OUYA creators Julie Uhrman and Yves Behar have said it best: There is nothing more gratifying than chillin' on the couch in Goodwill scrubs and a Nightwing hoodie, sipping on grape Fanta, and getting the news that the princess you have worked so fucking hard to rescue is actually in another castle. But with newfangled smartphone, iPad, and Facebook apps and interfaces, the days of video gaming on HD TVs with digital surround sound and the tactile orgasm of ergonomic consoles have been swinging towards bygone. Until now.
OUYA is a bit of nostalgia meets a bit of enterprising gaming. It's a new game console designed especially for use on that scorner of handhelds, that perpetual purveyor of P90-X, that incomparable tube of the boob: the television. Powered by Android and dedicated to open-source programming and free play, OUYA invites developers to create and hone games for the world's living rooms--stories, graphics, and sounds that take advantage of TV's unique snowflake gifts, without the restrictions of ungodly licensing fees, retail fees, and publishing fees. All OUYA consoles double as developer kits (built on the Android platform, which developers already know how to manipulate) that require no pricey acquisition of licenses or SDKs. Equally sweet, OUYA's controller, console, and interface bundle ring in at under $100, with the promise that all games on it will be "free, at least to try."
But back to that seductive little controller. Uhrman and Behar's design--termed the Stradivarius of controllers--endeavors to be a "love letter to console gaming" with fast buttons, triggers, laser-precise analog sticks, and a D-Pad, plus a touchpad for games peacing out from mobile or tablet mediums, and heading back to Big Poppa TV.
OUYA kicks it on Kickstarter until August 9, 2012, at which point it will probably be infinitely funded, given that it has already surpassed 4 1/2 times its--get this--$950,000 funding goal. Yep, nearly 60,000 people have deemed OUYA's quest to bring it back to the big screen an admirable movement worthy of many, many Zeus-battling Benjamin Franklins.
$99 pledges return an OUYA console and controller, guaranteed for delivery before the system hits stores. For $225, supporters receive an additional controller, with their preferred username etched into both of them. Mac daddy upgrades at $699 and $1,337--both now sold out--are geared towards developers and include a first-run OUYA, already rooted, early SDK access, and a promise from the company to help promote your game for at least one year.
Dude, these guys have even unloaded 5 of their 20 offered rewards at the $10,000 level, which means the entire first production run of OUYA consoles will have these benefactors' usernames and backer numbers engraved into them.
Basic OULA console packages have an anticipated March 2013 delivery date. Those who purchase first-run models should receive them in December 2012.
2013 UPDATE: OUYA has completed its production run, and will be available for public purchase through Amazon starting in June 2013.