As many of you know, the scientists here at OUYA have been working around the clock tweaking knobs, patching cables and calibrating tubes in a concerted effort to get you, the OUYA developer community, the tools and knowledge needed to make great games for the OUYA platform.

Though there’s still plenty of work to be done before the December first release of our SDK and dev portal, we wanted to cover, at the very least, a general overview of the system’s capabilities and, at most, a general overview of the system’s capabilities (yes, you read that right).

“Now, why would OUYA do such a thing?” you ask? Because you’re smart. That’s why… And smart people don’t need no stinkin’ SDKs to develop amazing games. All you need is a shot bottle of whiskey and the below information, which was compiled by our ridiculously talented development team (I just work here).

Though the OUYA SDK will include further documentation to help you really understand how this will all work, this post will cover some general technical considerations for you to keep in mind as you start making OUYA games.

As you now know, the OUYA console is based on Android Jelly Bean and though developing games for OUYA is very similar to developing standard Android games, here are some special elements of OUYA you should know:

(First off, although we’re not going to get into the habit of creating cutesy names for all of our tools, from now on we will “officially” be referring to the OUYA SDK simply as the OUYA Development Kit or “ODK”).


  • Controller and system buttons. OUYA’s controller will be similar to a standard gamepad in the number and configuration of action buttons. Games should use the controller buttons for all input. We will supply key mappings with the ODK documentation.
  • Touchpad. OUYA’s controller also has a touchpad (but no touchscreen). The touchpad will only support single touch.
  • System buttons. There are no back, menu, or volume buttons on OUYA, so don’t plan to use them. There will be a single system button on the controller that will bring up an OUYA-standard pause menu, and allow you to send a gamer to your own settings menu.
  • Soft Keyboard. OUYA will include a soft keyboard for text input — just remember that gamers will be using a controller, so input will be slower than on a touchscreen.


  • Screen resolution and format. The OUYA firmware will return display density, and you’ll want to test against 720p, 1080i, and 1080p, for widescreen aspect ratios.
  • Full screen. OUYA games can use the full screen — there is no carrier bar or navigation bar.


  • All games are free to download. Just a reminder that, on OUYA, there is no such thing as a “paid app” so all games are free to download. This could mean your game has a free demo or level before a paid experience begins, or that it is a “free-to-play” game with in-app premium items, content, or other purchases.
  • In-App Purchasing API. In-app purchases can either be “entitlements” that are purchased once (e.g., “unlock the full game” or purchase a flaming sword) or “consumables” which can be purchased repeatedly (e.g., coins or tokens). The ODK will have payment APIs to sell in-app items.

Settings and Software:

  • Game settings. After a gamer presses the OUYA system button, the game will pause and bring up an OUYA-standard menu that gives a gamer an option to exit the game or enter game settings. You, the developer, will have an API to insert your own custom game settings.
  • Permissions. Instead of the standard Android behavior where each app has its own custom permissions, we will define a default set of application permissions that will apply to all games.
  • System resources. OUYA is designed to run one game at a time. Game developers can tune performance with the confidence that there will be no other games running in the background using up valuable system resources (though we will have some light services running to support basic system monitoring, in-app payments, etc.)
  • No notifications. OUYA games will have no push notifications (at least not yet).

Store Listing, Metadata, Game Art:

When we release the Alpha ODK to the OUYA developer portal in December, we will also provide the specifics as to icon sizes, listing requirements and OUYA store policies. We designed our interfaces with you and your common assets in mind so you will be spared the busy work of cropping your app icons by 3 pixels.

Last, a note on hardware:

OUYA’s board is powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor. So, if you’re on a kamikaze mission to ship the first ever game for OUYA and can’t wait to receive your dev unit to begin testing your game’s (or games’) performance, just pick up any Tegra 3 Android tablet… That’ll give you an accurate representation as to how your game will perform on an OUYA.

So that’s about it.

