Part of the fun the Ouya console will be the homebrew mods.
The Ouya console – backed 63,416 to the tune of nearly 8.5 million dollars – will allow you to play Android based games on your HDTV. The Ouya team is betting the open-source programming of Android will empower the gaming community to unlock the power of HD gaming from the current console manufacturer’s shackles. But on top of that, creative types will be able to use the processing power of the Ouya to play a huge library of older games using emulation software – like one guy who uses the YouTube handle blackoutworm to get Mario 64 running on the Ouya devkit he received last week.
According to the Ouya Kickstarter page, the devkits were shipped out on December 28, 2012. Blackoutworm said the kits come with some tools, but he had to do some jiggery-pokery to get the Mario game from 1996 to work. Even then, there were some issues with the gameplay itself.
“As you can see at the beginning, the operating system (Android) can be a bit lagy and jerky from time to time,” said blacoutworm. He also was a bit cautious in endorsing the Ouya for the regular consumer. “This is an okay console. Great for emulators and perfect as a Smart TV. But if you are a gamer, this is not a console for you unless you love to customize and upgrade things. If that’s your thing, then this is the perfect toy for you.”
I’m also a bit curious as to the legality of running emulators to play games without paying for them. That’s piracy, as far as I can tell, especially since blackoutworm also posted videos of the Ouya playing the latest Need for Speed. Blackoutworm and those like him may not get to tinker as much as they would like without nice gentlemen with nightsticks knocking on their door. It may be cool tech to get it to work but I doubt EA would look kindly upon their big releases being played for free on an Android console. Be warned.
The retail version of the Ouya will be sent out this March to its Kickstarter backers with a possible sale to other outlets after that.