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OUYA with controller
The Ouya controller (left) and its console (right)
Manufacturer Ouya, Inc. (formerly BOXER8)
Type Microconsole
Release date December 28, 2012 (Devs)
March 28, 2013 (Kickstarter)
June 25, 2013 (Retail)
Introductory price $99 USD
£99 GBP
Operating system Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
System-on-chip used Nvidia Tegra 3 (T33) SoC[1][2]
CPU 1.7 GHz Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A9
Storage GB internal flash memory
Display HDMI
1080p, 720p
Graphics Nvidia GeForce ULP GPU
Input USB 2.0 (one)
Micro USB (for connection to PC)[3]
Controller input Wireless controller
Dimensions 75 mm (2.95 inch) cube[3]
Website .tv.ouyawww

The Ouya ( ), stylized OUYA,[4] is a microconsole running its own version of the Android operating system, developed by Ouya Inc. Julie Uhrman[5] founded the project in 2012.[6] She brought in designer Yves Béhar to collaborate on the design of the project,[7] and Muffi Al-Ghadiali as product manager to put together the engineering team.[8] Development was funded via Kickstarter, raising $8.5 million and becoming the website's third-highest-earning project in its history.

Units started to ship to Kickstarter backers on March 28, 2013. The console was released to the general public on June 25, 2013, and features an exclusive Ouya store for applications and games designed specifically for the Ouya platform, of which the majority are casual games targeted at or used by a mass audience of casual gamers. Out of the box, Ouya supports media apps such as TwitchTV and XBMC media player.[6] It runs a modified version of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and is open to rooting without voiding the warranty (developer models ordered during the Kickstarter campaign for $699 or $1,337 come pre-rooted).[6] The console's hardware design allows it to be easily opened up, requiring only a standard screwdriver for easy modding and possible hardware addons.[9]

All systems can be used as development kits, allowing any Ouya owner to also be a developer, without the need for licensing fees. All games were initially required to have some kind of free-to-play aspect,[6] whether that be completely free, has a free trial, or has purchasable upgrades, levels, or other in-game items. This requirement has since been removed.[10] The Ouya is classified as part of the eighth generation of video game consoles and as such is a rival competing against the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Wii U.[11][12]


  • History 1
    • Future 1.1
  • Hardware 2
    • Specifications 2.1
    • Controller 2.2
  • Reception 3
    • Pre-release 3.1
    • Retail reception 3.2
    • Sales 3.3
  • Free the Games Fund 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Ouya was announced on July 3, 2012 as a new home video game console, led by the CEO of Boxer8, Julie Uhrman. On July 10, Ouya started a campaign to gauge how many people were interested in the project.[6] Boxer8 confirmed having a working prototype[13] with in-progress software and user interface. Boxer8 is expected to provide their own Ouya store for apps and games. The prototype and initially planned console will run on Android 4.1. It features an Nvidia Tegra 3 chip and a price tag of $99 ($95 for 1000 "early birds" to the Kickstarter campaign).

The Kickstarter fundraising goal was raised within 8 hours. Funding continued to increase as more models were made available at various funding levels. According to Kickstarter, in reaching its goal, Ouya holds the record for best first day performance of any project hosted to date. Within the first 24 hours the project attracted one backer every 5.59 seconds. Ouya became the eighth project in Kickstarter history to raise more than a million dollars, and was the quickest project ever to do so.[14][15] The Ouya Kickstarter page featured an introduction video, which explained various aspects of the console, showcased the process of designing of the 3" touchpad-sporting controller, and gave viewers a glimpse of the motherboard. It also presented the first looks of the console's game store, showing several games from indie developers who had supported and shown interest in Ouya.

On July 19, 2012, Robert Bowling, former Creative Strategist at Infinity Ward, announced in a blog post[16] and through an update on the Ouya Kickstarter page[6] that his newly formed studio Robotoki would be the first developer to commit to creating a game exclusively for the Ouya. The game will be an episodic prequel to Robotoki's Human Element, a post-zombie-apocalyptic game scheduled for release in 2015.