While you’ll have to wait until December for our Alpha ODK, there’s a lot you can do today to get started developing your games. And hey, you Kickstarter backers who pledged at the developer reward tier: you’ll also be getting your dev units in December. For those of you who didn’t — but would still like to get your hands on one — they’re for sale here **sold out.

As always, we want to hear from you. So please let us know if you have any questions at

Now get out there and make some OUYA!

-Raffi B.


  • Ian Hawley

    Hi There

    I’m a (very) small indie developer with a great game that’ll be coming to iOS shortly (probably just after Christmas) via Unity 3D and Ouya is likely next on our list. Will you be providing any Unity Store extensions to provide easy access to useful things like your IAP, any Lobby system and possibly controller (although the latter may already be solved many times over)?

    Ian Hawley

    See Darkwurm progress on our Facebook page:

    • Raf

      Hi Ian,

      We are, indeed, working on a Unity extension for OUYA. In fact, we’ve got a developer focusing exclusively on it. The team at Unity has also been a great help, so we hope to get the tools into your hands soon after our ODK is delivered.


      • Ian Hawley

        Sorry for the later reply, This is excellent news! Is this already on the asset store or is it due to hit soon? Will it include controller support or will whatever native controller there is (haven’t yet used any controller based system with unity) support work for OUYA?

        Ian H

  • Paul

    Is multi-touch something that is being considered in the future? Also a game pad with an lcd display?

    • Raf

      We, too, would like to eventually see multi-touch controllers, but for our inaugural run only single-touch is supported (basically, it’ll behave like a mouse). As for producing a game pad with an LCD display… That’s a great idea – but something we’ll need to put on ice for a later date (same goes for our plans of putting an OUYA QA center on the moon. Oops. Gave away too much already).

  • Sam

    What’s the details with game settings being accessed through a system pause menu? Sounds implausible for real-time online games.

    As in, can the developer choose whether the game pauses upon entering the system menu (ala Xbox 360)? The documentation makes it sound like the OS will pause the game no matter what.

  • Tim Elzinga

    Is there any plan to release an official pack of high resolution button and controller images for use in development?

    • Raf

      Thanks for the suggestion, Tim… Yes, we are definitely planning to provide these as it’s clear that many of our developers would like to use them inside the games.

  • Leetbaka – DxDark

    “OUYA games will have no push notifications (at least not yet).”

    What does this mean?

    • Raf

      It means that we will not be developing or offering the services that are required to support push notifications for v1. We have lots of great ideas on how we’d like to support this in the future (in ways that are best suited for OUYA’s gamers and developers), but would rather offer something unique, valuable and well-testd for “v2″ before rushing to get it into v1.

    • Dreamzle

      A notification is basically where a message from your game is displayed while the game is not running. Messages like “Your garden needs watering, come back and play” or “There’s a sale on turnip seeds today!” or “Sephiroth69 challenges you to a duel!”

      A Push Notification, specifically, is where you push the message out over the internet to people running your game.

  • boondaburrah

    Which Tegra 3? – there are 3 different models… (T30L, T30, and T33)

    Also, how will the controller button functions be lain out? (basically, which button will be confirm/cancel in the system menu? Can this be configured by the user?)

    • boondaburrah

      I’m sorry, it appears wikipedia lists the OUYA under T33. My second question still stands though.

  • James Davis


    I’m reading worrying things about the Tegra 3 processor. Is it really that expensive to upgrade to a newer tech, something like an AMD Fusion Trinity? Bearing in mind that no games will use the quad core, can we drop two cores for higher clock, and better gfx on a smaller die?



    • Vik

      No games will use quad cores – really?

      Have you seen these:

    • Life

      You have no idea of what you are talking about, so shut up.

