OUYA, the Android-based affordable gaming console that inspired a wide range of reaction from tech watchers and gamers alike when it debuted on Kickstarter back in July 2012, today reached an important milestone: shipping product. Admittedly, it’s just the developer-specific consoles for now, but 1,200 units are now winging their way to actual people, and the company put the pre-release gaming console on video to prove it.
This OUYA unboxing video gives us a glimpse at what the thing looks like in the flesh – albeit in a transparent plastic casing for both controller and console that doesn’t reflect its anticipated shipping fit and finish. The design isn’t quite final either, as founder Jules Uhrman explains on the video alongside an Ouya designer that the d-pad will change, as will shoulder pad positioning and a number of other internal controller components. Also newly shown off in the video are a micro USB port on the console itself, and an internal fan in the device to keep it cool during intense gaming sessions.
The console looks an awful lot like early renders we’ve seen (minus the limited-edition transparent plastic finish) and Uhrman even goes so far as to actually plug in the console and power it up on video, although we don’t see anything beyond a boot screen as the device loads up with the “OUYA” branding. At the very least though, we know it turns on, and that it’s shipping in some capacity, which in itself might be enough to quiet those who were skeptical about OUYA’s ability to deliver any kind of working device at all.
Shipping development consoles today also means that OUYA has indeed kept its initial hardware ship date promise – a rarity among any Kickstarter projects, and impressive given the popularity of this one in particular and the amount of scrutiny it received. On-time delivery of these units bodes well for OUYA’s anticipated March 2013 shipping date for consumer units. But there’s still plenty of work to be done on software, and refinements are needed on the hardware side, too, so nothing’s set in stone at this point. Still, it’s great to see OUYA even reach this point, and here’s hoping they make that March launch.
OUYA was created in 2012 by Julie Uhrman, a video game industry veteran who saw an opportunity to open up the last closed game platform — the TV. Julie and an initial team of game developers and advisors brought the concept to life with the help of Yves Behar and the fuseproject, and took it to Kickstarter in July of 2012. It became one of the most successful Kickstarter projects ever, with tens of thousands of backers pledging to...