On July 31, 2012, Square Enix announced that Final Fantasy III (specifically, a high definition port of the 2006 Nintendo DS version) would be made available as a launch title for Ouya.[17]

On August 7, 2012, the developers of XBMC announced a partnership with Ouya to bring XBMC to the Ouya.[18][19]

On August 8, 2012, it was announced that Namco Bandai was in discussions to bring their games to the system. The same day, Ouya also announced that Plex Media Center would be coming to the Ouya.[20]

On August 9, 2012, the Kickstarter finished with $8,596,475 at 904% of their goal. This made the Ouya Kickstarter the third-highest earning in the website's history.

On October 31, 2012, Boxer8 announced that the first development run of Ouya PCBs, plastic prototype cases, and that they are in the Engineering Verification Testing phase of production.[21] Devkits for the Ouya as well as the software development kit were planned for release before the end of 2012;[22] on December 28, the console developers posted an unboxing video of one of the dev kits that were being shipped that day.[23] Ouya units for Kickstarter funders started to ship on March 28, 2013.[24]

On June 25, 2013, the Ouya was released to the public for $99.

On July 18, 2013, Ouya announced the "Free the Games Fund" to support developers making games exclusively for their system. Ouya will match a Kickstarter's pledge dollar-for-dollar if a minimum of $50,000 is raised, but only if the game will be an Ouya exclusive for six months.[25]

On November 23, 2013, a limited edition white Ouya with double the storage of that to the original and new controller design was available for pre-order at $129.[26]

As of January 1, 2014, the limited edition white Ouya went off sale and cannot be found on the official store, nor any official resellers.

On January 31, 2014, new black version of Ouya was released with double storage and new controller design.[27]

On November 24, 2014, Ouya releases its 1000th game[28]


In October 2013 Uhrman indicated that a new iteration of Ouya console will be made available in 2014. Other than featuring improved controllers, no firm decisions on choice of hardware have been made.[29]


Main unit showing ports

The Ouya is a 75-millimetre (2.95-inch) cube designed to use with a TV as the display via an HDMI connection. It ships with a single wireless controller, but it can also support multiple controllers. Games are available via digital distribution, or can be side-loaded.


Price: US$99 or US$129
SoC: Nvidia Tegra 3 T33-P-A3[30]
CPU: Quad-core 1.7 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore (ARMv7-A architecture)

NEON Advanced SIMD extensions and VFPv3 floating point unit

GPU: Nvidia GeForce ULP @ 520 MHz (12.48 GFLOPS)

Hardware 1080p MPEG-4 AVC/h.264 40 Mbit/s High-Profile, VC1-AP, and DivX 5/6 video decode

Memory (RAM): 1 GiB DDR3-1600 SDRAM[30][31] (shared for CPU and GPU)
USB ports: 1 USB 2.0, 1 microUSB
Video output: HDMI 1.4; 1080p or 720p resolution.[32] Stereoscopic 3D support.
Audio output: HDMI (ARC), 2.0 channel[33]
Internal storage: 8 or 16 GB eMMC flash memory[30][34]
Networking and Wireless: 10/100 Ethernet (8P8C),[30][35] 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth LE 4.0
Power consumption: 4.5 watt (gaming), 1 watt (standby)
Power source: 12 volt DC, 1.5 ampere max via Coaxial power connector (OD 5.50 mm, ID 2.10 mm, center positive)
Size: 75×75×82 mm (2.95×2.95×3.23 in)
Weight: 300 g (11 oz)
Operating system: Android 4.1 (Jellybean) with custom Ouya launcher.
  1. iFixit has a detailed step-by-step teardown of the console.
  2. Hardware video decode supported by experimental XBMC using libstagefright.[36]


The Ouya controller is a typical gamepad with dual analogue sticks, a directional pad, 4 face buttons (labeled O, U, Y and A) and pairs of back bumpers and triggers. It also includes a single-touch touchpad in the center of the controller.[37] The Ouya controller also has magnetically attached faceplates which enclose the 2 AA batteries, one on each side of the removable plates.

