Now this is the type of news that you don’t hear every day, and it’s also the type of project that is very risky. Julie Uhrman founded the company OUYA about 7 months ago, and they’ve been working on a new video game console that’s aiming to hold it’s own among giants such as Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.

The project, launched on Kickstarter just today, has already reached almost $215 thousand in donations (as of this writing), and the end goal is $950 thousand. That’s almost a million dollars to help get this ambitious project off the ground. The selling point of the console for software and game developers is that it’s as completely open as possible, they even give you the right to hack the device, both in hardware and software, and are willing to provide hardware schematics for anybody that asks.

Not only that, but they provide support to allow anybody to develop games and launch them digitally on their system, much like the App Store on iOS. Filtering out the bad games from the ones which are good is going to prove a challenge for the company to be sure.

The system runs on the Android 4.0 OS, which means that it is going to be capable of supporting a lot of games. The rest of the machine’s specs are listed below:

  • Tegra3 quad-core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB of internal flash storage
  • HDMI connection to the TV, with support for up to 1080p HD
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth LE 4.0
  • USB 2.0 (one)
  • Wireless controller with standard controls (two analog sticks, D-pad, eight action buttons, a system button), and a touchpad

And how much will it cost to pay for this simple setup? The answer is $99. It’s going to be more affordable than all of the other home consoles which it would be competing with, which is another selling point for both developers and consumers. Another feature that OUYA has been working very carefully to perfect is the actual controller itself, working to ensure that the geometry, feel, and functionality is all as optimal as humanly possible.

If this project makes a successful launch, then it will likely be a ray of hope for the many independent developers that make games which are more optimally experienced with a controller, and also for games that couldn’t quite make it in the XBLIG (Xbox Live Indie Games) store. You can find out more about the project and the console itself on the Kickstarter page here.

Source: Kickstarter via Gamasutra