Ouya was announced as a new home video game console, led by the CEO of Boxer8, Julie Uhrman.
Ouya started a Kickstarter campaign to gauge how many people were interested in the project. Boxer8 confirmed having a working prototype] with in-progress software and user interface. Boxer8 is expected to provide their own Ouya store for apps and games. The prototype and initially planned console will run on Android 4.1. It features an Nvidia Tegra 3 chip and a price tag of $99 ($95 for 1000 “early birds” to the Kickstarter campaign).
The Kickstarter fundraising goal was raised within 8 hours. Funding continued to increase as more models were made available at various funding levels. According to Kickstarter, in reaching its goal, Ouya holds the record for best first day performance of any project hosted to date. Within the first 24 hours the project attracted one backer every 5.59 seconds. Ouya became the most quickly funded project on Kickstarter to reach one million dollars, and went on to become the eighth project in Kickstarter history to raise more than a million dollars. The Ouya Kickstarter page featured an introduction video, which explained various aspects of the console, showcased the process of designing of the 3″ touchpad-sporting controller, and gave viewers a glimpse of the motherboard. It also presented the first looks of the console’s game store, showing several games from indie developers who had supported and shown interest in Ouya.
PC Magazine‘s Sascha Segan ran an op-ed entitled “Why Kickstarter’s Ouya Looks Like a Scam” which was critical not only of the Ouya, but of all Kickstarter-funded hardware projects. Unreality Magazine defended the Ouya, stating “A scam implies some sort of intentionally illegal deceit.” … “Tapping multiple investors from multiple sources isn’t a scam, it’s not even illegal, it’s business.”
Robert Bowling, former Creative Strategist at Infinity Ward, announced in a blog post and through an update on the Ouya Kickstarter page that his newly formed studio Robotoki would be the first developer to commit to creating a game exclusively for the Ouya. The game will be an episodic prequel to Robotoki’s Human Element, a post-zombie-apocalyptic game scheduled for release in 2015.
Square Enix announced that Final Fantasy III would be made available as a launch title for Ouya.
The developers of XBMC announced a partnership with Ouya to bring XBMC to the Ouya.
The Kickstarter finished with $8,596,475 at 904% of their goal. This made the Ouya Kickstarter the second-highest earning in the website’s history.
Boxer8 announced that the first development run of Ouya PCBs, plastic prototype cases, and that they are currently in the Engineering Verification Testing phase of production. Devkits for the Ouya as well as the software development kit were planned for release before the end of 2012; on December 28, the console developers posted an unboxing video of one of the dev kits that were being shipped that day.
PC Magazine reported on some initial developer opinions of the development console, noting that the early experience appears to provide “what looks to be a pretty robust platform for surfing the Internet and playing games.” Critics panned Boxer8’s decision to use a disc-shaped directional pad, prompting Boxer8 to redesign aspects of the controller for the general release. The retail controller will feature a standard cross-style D-pad, rubberized thumbsticks, redesigned triggers, and a more responsive touchpad than the one that shipped with developer consoles.
Ouya units for Kickstarter funders started to ship on .
Engadget reviewed the founding backer pre-order version of the Ouya on While praising the low cost and ease of hacking the console, it reported issues with controller buttons becoming stuck beneath the controller plating and the right analog stick snagging on the plating. It also reported a slight lag between the controller and the console and went on to say the controller was “usable, but it’s far from great.”
The Ouya was released to the public for $99. Ouya launches for $99; already sold out on Amazon, GameStop
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