    • Alastair Graham

      Speak for yourself, anything CPU heavy with lots of AI/physics going, is easy to split up over the cores. The Tegras are beasts anyway, we’ve just never really seen any apps targeted at them. Besides, swapping from low power Android/ARM to desktop Android/x86 clearly isn’t an option…

  • William

    Will the OUYA have it’s own specific graphical API, or is it using OpenGL ES 2 like all other Tegra 3 devices. I know that this is built similarly to other android devices, but the OUYA is being promoted as having benefits from the mobile development space and the console space. Console specific graphical API’s are a strength often found in modern consoles.

    • raffi

      Hi William – you’re correct. For now, OUYA will be using OpenGL ES2 like all other Tegra 3 devices.

  • Matt Wiseman

    “And smart people don’t need no stinkin’ SDKs to develop amazing games” Thanks for calling all of us who paid extra for SDK access stupid.

    Any word on what those permissions there are?
    Any word on open-ness for new/additional HW (WebCam/Kinnect knock offs, etc)?
    What’s the Ouya cut for in-game purchases? Do we pay google a share and then you, do we just give a cut to you, or do we keep what we make?

    • rickosh

      Knockoff? Heck, I’m sure someone will come out with software that supports the Kinect. The OUYA does have a USB port.

  • AndyL

    Can we get a diagram of the final controller layout at some point?


  • Josh Slack

    What kind of API (if any) will be in place for user accounts? For example, can we expect to be able to make use of Ouya user accounts on our game servers to uniquely identify players?

  • Samseong lee

    No you are wrong I want SDK and development API documentation and its already so late in the development and you got no preliminary docs to share is just a sign this project is ran by amateurs.

    Sign….. :( hopefully will not lose my pledge money.

    • raffi

      Hi Samseong – Sorry you feel that way. This post isn’t intended to provide detailed documentation, rather just to give our developers some insight as to where we are with ODK development. As promised in our Kickstarter, the preliminary docs will be made available at part of our Developer Special (Estimated Delivery: December 2012). Hope that helps!

  • Jonathan

    What do i need to do as a backer to get a december ODK?

    • raffi

      Hey Jonathan – did you pledge at the Developer Special tier? If so, your Dec Developer Special will be coming in December 2012. If not, check back at in the coming weeks as we’ll be offering a limited number of dev kits via our website for those who missed the opportunity the first time around.

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  • Mike

    Hey, I heard that the Ouya will support html5 with canvas as any android device should, but will it support webGL? Also will I be able to test the Ouya api on an android tablet?

  • Robert

    Will the ODK have an ANE for access to the OUYA specific features for Adobe Air people? This would be awesome.


  • Choong Hong Cheng

    Just to let you guys know that I am working on getting Kinect on OUYA. Will be trying some POC on my Asus Transformer TF101 first and I hope the OUYA SDK will allow me to port it easily ?

  • Lune

    Hello, i have the question if ouya controller will have an accelerometer/giroscope device integrated on it? and how unity games (as it is now) works on OUYA?


    • raffi

      Hi Lune – our controller will not have an integrated accelerometer or gyroscope. We are, however, developing a Unity plugin for OUYA.

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  • Alastair

    Is the Ouya SDK built on top of the Android NDK or the Java SDK? Will development be possible with things like Marmalade?


  • Ian

    I want an arcade stick support, because do to the nature of this console emulators like M.A.M.E will be viable and since there are a lot of fighting games on it, arcade stick support should be included in some way :)

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  • Yoni

    You should release the protocol of the controller. It will provide so many benefits as people could create apps to control the console :
    1. It will bring the costs down for users (one could use his/her phone as a second controller)
    2. Having a keyboard on the phone is soooooo much better than navigating on screen virtual keyboard
    3. Developers would be able to create custom controllers to improve the user experience (no more xx+OO+x+up combination to kick your opponent in the nuts, just press the new virtual key on the phone (in the shape of crying man))

    • mangojambo

      “2. Having a keyboard on the phone is soooooo much better than navigating on screen virtual keyboard”
      Yes, so true! Or assigning a bluetooth keyboard and even just connecting an USB keyboard would be great!

  • freezx

    Will the controllers feature an accelerometer in future versions? It would be cool for driving games among other things.

