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Cracking open the last closed platform: the TV. A beautiful, affordable console -- built on Android, by the creator of Jambox.
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OUYA

63,416 backers pledged $8,596,474 to help bring this project to life.

Dev Consoles are shipping on time!

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Hey OUYAs,

Feast your eyes on this...

Our office OUYA – the latest prototype we’ve been putting through the paces every day (and most nights) as we jam toward shipping you our product.

Take a moment to reflect, and then keep reading. We have a lot to fill you in on.

HARDWARE

To the hundreds of developers who backed us through Kickstarter to get their hands on our advance dev consoles: Mark your calendars! On December 28, they leave the factory and should arrive within a couple of days (we’ve heard that Turkey and Russia might take a bit longer). Yes, we are shipping these to you on time, as promised.

The dev consoles are an early version of the OUYA console and controller designed for developers to test their games on OUYA. Our Kickstarter developers are the first to get a crack at ‘em! We’re psyched to have you on board, and we can’t wait to see what pours from your brain!

Of course, when the final consoles ship, EVERY OUYA will be a dev console. We told you that already. What we didn’t tell you was that the advance dev consoles you ordered are pretty special – you’ll know what I mean when you open yours. They’re rare drops. :P

The dev consoles aren’t cheap for us to make. And we heard from many of you during the Kickstarter campaign that you simply couldn’t afford one. We wish we could just give them away, and we decided for a few of you – we’d do just that! But you have to work for ‘em...check out our Dev Console Giveaway for more details.

SOFTWARE

Our eyes have been glued to our computer screens building out the OUYA Development Kit (ODK) – tools that do everything from making sure the controller can talk to the game to ensuring that game developers will have the proper tools to get paid.

This early version of the ODK is being tested now. When the dev consoles ship to gamemakers, all developers—even those who may not have their hands on a dev console—will be able to access a web portal where they can download the ODK, get help on our forums, and eventually upload games to OUYA.

While jamming on the ODK, we’ve also had a team focused on the user interface. This involves optimizing Android Jelly Bean to play games on a big screen and spending time understanding the best ways gamers can search for and discover new games. It’s still in development, but it looks great, and the advance dev consoles include a sneak peek...

MEET JULESKANE

That’s me – or how you’ll know me on OUYA anyway!

“That’s great for Julie, but what about my username?”

You’ll have your answer soon enough! By December 25, we’ll email each of you a link to activate your account. For those of you who responded to our survey about preferred usernames, you’ll be able to confirm your choice. For the handful of popular names that had conflicts, we broke the tie(s) by honoring whomever backed OUYA first on Kickstarter. And, if any of you didn’t respond—or didn’t get your preferred username—you can choose a name when December 25 rolls around. Happy Holidays! :)

As we get closer to launch, we’ll be in touch about things like double-checking your shipping address in case you’ve been on the move. But for now, at least one of you can rest easy knowing that you are the only “TurboPianoCat” on OUYA – beating out at least a dozen wannabe TPCs!

Until then!

JulesKane

P.S. Many of you have continued to support us by nominating OUYA for Crunchies Awards in the categories of “Best New Startup” and “Best Hardware Startup” – thank you! If any of the rest of you would like to join in on the action, you can nominate OUYA right now!

The big hardware update (and more)

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It's that time again to update you on our progress. We’ve been focused on two things -- making OUYA, and talking with great game developers who are excited about OUYA.

GAMES, GAMES, GAMES:

I've done a lot of globetrotting lately to talk to developers. Since our last update, I bounced from IndieCade in Southern California, to GDC Online in Austin, Texas, then over to London (via video chat) for DroidconUK!

I’ve met a ton of talented developers who are just as excited about OUYA as you and I. In fact, some of you have recognized me (and, at times, my twin sister) on the street!

LET’S TALK HARDWARE:

We’re still going full-steam ahead. We’ve been refining OUYA’s hardware design (cosmetics, mechanicals, electricals, thermals etc.). We’ve spent most of this time in the design phase, as getting it right up front saves us a lot of redesign and iteration later. We’ve had some of the best engineers and designers take a look at every design element and fine tune it. Our CAD models and SLAs (plastic prototypes that provide us with a physical look and feel of the product) are finished, and we moved out of the design phase and into development a couple of weeks ago.

