To say that the Android-powered OUYA game console has garnered some serious attention is a hell of an understatement, and that’s sure to be the case as developer units keep trickling out into the wild. As it turns out, it’s not just game devs that are getting some hands-on time here — some of the folks at Mozilla may be working on getting a version of its Firefox mobile browser up and running on the game-centric cube in short order.
The news comes courtesy of Ed Krassenstein, an administrator for OUYAforum.com. According to him, a Mozilla developer reached out to him earlier today to talk briefly about the process of bringing the browser to the OUYA platform:
We’re investigating what we need to do to make Firefox usable on Ouya. It already works and we have some preliminary patches for gamepad support, but there’s still quite a bit of work to be done to make it really usable. Part of this work will be making sure that WebGL and Canvas support performs well on the device, and making sure that the relevant APIs (such as Gamepad API) are also supported
The platform certainly presents some… interesting challenges, thanks mostly to its non-standard control scheme. After all, plenty of people have scrolled down a webpage on a smartphone screen, but I’d wager the number of folks who have done so with the assistance of a full-size game controller is considerably smaller. Still, the fact that some Mozillians have already worked to surmount that particular stumbling block is heartening news for fans of third-party Android browsers.
Krassenstein’s initial post didn’t offer a name for the anonymous Mozillian he had spoken with, but he eventually confirmed that it was Chris Lord, a Mozilla mobile platform engineer who happened to tweet an image of a Firefox build running on an OUYA earlier today (see above). Granted, it doesn’t actually work very well — Lords notes that it’s “kinda unusable” for the time being — but it’s a step in the right direction at least. Lords also revealed on Twitter that a gentleman named Kats (aka Mozilla software dev Kartikaya Gupta) is mucking around with Firefox for the OUYA as well, though there’s no word on how many others (if at all) are spending time on this.
Naturally, this project is in its very early stages, and there’s no guaranteeing that a final, fully-compatible version of the browser will ever actually become available to OUYA owners, but it looks like things are off to a promising start. And hey — they’ve still got a few months before OUYA’s official release, so there’s a chance an OUYA-optimized version of the browser could debut right in that launch window.