Alternate controllers may be used with the console (including those from the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii) but only for compatible games.[38][39]


OUYA Developer Console


While initial reception of the Ouya was positive, raising $3.7 million on Kickstarter in the first two days, there were a number of vocal critics who were skeptical of the ability of the fledgling company to deliver a product at all. On July 12, 2012 PC Magazine's Sascha Segan ran an op-ed entitled "Why Kickstarter's Ouya Looks Like a Scam"[40] which was critical not only of the Ouya, but of all Kickstarter-funded hardware projects. Unreality Magazine defended the Ouya, stating "A scam implies some sort of intentionally illegal deceit." ... "Tapping multiple investors from multiple sources isn’t a scam, it’s not even illegal, it’s business."[41]

Engadget reviewed the Kickstarter pre-release version of the Ouya on April 3, 2013. While praising the low cost and ease of hacking the console, it reported issues with controller buttons becoming stuck beneath the controller plating and the right analog stick snagging on the plating. It also reported a slight lag between the controller and the console and went on to say the controller was "usable, but it's far from great."[42]

The Verge reported similar issues with the controller and questioned its construction quality. While they praised the hacking and openness of the console, calling it "a device with lots of potential and few true limitations", the review was mostly negative and was critical of the interface and game launch choice and stated that "Ouya isn't a viable gaming platform, or a good console, or even a nice TV interface."[43]

Retail reception

Tom's Hardware summarized early media reviews of the Ouya as "lukewarm".[44]

Engadget reviewed the retail version of the Ouya, and noted a largely improved experience as compared to what they found with their pre-release unit. Improvements to the gamepad were "huge", and they found "that the UI has been cleaned up and sped up". Engadget concluded that their "latest experience with the Android-based gaming device [left them] feeling optimistic" and that the company was "taking customer feedback seriously".[45]

Digital Trends called the final retail console "a device with a lot of potential built with love", and called the design a "sleek and cool-looking cube filled with gamingy goodness". The mostly positive review cited a lot of potential for the future, but was tempered by noting deficiencies in performance ("as powerful as many current smartphones"), and pointing out that the Ouya won't be able to compete with the "big three" console markers on performance, but must rely on carving out a niche in the market.[46]

ExtremeTech found that Ouya "has a number of serious faults". They mentioned the sub-par controller, the connectivity issues, games which worked flawlessly on smartphones but stuttered on the console. Also, they remarked that "there just aren’t enough worthwhile games to play".[47]


Market analyst NPD Group described Ouya sales in its first month as "relatively light",[48] while several outlets noted low sales of games on the service in initial reports from developers.[49][50]

Free the Games Fund

In July 2013, Ouya announced the "Free the Games Fund", a scheme to help fund developers, where Ouya would match any Kickstarter if a minimum target of $50,000 was reached, and provided the game remains Ouya exclusive for six months.[25] Suspicions were raised concerning the first two games to reach the target. Commentators noticed the small number of backers each pledging a high value amount, the large number of those who had never backed a project before, as well as the use of duplicate names and avatars that included those of celebrities.[51] This led some to suggest that the projects were artificially inflating their project's backing in order to receive extra money from Ouya. In addition, one project had a backer whose identity appeared to be taken from that of a missing persons case.[51]

Nevertheless, Ouya rejected any suspicion regarding the backing of the projects, and planned to continue with providing funding.[51][52] In September 2013, funding for one of the games that had been fully funded, Elementary, My Dear Holmes was suspended by Kickstarter.[53] The developers of the other funded game, Gridiron Thunder, threatened litigation against a commenter on the Kickstarter page,[53] and further dismissed concerns that they would have no rights to official NFL branding, a license currently held by Electronic Arts.[54] In the same month, another project caused controversy by openly stating that a relative of one developer had provided substantial additional backing in order to have the project qualify for money from the Free the Games fund.[55] The project was removed by Ouya from the Free the Games fund, resulting in the developers removing the project from Kickstarter.[55]

Many developers criticized the fund's rules. Sophie Houlden removed her game, Rose and Time, from the Ouya marketplace.[56] Matt Gilgenbach, who was trying to finance his game Neverending Nightmares with help from the fund, said, "It would kill me if due to other projects abusing the Free the Games Fund, people lost confidence in our project and what we are trying to do...While I believe in the idea of the Free the Games Fund, I think it definitely could use some reform in light of the potential avenues for abuse." [57] Eventually, Uhrman accepted this criticism. "Developers were telling us over and over, 'You’re being too idealistic, and you’re being too naive'...That was the part that personally took me a while to understand." Ouya changed the fund rules, including adding a dollar-per-backer limit. Houlden put her game back on the store, and Neverending Nightmares qualified for funding under the new rules.[56]