Last week was a huge milestone for us -- we received our first development run of PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards) for the console. This is the heart (and we believe the soul) of the OUYA experience. It’s pretty amazing how our engineers have packed in Quad-Core awesomeness into such an unbelievably small package (any guesses on how small the PCB actually is?). All the hard work in refining the design has paid off in spades -- the first boards came to life without any hitches, and we’re now fine tuning software and hardware performance for graphics, wireless, and user experience! W00t.

We are now in what’s referred to in the industry as the EVT (Engineering Verification Testing) phase.

Have a look at our PCB:

 

During the EVT phase, we’ll be testing both the console and the controller with our OUYA software. We'll continue to verify our design and push the performance limits of our software. We’ll go through a couple more EVT build phases, as we weed out issues and refine the design for optimal performance and large-scale manufacturing, before we start cranking out OUYAs.

So, awesome news: we’re set to complete this EVT phase on time, and we’re in sync with our December target for developer kits. Since these dev kits are still in pre-production phase, we’ll build a limited quantity. Each one will be a collector’s item -- unique in design, build and appearance. (So, they’ll look different from the consumer-ready units.)

SO LONG, ICE CREAM SANDWICH:

I’m happy to announce OUYA will run on Android Jelly Bean, the newest version of the Android operating system. We’re making the jump from the old version, Ice Cream Sandwich, to ensure that we’re running on the most up-to-date software available. You asked if it could be done, we looked into it, and we made it happen.

SPEAKING OF DEVELOPER KITS:

If you’re a game developer and you want to start making games for OUYA, our OUYA Software Developer Kit (ODK) is coming soon, but in the meantime, there’s a lot you can do to get started. We've posted some information for developers that should help you prepare for the launch of your new game or app on OUYA.

If you missed the Kickstarter drive, but you’re still interested in an early version of the console that you can use as a Dev Kit, you’re in luck. We’re making a few extra. Please visit www.ouya.tv in the near future and order one (we'll let you know when it's available). Of course, they won’t carry the same rewards as the Kickstarter Dev Kits, but you will receive a console, two controllers and early access to test your game on OUYA! These units will start shipping in the new year. Note that these kits will not include the final console user interface or any games, they’re purely for game developers who want to test their games on real OUYA hardware.

USERNAMES ON THE HORIZON:

WOW, over 60,700 of you provided us your username by October 12th (the Kickstarter survey deadline). Thank you! Within the next few weeks, we’ll start sending out links so you can login to the upcoming OUYA user portal, review your username, verify your account info, change your shipping info and more.

If you had a username issue (like you didn’t read the rules or you picked the same username as someone else who backed earlier than you), or you didn’t reserve your username within the two-week reservation window, don’t worry. You’ll still get early access to reserve your username before the general OUYA populace. :)

INTERESTING FACT:

While we’re on the subject of users and backers, I thought it would be cool to give a shout out to our very first Kickstarter backer.

Robert Gaal -- are you in the house!? I just learned that you, and not anyone from my team, friends, or family, were our FIRST BACKER. Rock on! Thanks, Robert. :)

As always, if you have any questions, comments or props (props are always good), please reach out to us at support@ouya.tv, or through Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, G+ or the Kickstarter comments board.

Until next time, take care, keep calm and OUYA on,

Julie

P.S. Happy Halloween. And if you want to dress up as a Ruby on Rails developer this year, and you want a job at OUYA -- we’re still hiring. Hit us up at jobs@ouya.tv.

The train keeps on rolling

Hi OUYAs,

Our campaign ended a month ago, and we’ve been heads-down cranking on OUYA.

I’m writing to give you the full update. In fact, I will continue to send updates every few weeks until we launch. First up: you guessed it...

GAMES

We’re happy to say that our inbox is packed full of emails from talented developers looking to bring their games to life on OUYA. This is great news since pre-orders continue to roll into OUYA.tv. Great games, big audience, a perfect marriage.

Some of you have full-fledged games completed, others are in the process, and some of you are just starting to dream. We’re going through each and every one of your emails, playing your games, watching your videos, and reading your stories. We're working on our developer support plans and will share more details in the coming months.

Remember, developers, we’re on track to deliver our SDK to you this December. That gives you about 90 days to get your work ready to test out on OUYA before launch. Get crackin!

If you haven’t shared your game with us yet, remember to reach out to devs@ouya.tv.

NI HAO

Muffi and I just got back from Taiwan and Hong Kong. We met with manufacturers and suppliers -- all eager to bring OUYA to the world. We’ve decided on our design-manufacturing team, and we couldn’t be happier. We’re now finalizing our circuit-board layout, overall design, and what’s referred to as the “CMF” - colors, materials and finish.

