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. :)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or through Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, G+ or the Kickstarter comments board.
Until next time, take care, keep calm and OUYA on,
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 email@example.com.