Christmas is coming twice this year for those who signed up for a developers' console in Ouya's Kickstarter campaign.
Let the gamers, Android fans and open-source geeks rejoice; the Ouya is shipping on time!
Well, the developers' consoles are, that is. Ouya first garnered attention by raising more than US$8.5 million on Kickstarter this year to create an inexpensive, open-source, Android-based game system.
Early supporters of the crowd-funding campaign got first dibs on a finished Ouya for as little as US$95, but those aren't scheduled to ship until March. However, the hundreds of folks who ponied up US$699 or more for a first-run, rooted developers' system with early SDK access get to experience Christmas twice in the same week when their consoles ship on 28 December.
If the creators of the Ouya do fulfil their original commitment to ship the dev kits in December, they'll deserve kudos. Plenty of other Kickstarter-funded projects have run into snags meeting original timelines and commitments — the Pebble watch is now months late on its original ship date, and is still working out production issues, for example.
Ouya points out that all consoles will actually be dev kits, but the late-December batch is a special group that costs more to produce and gives big early backers a first crack at working with the platform. The only catch for developers is that at least some part of the gameplay has to be available for free, be it a demo or the whole shebang.
Ouya is also working on its own ODK (Ouya development kit) that game designers will be able to access. At the same time, Ouya said it's been busy optimising Android Jelly Bean for gameplay on a large screen.
If Ouya takes off, 2013 could be a year in which a certain segment of the population gets even less exposure to the sun than in the past.
If you missed out on the first Ouya rush, there's still a chance to get in on the ground-floor n00b level. Ouya is giving away 10 developers' consoles next month.