Ouya console open for pre-order, might be built into your TV

Ouya, the Android-powered games console, is available to pre-order, having raised $8.5m of funding on Kickstarter.

Ouya , the new Android-powered games console, is now available to pre-order having completed its funding run on Kickstarter.

Having garnered a whopping $8.5m (£5.4m) of support during its time on the crowd-funded site, the much-hyped concept console has moved onto a site all of its own, where those who didn't feel like investing while it was on Kickstarter can put their name (and cash) down.

If you live in the UK, getting hold of an Ouya with one controller will set you back $119, which equates to about £76. If you want to buy the bundle that comes with four controllers, expect to pay about £134. The release date is currently pegged as April 2013, but may change.

The surprisingly tiny system, pictured above, is powered by Google's mobile operating system, with the idea being to deliver dirt-cheap games over an Internet connection. Imagine an Android smart phone that's plugged into your telly and connected to a swanky controller, and you've got the basic idea.

Ouya, which will feature OnLive support and media player capabilities, has drawn criticism over its open approach, with some saying that it will encourage piracy, or that pirating games on the console will be so easy that no publisher will want to put its games on it.

Meanwhile, Ouya boss Julie Uhrman has hinted to the Guardian that the console's future could lie within TVs. Ouya could be squeezed inside tellies, to provide built-in gaming kicks for the likes of Samsung or LG. Uhrman says Ouya "could be in a TV," but goes on to say, "right now we are focused on building a great business around gamers and games, and right now we have to be a console connected to a television."

What does the future hold in store for this ambitious console? Personally I'd be surprised if it can challenge the likes of the PS3 and Xbox, but if it can provide a compelling platform for cheap indie games that wouldn't otherwise see the light, that sounds like a good thing to me.

I've been consistently amazed by the parade of brilliant Android and iOS games arriving on smart phones (and even more impressed by their incredibly low prices), so if a little of that mobile magic can be sprinkled on the Ouya, it could yet prove a compelling buy.

What do you think of Ouya? Is it the future of gaming? Or heading the way of the Dreamcast? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

Tags:
Gaming
About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.

 

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