  • JoeDoriss


    If you can, please tell me type of sound hardware of OUYA.
    Does it have the hardware supporting for audio decoder?



  • Tony

    Will this device have the capabilities to be able to link another android device as an in screen media center, I do understand that this is mainly agaming device and possibilities would be endless but having the capabilities to conjoin different devices to share media with ouya would be a great thing.

  • Indy

    Is there any chance for using stereoscopic 3D via HDMI 1.4 now or in the future?

  • clement

    Will the SDK support the phonegap framework that let you develop html5 apps for Android?

  • Dan

    Thanks for the very informative post, Raf.

    One quick question. In terms of app security, does the move to Jellybean also enable app-encryption from Ouya Storefront purchases similarly to how Google Play is doing it now? Having connection-less anti-piracy makes it much closer to the XBLA model, and makes the “trial game to retail game conversion” strategy far more compelling. Especially when not all games lend well to the IAP model.

  • Rafael

    And on the online multiplayer side of things, will it be possible?

    Will there be an OUYA achivement/leaderboard online center or would we need to develop and host our own, or use any external ones? Could we use more than one?

  • Paul

    last question:
    Does the system have aheadset input? sorry if this was answered.

  • John Meister

    We here at Super Soul are really excited about Ouya! Are you going to have things like leaderboards and achievements?


  • moataz

    first i would like to put some senors(Accelerometer, Digital compass, Proximity sensor) in my controller gamepad you know some android games depends on rotating the phone itself it will be interesting to put this games on the TV, second can anyone buy the dev kit
    i have no experience in game development put i’d like to start with such a great project like this

  • Chris Parkinson

    Any chance there will be support for apps made with Adobe Air? My team is using Starling to make some awesome 2-D platformers and it would be awesome to be able to play on the Ouya.

  • Miguel de Dios Matias

    I wonder about the parentals controls. Are there some form to set the parentals controls in the app?


  • Jay

    I already ordered two Ouya’s can I have a developer one for free lol :)

  • John Anderson

    HELLO I will be using Unreal Engine 3 for a project that i cant tell much about and i just wanna know will Unreal Engine 3 work with OUYA?

  • Annel

    Tegra 4 is soon to be out on the fist quarter of 2013.

    is ouya planning on having an updated console un near future with tegra 4? (or just have one idea for the future)

    also Im with James Davis. Dual-core processor runs faster and smoother for game performance and graphics, since ouya wont have background apps running it wont need that much of a multi-tasking Quad-core CPU. just saying.

    if the controllers touchpad is single touch and much more like a mousepad, it means it wont be much use for games, but for apps like, browser, vevo, tuneIn radio and so.

    about the pause menu, you should have a normal menu that uses in game pause (pause menu developer made for game) and the system pause menu that shows the ouya settings.

  • Pipo

    Do you have any plans to enable WebGL in some way? Will you support web views anyway (e.g. for HTML 5 games)?

    • Mark Gossage

      Quite a few people will be wondering if html5 is really good enough for an arcade machine.
      However, if you wanted to try. You could look at CocoonJS which can package html5 as an android application. That might work.

      • puzzud

        I don’t know much about this aspect of CocoonJS, but I think where Ludei and the OUYA team (Boxer8?) would bump heads on the implementation is the desire of both entities (I only assume this is the case of OUYA) to handle “in application purchasing”.

        Perhaps I am overstating this dynamic, as maybe OUYA is REALLY open as far as letting developers ignore the OUYA’s purchasing system. But then, where does OUYA make money? Certainly not from hardware sales…

  • Jake

    Will Ouya have an updating system so developers can post updates of there games?

  • kwratster

    Hi, I was wondering

    will ouya be only for tv’s that have hdmi connections? I ask because I have older tv sets that use the rca cables. will there possibly be a connector made for that as well with the ouya?

    will the controller have a function where you can chose the button letters on it? such as if you were to use a playstation game that uses the triangle square circle and x would the controller be able to edit the button layout to look like it like how the razor switchblade does on it for different games.

    also I signed up for the ouya update thing on the main page and I havnt received an email or anything. I found out about the update just recently because i just decided to look back at the site but did not recived an email about it updating.