Here are just some of the small, but important, questions we’re answering: 

  • “Where will the circuit board rest within the console itself?”
  • “What’s the thermal impact within our little box?” (How do we keep it from getting too hot.)
  • “Where do we position the WiFi antenna for best performance?”
  • “Just how will the box open from the top, and what’s the first reaction we want our backers to have when they open it?”

Finally, we are beginning to test each controller button, grip, and stick with not only our manufacturing partners but some of our developer friends (thank you Adam and Zach!). Again, YOUR input into this process has been highly appreciated:

  • You inspired the O-U-Y-A button scheme
  • You helped us nail down a precision D-Pad
  • You cemented the importance of four triggers

USER INTERFACE

With input from Yves and fuseproject, and our skilled team of developers, we’re making game discovery—as well as the overall OUYA experience—something simple, new and beautiful. We should have more to show you soon...sorry for the tease but we want it to be great.

TEAM

As you can probably guess, we’ve been beefing up our software development team. They’re working hard to build our Developer SDK, APIs, and on-console UI. By the way, if you rock Ruby on Rails or know Android like the back of your hand, don’t just sit there! Email us at jobs@ouya.tv and help us build OUYA. 

TIMING

We’re set to meet our Kickstarter demand and then some -- which is phenomenal, because orders keep pouring in through our OUYA.tv pre-order page.

NEXT UP

1. We’re manufacturing our first factory-made prototype to test our design assumptions.

2. Kickstarters, expect a survey toward the end of this month. Among other things, we can’t wait to see what usernames you choose. You’ll have up to 16 characters to play with. Names are first-come-first served by backer number. Remember, there are over 63,000 backers who will reserve a username, so “Turbopianocat” will likely be easier to snag than, say, “Bob.”

STAY IN TOUCH

As always, we want to know what you’re thinking. We continue to monitor the comment thread on Kickstarter, interact with you on Reddit, Facebook and Twitter, and of course, we’re reading each and every one of your emails.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any of the emails below.

Thanks!

Julie & the entire OUYA team


Developer Questions – devs@ouya.tv
General Information – info@ouya.tv
Partnerships/Support– support@ouya.tv

15 hours to go...

We’ve made it! We’re counting down our final hours on Kickstarter, and at 10 p.m. PT tonight, we’ll be celebrating. But until then, it’s business as usual. We’ve got jobs to do, people! And the first order of business is updating you on some new developments.

---

GAME NEWS

Lots of you have asked for more details on the games that OUYA will support at launch. After all, we are a game console, it makes sense that we’d be talking games!

We’ve purposely been pretty tight lipped about our launch slate, but throughout our Kickstarter run, we’ve been having some exciting conversations behind the scenes. We’d love to fill you in on everything, but it’s just not possible. (And we’d have some legal teams coming after us!) That said, we’ve got great news from NAMCO BANDAI to share:

"NAMCO BANDAI Games and OUYA are currently in active discussions to bring some of the world's biggest gaming properties to the exciting new open gaming platform. NAMCO BANDAI brings with it a rich history of iconic gaming franchises, from classics like PAC-MAN and GALAGA, to seminal franchises like TEKKEN and Ridge Racer, and we're excited to explore how we can work with OUYA to bring some great titles to the forthcoming console."
-- Carlson Choi, Vice President of Marketing, NAMCO BANDAI Games America, Inc.

I know what I want from Namco Bandai on OUYA but we want to hear from you. Head to the Namco/OUYA Facebook page, and cast your vote for any games you’d like to see.

---

FOUR CONTROLLER SUPPORT

In response to a lot of the feedback we’ve received: OUYA will officially support up to four controllers. After all, what’s the point of playing in the living room if the other folks on the couch can’t join in?

IMPORTANT: If you want your four controllers to arrive in March when your console ships--and this is particularly important for those of you ordering the limited edition--please make sure to update your pledge today so that everything arrives at the same time. (For example: Those who pledged $99 for a console with one controller, can add on another $90 to receive an additional three controllers in March, rounding out the set of four. And--because we know you’ll ask--if you’ve got your heart set on the limited edition version, we’ll make sure that the controllers are matched.) 

---

PLEX

In addition to this gaming news, we at OUYA want to acknowledge that there are two sides to every coin. You’re either a morning person or a night person. (But not both.) Celtics fan or Lakers fan. (Maybe neither.) Horde or Alliance. Superman or Batman. Sith or Jedi. (You see where this is going.)

