The OUYA is an upcoming console, due to be released in March 2013, and designed to be a cheap, "hackable" console. And it looks cool, too.
People involved in the project include "Yves Behar of the One Laptop Per Child project, Muffi Ghadiali from Amazon’s Kindle team, and Ed Fries, who is often called father of Xbox." (source: VG247)
The console itself will cost $99, and games will be free, in full or in part:
We're handing the reins over to the developer with only one condition: at least some gameplay has to be free. We borrowed the free-to-play model from games like League of Legends, Team Fortress 2, Triple Town, and many others. Developers can offer a free demo with a full-game upgrade, in-game items or powers, or ask you to subscribe.
Best of all, OUYA's world-class controller, console, and interface come in one beautiful, inexpensive package. All the games on it will be free, at least to try.
Have at it: It's easy to root (and rooting won't void your warranty). Everything opens with standard screws. Hardware hackers can create their own peripherals, and connect via USB or Bluetooth.
The OUYA is based on Open Source technology (Android), and is supposed to make game development easier:
Developers can wave farewell to the roadblocks of bringing a console game to market. Anyone can make a game: every OUYA console is a dev kit. No need to purchase a license or an expensive SDK. It's built on Android, so developers already know how it works.
That doesn't mean OUYA is an Android port. You can create the next big title in your bedroom – just like the good old days! Who needs pants!?OUYA could change AAA game development, too. Forget about licensing fees, retail fees, and publishing fees
We are designing the controller to be a love letter to console gaming. It will have everything you've learned to love: fast buttons, triggers, laser-precise analog sticks, a D-Pad – and it will have a touchpad for any games making the trek from mobile or tablet to the TV. It'll be just the right weight. We are working with select developers to play-test the controller through development. We call it 'the Stradivarius of controllers,' and we hope developers will be inspired to take gameplay to a new level with it.
In order to get the necessary funding, OUYA started up a campaign on Kickstarter, the famous crowd-funding website, with impressive results. The initial goal of $950,000 was reached in only 8 hours. At the time of writing, backers pledged a total of over $4,000,000.