OUYA, the next seemingly big thing to hit the world of consoles has become quite the talk of the town, and for good reasons too. It managed to reach its Kickstarter goal in a matter of hours, and has now nearly quadrupled it. It promises to be open, hackable even, to the point where users can truly make it their own. Games will be free to try and some free to play. These reasons and more are enough to get the community really excited for this new piece of hardware.
Ever since the project surpassed its Kickstarter goal, and now sits at almost $4 million, the team behind the console was already hard at work in trying to figure out the various stretch goals. Stretch goals are essentially extras or bonuses added to the Kickstarter project whenever more money is gained than originally needed.
Instead of coming up with stretch goals on their own initially however, the team has asked the community of backers to suggest what it is they would like to see added/implemented to the OUYA. There was an entire flood of suggestions ranging from bigger storage, more RAM, keyboard and mouse compatibility and others. Though out of all these various additions that future OUYA users would like to see, there is one suggestion that a majority of people seem to agree on and want to see implemented. The XBMC.
If you're unfamiliar with the term, The XBMC or Xbox Media Center is essentially an interface that allows simple browsing and playing of various types of media on your machine, and even through your network. It's also a way for you to organize all said media in easy to navigate lists, and is generally built to be used on an HDTV and being easily controlled with a remote.
So what does this mean? That despite the console being a back to the basics gaming machine, people still want to be able to watch movies, listen to music browse pictures, etc. Is this really surprising though? Not really. Especially when taking into account that earlier this year it was reported that the Xbox 360 is used more for media than it is for games.
Not to mention the XBMC is highly customizable, so there is no doubt that gamers would love to be able to make custom skins that reflect their personality and add a touch of cool to their new OUYA console. That being the case, I'd be more than interested to see what the community would come up with.
Would this downplay the fact that OUYA is still a gaming console at heart? It depends, because obviously the people who have already invested their money went in knowing that the console will be a gaming machine first and foremost. At the same time, I went in thinking that I'd be using my Xbox 360 solely for playing games, and low and behold I find myself on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, and other streaming services more often than playing an actual game.
In the end, what this really shows is that despite gamers wanting a brand new console built from the ground up on Android software, with the ability to finally play some of those fantastic mobile games the way they were meant to be played, and to give indie developers yet another tool to create some fantastic experiences on an HDTV, being able to stream media, and essentially use a console as a media center is still very important to gamers everywhere.