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Ouya console shipping now, to earliest backers only

The Android-powered console is winging its way to homes now, if you laid down some cash early, that is.

The world's first Android-powered games console is shipping now. Ouya was funded by fans on crowd-source site Kickstarter, and those who put their bids in early are among the first to get their hands on the console, the BBC reports.

The £99 games machine raised more than £5m on Kickstarter, and opened for pre-orders last summer. It's actually kept to its release date too, which is refreshing, considering on-sale dates of games like GTA 5 keep slipping back and back.

Because it runs Android, almost anyone can develop games for Ouya, and put them up for download through Google Play. Games should cost a fraction of the price of those on standard consoles like the PS3 and Xbox 360, or their successors, the PS4 and Xbox 720.

A new version of the console will launch every year with a minor spec boost, so you'll be able to upgrade annually, as you do with mobile phones. But unlike some consoles, you won't lose your games every time. They'll be carried across to the new console, seeing as they're tied to your user account rather than the physical device.

Ouya will feature OnLive support too, so you'll be able to stream games online.

It's a great proposal, but Ouya will have some stiff competition in the guise of UK-based rival GameStick, which also runs Android. GameStick consists of a controller with a dongle built-in. Slip out the dongle, plug it into any screen with an HDMI port, and it'll talk to the controller over Bluetooth, so you can get your game on.

Does the future of console gaming lie with Android? Or will consoles like Ouya and Gamestick be cheap novelties compared to the real show of the PS4 and Xbox 720? Let me know what you reckon in the comments, or on our Facebook page.