  • LEKO

    If I were you, I would develop a “classic” remote control accessory for the OUYA. It would be handy and useful for multimedia usage.

    An ideal multimedia remote control would have all the classic controls: volume, play/pause/skip/ff/etc… A touchpad and the Android system keys (back/home/multitasks/search) and a QWERTY keyboard on the back of the remote control.

    I would pre-order one right away.

  • late-to-show-developer


    i was busy out of town during the pledging month and i wasn’t able to pledge for the awesome OUYA kickstarter campaign :'(

    Took a look again, i was eyeing that Developer Special (which looks amazing by the way) and maybe even the 1337 developer special. Is there any way to still sign up? the 1337 developer special wasn’t even all sold out. I know that it’s impossible to retrospectively pledge by kickstarter, but was wondering if maybe i could sign up directly?

    many apologies for the inconvenience

    feel free to email me directly as well!

  • Dakota Stroud

    So Will There Ever Be An Update Where We Might Be Able To Use Are Tablets Or Smartphones Or Something Similar As A Controller Kind Of Like The Wii U Via Bluetooth

  • 1234

    If we want to make games for it do we need devkit or can we just use the normal console because in the beginning of it “Everything is going to be open and free for use… ” free for use and open my ass, now we need to pay for every devkit 800 dollars ?

    • Erick

      Good point, but will the SDKs become free after ouya is released? And are we limited to just Unity3D? I have experience with unreal engine and the 4th installment has the ability to scale so.. is ouya capable of running unreal engine 4?

      Also, from the video it says we can mod the box so is there expansion slots for extra ram or possibly video cards? And will the CPU be upgradable?

      Also, the controller looks HORRIBLE for fighting games, which is what I’m currently working on and am using a arcade stick for development. I would love to see a 6 button controller similar to the sega saturn as for fighting games/rpgs it was perfect.

  • naudet

    Hi everyone,

    It says on that any console can act as a dev kit to make a game. With that in mind, why would one pay 800$ for the actual “dev kit” (apart from the 3-4 months headstart)


  • ericsoco

    for those asking about AIR/Starling on OUYA — no reason it shouldn’t work. it’s a Tegra 3 Android device; Android runs AIR; if you want to know for sure, test your AIR app on another Tegra 3 Android device.

    that said, would be good to know if there may be any gotchas around publishing to OUYA that are any different from publishing AIR for Android…

  • Victor

    Hey There!

    I’m a indie developer with projects in development. I intend to launch my next game in OUYA too. What is necessary for this? (documentation, requirements, etc.)


  • LoneHomeDevver

    What is in this dev-kit that makes it 800% the price of the console? Its quite the price to pay for something someone like me cannot rely on being a decent product.

  • LeftForDead

    What game engines does ouya support? Construct 2?

  • Arg0

    LoneHomeDevver, obviously, the price is so high because this console will be shipped about two moths earlier than usual $99-consoles. This dev-kit is nothing special in technical plan, because any of OUYA console can be used as a dev-kit without restrictions.

  • mangojambo

    “OUYA is designed to run one game at a time.”
    One game doesn’t mean one app, right? How will the communication for multiplayer games work? In a simple way to say it: will it be apart as in xbox or rubbish as in PS3? (I have a PS3)
    In PS3 everytime is a pain to talk to others, organize parties or even selecting maps, mods for a game. And sometimes the others lost the game connection and need to text them back… well, simply rubbish!
    I heard it works better in xbox, like connecting everybody apart, AND THAN they decide things, to connect into a game, invite other people to talk, even not in a game yet. Totally independent. Like what we have to do sometimes using Skype, TeamSpeaker, etc. And having it apart means devs doesn’ t need to develop his own audio communication protocols, or whatever it needs.
    There is 2 cenarios: talking to friends only (party) and talk to your team, squad (automatic talk connection)… I’m planning to develop mostly multiplayer games, so it is a concern of mine.
    As a gamer, how will work microphone or headset? Will be possible to use bluetooth headset? Keyboard as well?
    As a developer, how will work the audio communication SDK? Will it have a default players management for audio, like muting, start party, automatically talk to your team, apart channel for communication (like using bluetooth headset)?


