 16 Kickstarter records -- has shipped to developers. Some 1,200 of them have shipped to developers. And it's important to stress that these are for developers. (Did we mention anything about developers here? Because we really should.) As you can see in the video above -- and can the same people who "boxed" a device be the ones to do an unboxing video? -- these are limited-edition devices, with transparent plastic and bugs and other things that are going to be completely reworked before production units ship in the spring.

What this milestone represents, of course, is a major step forward for a project funded by regular folks -- you and me -- through Kickstarter, meaning it's kind of a crapshoot as to what we'll actually get, when we'll get it, and how good it'll be when it hits our doorstep. (And full disclosure here: Android Central backed OUYA at the $1,337 level, so we've got one of these dev units on the way.) There won't be any apps on this dev version, but the egg has to come before the chicken. Or maybe it's the other way around.

In other news, OUYA has fired up its developer portal, where you can download the developer kit, upload games and get things ready for launch in a few months. Huzzah!

More: OUYA; OUYA Developer Portal

 

Reader comments

OUYA ships 1,200 developer consoles, opens dev portal

31 Comments

What is AC going to be developing? If the answer is nothing, then it's a wasted unit. Hopefully some really great devs get their hands on this thing.

AC backed Ouya with over $1000, wether they are developing something with the console or not, I think they have earned their 1 unit.

I suppose it is. But by you guys having a console to try out and reporting back to us with info about it hardly seems like a "waste". I assume Ouya feels the same way, or else they wouldn't have sent you one.

Wrong.

What you are basically saying is that nobody but actual developers should have funded this kickstarter - because THOSE are the people who are getting their units now. I was excited about it and I was about to put my money down also but when I got to it they were already done. Doh!!

I care more about the info regarding the final product myself and I'm sure AC will have a great review of it.

I just hope this dev kit doesn't run some benchmarks and then sit on a shelf.

This problem calls for a dedicated OUYA section in the forums to brainstorm some ideas of what to with this thing.

What better way to let the public know about the progress of the entire system than to put hands-on time by some bloggers.

Honestly, with the track record of a large number of kickstarter projects, OUYA has already delivered a lot more than most people thought. That said, the generation of a stable system with real dev support is the thing that will make this more successful than the umpteen different android-on-a-stick options out there. Making the average potential customer aware of the progress leading up to general availability will be important so customers can decide if this sounds more compelling than just retasking your old phone (with hdmi out) to TV duty.

I don't see this as wasted. It's free marketing. Actually, it's marketing that AC paid them to provide.

-Suntan

Good luck but there is really only room for 3 consoles on the market and with the deep pockets of Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft it will stay the Big 3 for quite some time.

Just look at OnLive, very cool take on the console but they were just crushed by the Big 3.

Also wrong.

There's room for quality gaming that is affordable enough to reach the masses. The hardware in this is basically a Nexus 7 that plugs directly to your TV. That is awesome. And for $99?? Sign me up.

RE: Onlive - I was a beta tester. The service was innovative, but the business model was kinda hard to grasp... I have to own games that I don't really ever have? And my internet connection needed to be pristine for it to be playable. And that millisecond of lag was, actually, kinda noticeable...

OUYA wants you to be get the hardware into your hands and start playing stuff FOR FREE. How on Earth is that not going to succeed? Cheap hardware that performs really well, coupled with the fact that the content is free to play? Yes.

Where I think OUYA could falter is if their UI ends up being bad or if developers don't adopt the business model and make their games support it.

So here's to hoping we're in for something truly special!

Not wrong. OUYA is positioning themselves as a game console. They are positioning themselves to be in direct competition to Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft.

You can say that by offering free games they are not competing directly but that is incorrect. OUYA calls their device a "gaming console" which means they place themselves in direct competition with the Big 3.

By doing that they need to somehow convince consumers they are receiving a value added benefit by playing their simple free games instead of the immersive great looking games the Big 3 offer.

I fail to see the value added benefit of playing an Angry Birds clone over playing the Uncharted series or COD series or Halo series or God of War series or Gears of War series or Mass Effect series or Assassin's Creed series.

If they can somehow get two to three games on the level of those games and come into a $100 million marketing budget, then they could possibly survive. If not, then the only way they can possibly survive is by not calling their device a "gaming console".

Holy crap - talk about apples to oranges, dude. Angry Birds? Really? How about Asphalt 7? Need for Speed? Dark Knight? Spiderman? NOVA 3? Modern Combat? FOR FREE.

You want more "value added benefit"? XBOX 360 + COD = $250 at least. OUYA + several free-to-play games still = $99.

Lower quality versions of great games that you have to sit in front of your TV to play adds absolutely no added benefit.

The reason why the lower quality games are a value added when played on a phone or tablet is because of the ability to take it anywhere you go.

We are conditioned to expect fabulous looking games with compelling storylines and lengthy game play with game consoles that are attached to our TV. Not having any of those reduces the value of the console in the eyes of a consumer.

XBox has Kinect and is becoming part of the Windows ecosystem.

PlayStation has the Move controller, free online game play, Hulu, Vudu, Amazon Video, Netflix and their own streaming video service along with a great online store.

Nintendo is Nintendo and creates systems that people find fun to use.

OUYA may be (it's not for sale yet) $99 and may offer some free games. Good luck OUYA.

EDIT - Disclaimer: I backed the unit on Kickstarter.

bergeronjc, I think you might be looking at this wrong.

