Although plenty of successful inroads and developments have been made over the years in the modding and jailbreaking of the popular games consoles (most notably Geohot and his famous PS3 jailbreak), they can often take a while to arise due to the tight-belted nature of the console vendors, most of whom tend not to be accommodating.
A reprieve for the open source enthusiasts might well be on the way, and although a $99 Android-based games console may sound as though it’ll simply be a passing fad, the talented folk involved in the development of the device, known as "Ouya," is more than enough to force us to take notice.
As per an AngelList posting via The Verge, Ouya has quite a few big names overseeing the development of the console, namely Yves Behar, the guy behind the One Laptop Per Child push as well as products like Jawbone Jambox. The super-cheap console connects to a TV, and is billed as being "built to be hacked", and every retail box features a dev-kit for those wishing to create games, which will be as free as oxygen.
The idea, it would seem, is to create something of a free market, allowing designers and developers to spread their wings and build creative apps. Any dev will be able to publish games in the nonrestrictive environment, and although Ouya won’t be like an open-source PlayStation, by any stretch of the imagination, it’s certainly an exciting, minimal risk potential purchase for those with an incessant need to tinker.
As well as Behar, the project is also taking advice from Ed Fries, a former Xbox executive who certainly knows what it takes to sell a console. Add to that Amol Sarva of Peek, Peter Pham from Color, all led by Julie Uhrman of IGN, and you have yourself a promising array of talent which could certainly help this start-up really take off.
At $99, it will entice even those on modest budgets, and let’s face it, the amount of fun one could have with a dirt-cheap hacking machine makes the price seem more than worth it. The full details have yet to emerge, but we promise we’ll notify you guys when we learn more with regards to games, availability, and other vital tidbits.