Ouya looks to reimagine consoles on KickstarterIt looks like Ouya might be the independent console that could. The small hardware startup, which launched its Kickstarter campaign two days ago, has already reached $3,284,327.00. In its first day alone, it raised $2.6 million.
If the console keeps this rate of funding going, Kicktraq (a startup that charts Kickstarter funding levels over time and provides trend analysis) shows that the project could pass $50 million in donations. Not bad for a small company looking to compete with three titans.
Ouya is a small, $99.00 Android-powered console being designed by the legendary designer Yves Behar and a small team of dedicated fanatics. It will be powered by a Tegra 3 and feature a custom controller designed specifically to make gaming as enjoyable as possible.
Already the Ouya has seen an outpouring of support from indie developers, who lament the difficulty of developing games for the TV. Adam Saltzman, who created Canabalt, is planning on placing his game on the device. Notch, creator of Minecraft, has said that he would love for his game to be on the Ouya, but that he will only develop it if there seems to be support for the platform. Considering there are still 28 days of the campaign left and donations are already 3x the goal, we will be seeing Minecraft.
The Ouya was built as a response against the locked-down model that most game companies rely on. You can't just develop a game for the XBox 360; you have to go through Microsoft and use their tools, first. While you theoretically can place games on the Indie Games marketplace, those get no advertising, feature a terrible revenue scheme and you have to use Microsoft's software. The Arcade is even worse, with Microsoft controlling what is allowed on it.
If the Ouya proves successful, it will allow independent developers the freedom to create the games that they want for the large screen without having to deal with the walled gardens and difficult coding of consoles. This thing could prove to be the best possible thing for console gamers.