So yesterday this popped on Kickstarter:
If you don’t want to watch the video, here’s what you need to know.
They’re trying to fund a low-cost console that plugs into your tv. It will run on an open-source Android OS. Right now, anyone who wants to develop for a console has to pay for a pricey developer kit, and then play nice with the legal and marketing teams over at Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. This cost is prohibitive, and sends many developers to web and mobile platforms. With the Ouya, there will be no ridiculous legal restrictions for who can develop games for it. So all those would-be developers lacking the budget and legal team of, say, Activision, will be able to get the games straight into the hands of the game-hungry customers.
The Kickstarter went live two days ago with a goal of $950k. It’s about lunchtime of the third day as I write this, and they’re just about to clear three million dollars.
We saw a more isolated example of this fan suport with Tim Schafer’s (of Monkey Island and Grim Fandango fame) kickstarter for Double Fine back in February. He asked for $400k, achieved that goal in eight hours, and went on to clear $1.5 million. It proved that there is a market, populated with customers like me, who miss the wordplay and problem solving of old-school PC games. We voted with our wallets to get more of the same.
Whereas Double Fine is one developer with an already-established follwoing bucking the system, Ouya stands to circumvent the system entirely. I don’t understand how “plugging directly into the tv” differentiates it from other consoles, and they repeatedly mention how important their pretty-standard looking controller is, but that doesn’t stop it from potentially being a major game-changer. It’s popped up on my facebook feed a few times already. Any members of the gaming community who haven’t heard of it will soon–and I hope they’re as excited as I am.