So, while tons of you were super psyched yesterday to hear that we’d support XBMC, many Plex loyalists clamored for Plex support on OUYA. We think they’ll be happy to hear that OUYA will support Plex. Why not try to please everyone? 

--

WRAP UP

Lastly, we have some final statements as we close the curtains on our last Kickstarter update.

We’re in the final stretch. Yesterday was a big day. In fact, we sold out of the $225 reward level entirely. There will be 2,500 people (Only. Ever.) with their own names carved into these puppies. Pretty cool. The personalized name etching might as well read: Big Spender. Because that’s what we’ll be thinking when we see it in your living room!

It’s worth noting that we’ve also sold out of the Developers Special reward ($699). That means 600 developers can look forward to receiving a first-run OUYA (already rooted) in December. With that comes EARLY SDK ACCESS, an extra controller, and we'll help you get started. On top of that, gamers will know you because your games will be marked with a FOUNDER EMBLEM and we’ll be helping you on the promotional side for a year.

When Kickstarter ends tonight at 10 p.m. PT, the OUYA team will be celebrating together. It’s been a lot of work, and a wild 29-day ride, but we are so grateful for the support. Our first toast will be dedicated to you, the backers who made OUYA possible.

After that, it’s back to work. We’ve got aggressive goals and we’re going to deliver. We’ll continue to push for the best content and coolest features we can bring to our little magic box. We’ll keep you apprised of the controller as it takes shape. We’ll continue to interact with you via Facebook, reddit, Twitter, Google+ and of course, our soon-to-come homepage at www.ouya.tv. And we’ll continue to listen to your requests, and answer your questions.

We cannot emphasize enough how much your actions and attitudes have influenced us. You’ve taken our dreams and made them your own, and together we will make them real.

With that, I tip my hat to you, our backers/founders/friends.

Thank you.

--Julie

Cue the global countdown: less than 40 hours to go, we've got global news to share

With fewer than 40 hours remaining in our Kickstarter campaign, it’s still business as usual at OUYA headquarters. We continue to jam on the task at hand, but we’ve got four quick announcements to share with you in this update.

First: We’ve been hearing requests from all over the Internet for a media player. Well we’re proud to announce that we will be working with XBMC.

That’s right. The award-winning, open source media player and entertainment hub is coming to OUYA. We’ve heard many of you buzzing about a potential OUYA-XBMC hook-up since Day One of launch. (Something of a match made in open source heaven!) Now, with a few hours left in our drive, we’re delivering.

Believe it, friends: XBMC, on OUYA, on your TV, legit.

Here it is, straight from the XBMC team:

Maybe it was inevitable. Maybe it was because of the hundreds, if not thousands, of demands on Twitter, in blogs, on Facebook, in Reddit, and in Kickstarter comments. Maybe it's because many of Team OUYA support XBMC, and nearly a third of Team XBMC members are OUYA backers.

Regardless, we are delighted to announce that XBMC will be working with OUYA to ensure that XBMC works well on the OUYA platform. OUYA's Android underpinnings and XBMC's work on Android (soon to be merged into master, pending final sign-offs!) will dramatically speed up that effort, as will early XBMC dev access to OUYA prototypes.

The conversation between our two teams is young, but talk is ongoing and positive. We look forward to providing more exciting news on this front as it develops.

- Nathan Betzen, XBMC Community Manager

And to our friends outside the US: we hear you. XBMC runs in over 40 different languages.

But that’s not all.

We’re boosting our radio reception around the world. We’ve partnered with TuneIn, a free service that lets people listen to the world's music, sports and news from wherever they are. With over 70,000 stations and two million on-demand programs, TuneIn offers unmatched variety for listeners across 230 countries and territories.

Enough of the tell and tell, we’ve also got some show and tell: That’s right! New renders for you. Eager to answer your questions about the size of OUYA, the team at fuseproject created some images to demonstrate the scale of the console and controller. Scroll down to check them out.

And, I guess I will end this update on a housekeeping note. Throughout our run on Kickstarter, our campaign page has served as the official OUYA information resource. After the campaign closes, we will unveil a new OUYA site at www.ouya.tv that will serve as OUYA central moving forward.

So with that, I’d like to thank you all once more for believing in this project and supporting it from the beginning. Again, we only have a handful of hours remaining, so please tell your friends about what we’re trying to do here. It’s your support that makes OUYA possible.

-Julie

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