Ouya yesterday began shipping
its $100 Android console to early backers of the project that took Kickstarter by storm, blowing past
the initial $950,000 goal and raising nearly $8.6 million by the time it was all said and done. Everyone else has to wait until June 4, which is when it will be on store shelves, real and virtual (Amazon.com, Best Buy, GameStop, and Target). Alternately, you can pre-order an Ouya for a Benjamin along with an extra controller for $50 more. Either way, June 4 is the console's big day.
In case you need a refresher, Ouya wields an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage expandable via USB. It has built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth support, and HDMi output with support for Full HD 1080p. It's intended to bring "all your favorite apps to the big screen," allowing you to stream shows and movies, listen to music, and of course play Android games.
Several big name publishers are already on board
, such as Square Enix and Namco Bandai, and there's a software development kit (SDK) you can download if you'd like to dip your toes into the project, too.
If received well, this could be an important movement in gaming. It has the potential to make developers a ton of money, as Ouya games should, in theory, be much less expensive to produce that triple AAA titles on the PC and/or regular consoles. At the same time, there are limits on what can be done with what's essentially a console version of a tablet or smartphone.
Will gamers embrace mobile-type games in a living room setting? Come June 4, we'll start to find out.