Games Console Startup OUYA Becomes Latest Kickstarter Hit

A games console concept has become the latest Kickstarter crowdfunding sensation.

The startup project, called OUYA, was looking to raise $950,000 in 30 days but it reached that target just eight hours after going live on Kickstarter.

At the time of writing it was in its second day and its total already stands at about $2.4million, sourced from 19,000 backers, and rising.

It follows the recent success of the Pebble smartwatch, which amassed more than $10m through the site.

OUYA is pitched as a $99 console built on Android 4.0 but featuring its own marketplace.

Like much of the phone apps market, the games will be free – at least for some of the gameplay – with developers able to earn money from other ways, such as upgrades, in-app purchases and so on.  

OUYA Kickstarter

The concept is by Yves Béhar, who designed Jambox and the UP health-monitoring wristband for Jawbone, and worked on the Nook e-reader for Barnes & Noble as well as the One Laptop per Child project.

The console, scheduled to launch in 2013, will feature a Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB of internal flash memory, HDMI, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth LE 4.0, a USB 2.0 port, wireless controller with standard controls (two analogue sticks, d-pad, eight action buttons plus a system button) and a touchpad.

However, those specs could change, especially given the extra funding OUYA will receive. Its creators are also openly encouraging the console’s firmware to be hacked about with, or the device itself to be physically modified. Rooting the device will not invalidate its warranty.

OUYA Kickstarter

OUYA’s backers posted a thank you message to their backers, relaying their surprise at the response it has already received: “Do you realise what you’ve done? You proved consoles aren’t dead. You shocked the world. And us! Now we want to blow you away. The biggest thing for us right now: we are working on our stretch goals, what we can do if we raise more money. It might take us a few days to figure that out, and we want your help.”

The Ouya creators can be sent suggestions at, and people can also vote on what games they would like to see on the platform by going here.

In related news, earlier this week Kickstarter announced that people in the UK will be able to launch projects through the website starting this autumn. Better get your thinking caps on then.

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