There is always room in the market for a new device. The market will decide if it is worth it to stick around. The big three aren't infallible and can falter. Look at Nintendo, they are on a huge decline. Mobile is killing them and the Wii U isn't really compelling (IMHO).

If you want to go head-to-head against the successful systems, I think that Sony and Microsoft are your targets.

Microsoft, once dev friendly on XBox has become very adversarial to small devs. I think you would see small independents flock to Ouya over XBox live in the future...unless Microsoft radically changes direction.

Sony is the interesting group. They were once known to have terrible dev tools and people hated developing for the PS3. From the little I have read, it appears that Sony has rectified that. In addition, their dev reach to independents is supposed to be leaps and bounds ahead of Microsoft.

Another thing to keep in mind is the cost of using XBox Live for things like Netflix and Amazon and other items that Sony makes available for free on the PS3. The non-gaming things. Rumors also talk about Microsoft releasing XBox devices similar to Roku/AppleTV that don't do gaming at all in the next generation, threatening to splinter the experience.

What was my point? Oh yeah, OUYA. They don't have to beat the big guys, they just have to make a showing and get a following large enough to sustain themselves.

My personal view is that OUYA will be moderately successful to the point another larger organization is going to take notice and acquire them. If I was a betting man, Google or Amazon. I see a better strategic fit with Amazon as a gaming system AND Roku-like device. But either company makes sense. If that does happen, I hope the service and goals stay similar.

I am still not sure I understand the purpose of the OUYA. If it doesn't run existing Android games, then it is just another locked-down device/market from someone else. What's the big whoop? Just the fact that is runs Android?? Wouldn't a device that runs standard Android and has access to all the existing games in Google Play be far more desirable?

Part of Ouya should have been an app that maps touch screen to the buttons on their controller similar to how the app Gamekeyboard or Sixaxis works. Then open the console to the Android market.

I suppose the developer of the console needs to make money somehow and I am guessing the hardware alone isn't making them much.

Oh, for sure the hardware will be near zero-profit and they will just rake in the money from sales of apps on their proprietary "store".

But, again, why would someone what that? And why would developers want to lock themselves into another, different store with different rules, and target only the Ouya?

Wasn't the excitement to have a cheap set-top box that could play inexpensive Android games? If it is a separate, proprietary marketplace, then the selection will be dismal, the prices much higher, and you won't be able to use those apps on any other non-Ouya device.

Plus, if you already paid for Android games on the Google Play or Amazon App Store, they won't run on the Ouya either. I don't see how this is a good thing. Despite it running an Android fork, it is just another semi-proprietary platform.

I would rather pay more for a really "open" set-top box with decent hardware, joysticks, and have it just use Google Play and link to my existing account.

I see one thing that they should do right away. They should swap that blue button and the red button on the controller to make it more simple. If I had to adjust to that, it would take a while.

So remember when OUYA said that the first shipped consoles would be "special" in some sort of obvious way? How so now that we have the units? Are they alluding to the clear shell?

"Begone, doubters"

There is still big reasons to doubt OUYA. Even if 100% of the Kickstarter budget went entirely into advertising, it would not be enough to get it noticed outside of the people who have already "purchased" it.

Gamers won't want it, kids won't want it. Without the big audience, developers won't want it. Even if it did have the full Android market, there wouldn't be anything worthy of playing on a TV.

I personally think that the Kickstarter itself will be more profitable than when (if) it actually goes on sale.

"Kickstarter" does not = "Instant gazillionaires"

Kickstarter is just that: a way to get enough funds to start something. Everything has to start somewhere - even Microsoft. Did Microsoft pour all of their money into marketing Windows 1? No. Look where they are now.

If this product is good and gets adopted fairly well, funding will come from all over the place.

woah woah woah....you are comparing what Microsoft brought to the table with what OUYA brings to the table? You're def. one of the backers of this product. OUYA is nothing more than a cellphone connected to the TV and cellphones can already do this! Microsoft pushed a functional graphic UI onto the market when the market didn't have anything like it. How many cell phones/tablets/gaming consoles are there already that are stronger alternatives to OUYA? They didn't even think outside the box with this idea. They merely took someone else's idea(android) and are trying to profit off of it through hype and broken promises. Giving someone Angry Birds for free does not mean you're system has quality gaming for free. Honestly, there aren't any free games on google play that keep my attention for more than an hour, max, and you will not see much more than clones of that experience on OUYA.

Why has no one noticed the fan inside the closed box? How does the system even breathe? Why is there a fan in the first place? Is it to just look cool or is it simply how they explain using all that kickstarter funding?

>"Microsoft pushed a functional graphic UI onto the market when the market didn't have anything like it"

You have been drinking way too much of the MS Kool Aide, my friend. Please go study computing history. Xerox essentially invented the modern GUI. It and those that followed: MIT's W then X Window System for Unix AND Apple's Lisa GUI all predate MS-Windows. And Unix/Linux's X Window System is still in use, today, on countless millions of machines.

Microsoft simply copied much of what was already out there.

You guys realize that most of this is just speculationat this point, right? This thing is only out for developers right now, which is the way it should be. This thing isn't launching at Walmart and Best Buy tomorrow because it's not ready for public use yet. Let the devs do their magic and wait till the thing is actually released before you pass judgment.

could someone who has gotten an ouya please dump the system files? I'd love to get started on trying to get a port running on my nexus ;)