The Ansdroid-based Ouya gaming console, which gained attention through the crowd funding site KickStarter, will be in the hands of developers by the end of the year, according to the company's founder.
Julie Uhrman, the woman behind the hugely popular start-up company, which has gained close to $6m in funding through KickStarter, took part in a question and answer session on social news website, Reddit, where she said that console will ship to developers in December.
Questions from fans and backers alike allowed Uhrman to shed more light on the Android-running games console that could go on sale next year, and already has OnLive and Final Fantasy publisher Square Enix onboard. Below are some of the highlights, including talk of a native internet browser and that developers will get their Ouya consoles in December this year.
Uhrman began by saying: "Developers will get their OUYAs in December -- expect a pre-rooted, rough product. We want you going, though.
"As for networking, you can do what you want within your game code, connect to whatever server - unlike traditional consoles. And as for promotion, we're figuring out exactly how to do [it], presumably you would prefer it [to] start with the release of the game. And, yes, the founder symbol would be for all your games.
"Promo codes: yes, at some point, not sure at launch."
Ouya, could you please look into what HP did with the Pivot magazine? Any webOS users out there may remember that the company sank considerable effort into producing a monthly magazine explicitly to highlight cool content. Ouya could really use one of these, especially if the curation can be done in partnership with a dedicated staff (many gaming review sites, for example).
"This is definitely one of the most important things for us. We have the advantage of being mostly focused on games, we won't have lots of other categories to deal with. So we'll try to do the standard stuff: top games by popularity, for example.
"But we're also looking at grouping by genre, doing Ouya's picks, seeing some unknown finds that the community surfaces. But this is going to evolve, we will have to learn as we go. Tracking usage instead of just sales is a great idea -- we have to think on that more."
A feature suggestion: Let's say I'm looking at an Ouya game in my web browser - similar to browsing the Google Play Store in a browser. Can I click a button to remind my Ouya to download the game when I next turn it on?
"Great idea and something we've been thinking about it - lots of things we'd like to do, probably can't do at launch. But we'll look at it."
I'm mainly concerned (interested, not worried) about the various online features that will be available. Primarily, will there be a web-browser included at launch? And if not, maybe sometime down the road? Also, what can we expect for the community aspects of the console - friend-list, achievements/trophies/other-name-for-in-game-accomplishments, etc?
"We are working to include a web browser in time for launch - we do think we'll do one, it's just a matter of resourcing. As for community, we have plans to build lots, but at launch it will probably be pretty simple."
What is the planned life cycle of the Ouya as a console? Will new versions be released as the technology advances?
"We are still figuring that out, it's just too early in the product lifecyle to predict how this will evolve. We think this hardware will be plenty powerful to last a while - there is always something new that comes out, but having a simple, open product that developers can build on is more important."
Will there be support for other USB controllers and USB Keyboards at launch?
"Yes - although we haven't tested a wide range of peripherals yet, there will be support for these types of input devices (it's in Android today).
"We're talking to all kinds of retailers. They are enthusiastic, but we haven't announced anything yet. And, yes, if you get one of our developer specials on KickStarter it will be pre-rooted, but we will probably not offer a pre-rooted console after the KickStarter is over."