    • Zhaoli Wen

      Java, of course.

  • ps vita

    What is the main programming language that will be used in the odk and will there be other ones. Please reply

  • Zhaoli Wen

    Do developers have to purchase a Dev Kit to develop games? I mean, is an ordinary Ouya able to test my own apps and games? Do I have to pay $800 to purchase a specially designed OUYA DEV console? I have previously heard from some media that ODK will be free to use.

  • Charles Armour

    This sounds like a great console! We definitely need this for the Gaming Community!

    Anyways, I’m a Small Developer with small group named ‘Shoot ‘Em Games’. We are currently developing a game (Terrifying Secrets) via Unity 3D and other Programs. This is a realistic zombie based game.

    We plan to release this on PC and Consoles.

    What i have a question about…

    Do you guys have Testing for each and individual game?

    To clarify what i mean,
    Do you guys have expectations for the game other than that it will be interesting to players?

  • Hunter Eldridge

    Everybody is asking questions that have already been answered plenty of times. Every console will be a Developers Kit, the early ones get early access and limited edition consoles. The ODK will be available online in the upcoming days for FREE. The screen will not be multi-touch.


    Dear Ouya team,

    I was looking for to pre-order a dev console so click the URL : (via the web page). But I got a 404…

    Are dev console orders over ?
    Thanks for your feedback

  • Free Online Games|

    Thanks for some other informative site. Where else may just I am getting that kind of information written in such an ideal means? I have a mission that I’m just now running on, and I have been at the look out for such info.

  • Dave

    Will the OUYA support the x-arcade tank stick? It is basically just a keyboard and mouse (1 USB for each). I would love to use an OUYA for my Mame/Emulator arcade cabinet.

  • Fabiano Ferreira

    Hey Raf! Congratulations for this project!
    Talking about market target, I´m from Brazil and
    I´m planning to start developing games for OUYA but
    focusing the local market in the first moment, with
    games in portuguese (maybe spanish also). Does OUYA marketing team have any interest to work segmented markets or you guys just accept games in english with a worldwide abragency? Thanx and cheers!

  • YopSolo

    Do you provide an ANE (Air Native Extension) in order to access OUYA specific features ?

  • MWild

    Please develop and add an Native Extension to the ODK for Adobe Air developers :) We want to use your OUYA with an official solution!

  • Andrea

    I compose music for indie games and I think it’s a great opportunity for all of us, thanks Ouya!

  • Patrick

    I’am also creating a blog for new developers to get started. i will also create some tutorials for the new developers to get started.

    And an overview of all the tools you need for creating your first game

  • KFR

    I’m another developer that would be so happy if i could use air on ouya, because i have my own 2d engine and i love to use and improve it in my projects ^_^

  • Dallin

    Hello Ouya, I’m way excited for your release! I have pre-ordered Ouya but am still nervous about my decision. I love Indie Games but would love to hear more Well-known titles (Me as well as the whole world). Hopefully we’ll hear more soon! Some really popular and well-known titles would probably relax thousands and raise your sales!


  • James

    PLEASE add an ANE for AIR!

  • personal 3d viewer

    A brilliant article. This insightful information has really

  • Brady

    So, if i decide to use the Java SDK and Android ADT route, i would just need to develop the app for the Tegra 3 and some how port it to the ouya, or would i need the ODK.

  • Aaron Wise

    All the mame emulators on the store are practically a laughing stock because they all crash when opening… Fix this now!!!!!