XBMC signs on to support $99 Ouya console


— 10:56 AM on August 7, 2012

Despite its critics, the Ouya game console is proving to be one of Kickstarter's most popular projects. The funding drive began in mid-July, and already, it's amassed 53,000 backers and $7 million. There's still 37 hours left if you want to get in on the action yourself. For just $99, you'll get a spot in line for the tiny console, which is powered by Nvidia's Tegra 3 SoC and Android 4.0. Here's a new render showing just how small the device is expected to be.

The Ouya folks have also posted a new shot of the controller, which looks like pretty standard fare. One thing missing is a remote. That would be handy for the Ouya's freshly announced XBMC support. Turns out a third of the XBMC team have signed onto the Kickstarter project themselves. Since the team was already working to port XBMC to Android, getting a version on the Ouya was probably inevitable. Now it's official.

As a longtime XBMC user, I'm happy to see the developers working with the Ouya folks. The console's Tegra 3 processor has enough grunt for 1080p video playback, and I hope the chip's GeForce graphics processor enables some decent-looking music visualization effects. Thanks to XBMC's robust networking support, the Ouya's limited internal storage shouldn't be too much of an impediment.

The Oyua's controller will no doubt be capable of navigating XBMC's menus. However, folks longing for a more traditional remote will be pleased to know there are Android and iOS apps for that.

You know, I'm actually tempted to order one of these things now. I'm still not sold on the console's prospects as a gaming platform, but with XBMC on board, the Ouya should at the very least make a slick media box.

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