Android-based Ouya game console shipping soon

Christmas comes twice this year for those who signed up for a developers' console in Ouya's Kickstarter campaign.

Early birds get their hands on Ouya after December 28. Ouya

Let the gamers, Android nuts, and open-source geeks rejoice -- the Ouya is shipping on time!

Well, at least the developers' consoles are, that is. Ouya first garnered attention by raising more than $8.5 million on Kickstarter this summer to create an inexpensive, open-source, Android-based game system.

Early supporters of the crowdfunding campaign got first dibs on a finished Ouya for as little as $95, but those aren't scheduled to ship until March. However, the hundreds of folks who ponied up $699 or more for a first-run, rooted developers' system with early SDK access get to experience Christmas twice in the same week when their consoles ship on December 28.

If creators of the Ouya do fulfill their original commitment to ship the dev kits in December, they'll deserve kudos. Plenty of other Kickstarter-funded projects have run into snags meeting original timelines and commitments -- the Pebble watch is now months late on its original ship date and still working out production issues, for example.

Ouya points out that all consoles will actually be dev kits, but the late December batch is a special group that cost more to produce and give big early backers a first crack at working with the platform. The only catch for developers is that at least some part of the game play has to be available for free, be it a demo or the whole shebang.

Ouya is also working on its own ODK (Ouya development kit) that game designers will be able to access. At the same time, Ouya says it's been busy optimizing Android Jelly Bean for gameplay on a large screen.

If Ouya takes off, 2013 could be a year in which a certain segment of the population gets even less exposure to the sun than in the past.

If you missed out on the first Ouya rush, there's still a chance to get in on the ground floor noob level. Ouya is giving away 10 developers' consoles next month.

 

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