Posted by James Sims

Picture of the Ouya console
There’s a new console around the corner, coming from a completely different starting point to the big brand offerings we’ve been used to for the past few years. Whether it will be too different or not remains to be seen but it will definately be causing waves when it is released in April next year.

The Ouya (pronounced OOH-yuh) started as a Kickstarter campaign, raised its targeted goal in under 8 hours, and went on to be the fastest project ever to raise one million dollars. It’s currently sitting at $8,596,475.

What’s the dealio?

So, what’s so special about it? Mainly the price point – it will be released at $99 (or a shade under £65), if you pre-order it – and it comes with one controller. You’ll have to pay for shipping and any extra controllers, but it’s all pretty reasonable.

The key to managing this is that the hardware is actually based on what goes inside some high-end Android phones, and the fact it will run Android 4.0 ICS. This handily means it will support any apps developed for Android.

Oh and another nifty thing – it’s tiny, only about the same size as a Rubik’s cube!

The specs

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  • Tegra3 quad-core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB of internal flash storage
  • HDMI, 1080p HD
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth LE 4.0
  • USB 2.0
  • Wireless controller with standard controls (two analog sticks, d-pad, eight action buttons, a system button), a touchpad
  • Android 4.0
  • Ethernet

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Launch Titles

It has a fairly respectable list of launch games, which are all going to be free-to-play, but it also supports OnLive gaming service – meaning you can play from their extensive catalogue as well (including games that would usually require a fairly beefy PC to play). And if you need to know – yes, minecraft will be released for it eventually, if it takes off.

It will feature XBMC media player amongst other things, and also has apps like Twich.TV so you can use it to stream various things from the net.

Hack the planet

It all sounds pretty good so far, right? Well if you’re a bit of a hacker, you’ll be even happier to know it will be easy to root – and doing so won’t void the warranty. It’s even been designed to open up easily using only a normal screwdriver, so you can merrily mod it till the cows come home – if that’s your thing.

Roll on, April!

In case you didn’t notice I’m pretty excited about this little fella. I’m normally as neutral as possible when it comes to new products, but I can’t really think of anything bad to say about this. OK, it won’t be competing with the next generation of consoles from MS and Sony, but it won’t cost anywhere near as much either. Looking at the hardware specs suggests to me that it will be powerful enough to deliver a crisp and smooth gaming experience – for the same price as a couple of second hand games on the XBox.