On September 18, 2013, Ouya modified the exclusivity clause of the fund. Developers will still not be able to release their software on mobile devices, video game consoles, and set-top boxes during the six-month exclusivity period, but they will be allowed to release on other personal computer systems, such as Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, during that time.[58]

See also


  1. ^ Bierton, David (2012-08-11). "Tech Analysis: How Powerful is Tegra 3? • Articles •". Retrieved 2013-01-20. 
  2. ^ Kelly, Christina. "EXCLUSIVE OUYA Interview with YOUR Questions!". Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Previous update. "OUYA: A New Kind of Video Game Console by OUYA » It's Open Season! — Kickstarter". Retrieved 2013-01-20. 
  4. ^ "OUYA: A New Kind of Video Game Console" (Embedded FLV). Ouya via Kickstarter. 1′31″. Retrieved 2012-07-30. 
  5. ^ "How OUYA Created a Trending Brand in Less than a Day". Momentum Media Marketing. 2012-07-25. Retrieved 2012-07-29. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Launched: Jul. 10, 2012 (2012-07-10). "OUYA: A New Kind of Video Game Console by OUYA — Kickstarter". Retrieved 2012-07-29. 
  7. ^ "OUYA". fuseproject. Retrieved 2013-04-04. 
  8. ^ "OUYA: A New Kind of Video Game Console by OUYA » Welcome Muffi! — Kickstarter". 2012-07-18. Retrieved 2012-07-29. 
  9. ^ Wawro, Alex. "Why Ouya Is Making A Killing On Kickstarter". Retrieved 12 July 2012. 
  10. ^ Bob Mills (2014-03-19). "It's about CHOICE". Retrieved 22 Nov 2014. 
  11. ^ Nayak, Malathi (2013-06-21). "Ouya's $99 videogame console challenges pricier Xbox, PlayStation". Reuters. Retrieved 22 June 2013. ...the hackable, or customizable, device will go up this Christmas season against the $399 PlayStation 4 and $499 Xbox One. 
  12. ^ Dredge, Stuart (2013-06-21). "Ouya talks Xbox One and PlayStation 4: 'The business model hasn't changed...". London: Retrieved 22 June 2013. The other rivals, of course, are the big gaming guns: Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo's Wii-U. 
  13. ^ "The Mastermind Behind the Ouya Console Is Answering Your Best Questions Right Here". 2012-07-19. Retrieved 2012-07-29. 
  14. ^ Strickler, Yancey. "Ouya’s Big Day". Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  15. ^ "Ouya game console kicks off strong". Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  16. ^ Bowling, Robert. "19 Jul 2012". Robotoki: The Official Blog. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  17. ^ """Square Enix, for the game platform "OUYA" new offer "Final Fantasy III. Square Enix. 31 July 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  18. ^ Julie Uhrman. "OUYA: A New Kind of Video Game Console". Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  19. ^ XBMC and Ouya? Oh yeah! August 7th, 2012 natethomas (2012-08-07). "and Ouya? Oh yeah!". XBMC. Retrieved 2012-11-19. 
  20. ^ "OUYA: A New Kind of Video Game Console by OUYA » 15 hours to go... — Kickstarter". Retrieved 2012-11-19. 
  21. ^ Fingas, Jon (2012-10-31). "OUYA upgrades to Jelly Bean, gives early hardware details to game developers".  
  22. ^ Cifladi, Frank (30 November 2012). "Ouya hits its first milestone: Devkits shipping on time in December".  
  23. ^ Buckley, Sean (2012-12-28). "Ouya developer console gets an official unboxing, flaunts transparent case (video)".  
  24. ^ Sarkar, Samit (2013-02-28). "Ouya ships to backers March 28".  
  25. ^ a b "Fund your OUYA Game Development in 5 Steps (#FreetheGames)". 2013-08-23. Retrieved 2013-08-23. 
  26. ^ "Wayback Machine;Official Ouya Store November 2013". Ouya, Inc. Retrieved 2014-07-04. 
  27. ^ Clark, Robert (January 31, 2014). "New Black Version of OUYA Out Now with Double Storage and New Controller Design". AndroidShock. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
