Ouya Kickstarter campaign ends tonight. $99 pledge gets you a launch system

I probably should've written about Ouya before today, but the truth is I've been conflicted about the project. In case you've missed the buzz, Ouya is a Kickstarter-funded, Android-based gaming console. The idea behind the product is to bring all the energy being put into mobile gaming back to the TV. Ouya won't have a dev kit or licensing fees (like the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii systems do); anyone can make games for it.

I've come full circle with Ouya. I backed it, then rethought my decision and canceled my pledge, and after thinking some more, backed it again. I like the idea of a more 'open' gaming console (remember the buzz around the Steam Box?) but I wasn't convinced that Ouya would get enough developer support to be worth having.

I'm still not positive it will (though my confidence is growing), but for a pledge of $99 I'll get an Ouya console when they launch next winter. $100 is pretty cheap so I decided to risk it. If you want to get in on this deal you need to act fast; the Kickstarter campaign ends tonight.

What I'm finding encouraging is that Ouya is already branching out beyond being an Android gaming system. Cloud gaming service OnLive will be on the system at launch to offer PC gaming on the couch. OnLive's MicroConsole also costs $100 and Ouya will do more (though to be fair OnLive offers frequent deals on their MicroConsole).

Yesterday Ouya broke news that TuneIn radio streaming and the popular XBMC media streamer will both run on the system. Ouya is becoming a nice all-around multi-purpose set-top box and it hasn't even launched yet!

If you're not sold and want to wait for reviews, you're covered there too. Ouya met its $950,000 funding goal in the first hours of its Kickstarter campaign and they're over $7 million the last time I checked. Barring disaster, the product is going to happen. Pledging now is more about being sure you're one of the first to get an Ouya than it is about making sure the project succeeds.

Anyone else backing Ouya?

Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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