August 7, 2012

Ouya Gets Plenty Of Backers And XBMC Support

Michael Harper for - Your Universe Online

The world´s first Android-based gaming console, Ouya, was announced just last month after a highly successful Kickstarter campaign. The start-up company of the same name began its Kickstarter campaign on Tuesday, July 10, hoping to raise at least $950,000 to build out their open sourced, Android based gaming console. Later that same day, Ouya had raised more than $1 million worth of pledges. At present, the startup has had more than $7 million pledged for the project. The campaign will end tomorrow, August 9th. Further adding to the excitement of the upcoming Ouya console, XBMC has announced today that they´ll be bringing their platform to the open-source box as well.

In its early days, XBMC was an open-source media player to be used with Microsoft´s gaming console, the Xbox. Since then, it´s been ported to Windows devices, as well as some unlikely iOS devices, such as the Apple TV.

XBMC allows for easy navigation and streaming of audio and video content stored on a device. Currently, XBMC acts as the core of some Apple TV competitors, such as Boxee Box and Plex.

After receiving what the startup says were “Hundreds, if not thousands” of requests to bring the media manager to the new game console, Ouya plans to build in XBMC on top of their existing Android software. In fact, according to Ars Technica, a third of the XBMC development team have already backed Ouya´s Kickstarter campaign. Now, the XBMC team will have access to early prototypes to quicken their porting efforts.

"The conversation between our two teams is young, but talk is ongoing and positive," said the XBMC team in a statement.

"We look forward to providing more exciting news on this front as it develops."

Ouya´s aim is an ambitious one. CEO Julie Uhrman says her company plans to shake up the video game industry by allowing common, everyday hackers to write their own games for the console, as well as develop a platform wherein independent developers can create game´s without having to pay huge fees or get approval by the large players in the gaming industry. In an interview with the New York Times, Uhrman said she believed the Ouya console could “upend the console market” by using tools such as Google´s open sourced Android OS and pricing the unit at a disrupting $99.

Ouya plans to borrow some lessons learned from the app store model of gaming, giving developers a 70% cut of all games sold on the Ouya, while they keep a tidy 30% to themselves.

Though mobile gaming has already been disruptive to the common, traditional gaming industry, Uhrman wants to keep games on the television.

As it stands, the company has a working prototype, several game developers who say they´ll bring their games to the new console and even several other media services, including TuneIn Radio, iHeartRadio and Vevo, a high definition music and video platform.

Ouya is building up steam, and it seems many other underdogs in the gaming and app development industry are getting excited about the possibilities of this new, open source cube.