Startup working on Ouya, a $99 Android-based hackable game console

The Verge is reporting that a startup founded by Julie Uhrman of IGN is working on a new game console, named Ouya, which will pioneer a new type of ecosystem in which anyone can develop games and all games are free to play. In addition to offering a completely open ecosystem, a dev kit will be included in the $99 price of the console, enabling all buyers to hack the console to their liking.

The distinctive design of the console, pictured above, is the product of Yves Behar, the One Laptop Per Child designer. Other contributors to the startup hail from Microsoft’s Xbox division, Amazon’s Kindle division, and a number of Web 2.0 ventures.

If you’re like me, you’re questioning the quality of the games that will be playable on this device. At $99, it’s hard to imagine there will much power under the hood. Perhaps the specs will enable the development of games in the vein of iOS titles, and considering the “free” ecosystem, one can only imagine the iOS-like games to be of the freemium persuasion. The idea of playing iOS-like freemium games on my TV doesn’t get me especially excited, and one can only imagine the travail of trying to find a game with a modicum of quality in the sea of crap likely to be produced according to this model. That said, there is still plenty of time and details to be released to surprise me.

[The Verge]

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