Ouya game consoles ship to developers

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Gamers eagerly anticipating the upcoming Ouya console are getting some good news.

They will be happy to know that in the next few days 1,200 developer versionsof the device will reach buyers who shelled out $699 for the ability to code games for the new Android-based television platform.

The developer console opens with standard screws so tinkerers can construct their own peripherals and connect them via USB or Bluetooth. As for the games themselves, Ouya requires that developers give away at least some gameplay to users for free, although they can profit by offering full-game upgrades, in-game purchases or subscriptions.

“There’s a lot of focus today on the mobile and web platform. It’s easier to develop games for those platforms so the television costs a lot of money, you have to work with established players in the space and I’ve been trying to figure out how do we get them back to it,” says Ouya founder and CEO Julie Uhrman in a promotion video. “Anybody that wants to develop a game for television, we allow them to do this.”

Unlike other TV game consoles, the Ouya is a cube the size of your fist.

With support for up to four controllers, its hardware includes a Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1 GB RAM, 8GB onboard flash storage, HDMI out with up to 1080p support, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE 4.0, one USB 2.0 port, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), and an Ethernet port.

Ouya has partnered with some big names in gaming, such as on-demand gaming service OnLive, which will bring to the platform hundreds of games from more than 80 publishers as well as Square Enix, which will offer Final Fantasy III as a launch title.

Also, Robotoki plans to exclusively launch on the Ouya an episodic prequel to Human Element, a zombie apocalypse game slated for release in 2015.

Image courtesy of Ouya

Beyond gaming, Ouya will support Vevo music video streaming and integration with the XBMC and Plex media management platforms.

Lots of folks are excited about the Ouya, which is set to ship to consumers in April. In fact, its development has been made possible through the financial backing of more than 63,000 people who contributed nearly $8.6 million to the project, which was one of the most successful ever promoted on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter.

You can pre-order the Ouya on the company’s website. For $109, including shipping, you get the console and one controller. If you want a second controller it cost another $30.

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