  28. ^ Kellee Santiago (2014-11-24). "1000 Games and Counting". OUYA. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  29. ^ "Ouya 2.0 releasing sometime in 2014, improved controller in the works". VG247. 2013-10-25. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  30. ^ a b c d "Ouya Teardown". 
  31. ^ "4Gb B-die DDR3 SDRAM". Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  32. ^ "Setup Instructions for the OUYA ODK". Ouya. Retrieved 8 June 2013. The OUYA console supports 720p or 1080p output only. 
  33. ^ "ouya system hotfix for abominable snowman". Ouya. Retrieved 17 December 2013. we are looking into XBMC Audio Passthrough 
  34. ^ "Kingston eMMC Datasheet (KE4CN3K6A)". Kingston Technology Corporation. Archived from the original on 8 May 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  35. ^ "SMSC - LAN9500, LAN9500A - Hi-Speed USB 2.0 to 10/100 Ethernet Controllers". SMSC. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  36. ^ Scott, Ned. "libstagefright - Experimental hardware video decoding builds". XBMC. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  37. ^ "The final OUYA retail console is ready, we go hands-on". 
  38. ^ "OUYA works with Xbox 360 and PS3 controllers wirelessly". 
  39. ^ "Matt Thorson's TowerFall hits OUYA at launch, works with Xbox 360 controllers". 
  40. ^ Segan, Sascha (2012-07-12). "Why Kickstarter's Ouya Looks Like a Scam". Retrieved 2013-03-28. 
  41. ^ Trackback URI (2012-07-19). "Ouya: Innovative Idea or Sleazy Scam?". Retrieved 2013-03-28. 
  42. ^ Stevens, Tim. "OUYA review (founding backer edition)". Retrieved 2013-04-04. 
  43. ^ David Pierce (2013-02-12). "Ouya review: can an indie console take on Sony and Microsoft?". The Verge. Retrieved 2013-04-04. 
  44. ^ Parrish, Kevin (2013-07-02). "OUYA Launches to Lukewarm Early Reviews". Tom's Hardware. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  45. ^ O'Brien, Terrence. "Hands-on with the Ouya destined for store shelves". Engadget. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  46. ^ Fleming, Ryan. "Ouya Review". Digital Trends. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  47. ^ "Ouya to fund exclusive games in attempt to right console’s worst wrong". ' 
  48. ^ Mallory, Jordan (2013-07-18). """Ouya US sales "relatively light for a new console. Joystiq. Retrieved 2013-07-22. 
  49. ^ "The Bleak Software Sales Numbers of Ouya Games". 2013-07-22. Retrieved 2013-07-22. 
  50. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (2013-07-22). "Ouya devs reveal sales figures". Retrieved 2013-07-22. 
  51. ^ a b c Parfitt, Ben (2013-08-29). "UPDATED: Suspicions surround Kickstarted Ouya exclusive Gridiron Thunder". Retrieved 2013-08-29. 
  52. ^ Bowman, Mitch (2013-08-29). "Ouya’s "Free the Games" Promotion Incites Dubious Kickstarter Behavior". Gameranx. Retrieved 2013-08-29. 
  53. ^ a b "Controversial Kickstarter Gridiron Thunder Closes Fully Funded (Updated)". 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2013-09-11. 
  54. ^ """Accused Kickstarter Scammers: "We Are Not Scamming Anybody. 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2013-09-11. 
  55. ^ a b Alan, Dabe (2013-09-18). "OUYA shuts down yet another Kickstarter debacle". Penny Arcade. Retrieved 2013-09-19. 
  56. ^ a b Hockenson, Lauren (2013-10-21). "Ouya CEO Uhrman: We were "too naive" about its Free The Games fund trouble". Gigaom. Retrieved 2014-06-03. 
  57. ^ Suszek, Mike (2013-09-13). Neverending Nightmares' and the dream of Ouya's Free the Games Fund"'". Joystiq. Retrieved 2014-06-03. 
  58. ^ "OUYA "FREE THE GAMES FUND" OFFICIAL RULES, VERSION 2". 2013-09-18. Retrieved 2013-09-19. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Official forums
  • SXSW Interactive 2013 - Julie Uhrman & Josh Topolsky Keynote
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