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The Ouya team, which has raised $6.8 million through crowdfunding site Kickstarter to develop an Android-based video game console, recently announced a range of software support for its eponymous silver box.
Video game streaming service OnLive will release its application through Ouya’s online marketplace, the company revealed. With OnLive, which hosts hundreds of games including heavy-hitters like Batman: Arkham City and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, the power of the console is irrelevant. Since the games run in the cloud, only the user’s Internet connection matters. The technology isn’t flawless — lag remains an issue — but OnLive will continue to improve as the web speeds increase.
“When OnLive first heard about Ouya, we were excited to see console gaming becoming more available and open,” wrote Bruce Grove, OnLive general manager, on an Ouya blog post announcing the partnership. “We are pleased to announce that OnLive will be available on Ouya at launch, extending and building on our commitment to make the best games available to everyone, everywhere.”
Several game studios also pledged to support the fledgling platform. Robotoki, an independent game studio headed by former Call of Duty developer Robert Bowling, will develop an episodic prequel to the upcoming Human Element exclusively for Ouya; U4iA Games, the team behind Offensive Combat, will release new games in the series on Ouya; and Japanese publishing titan Square Enix will release its Final Fantasy III role-playing game for the console.
Other software developers want in on the Ouya action, too: ClearChannel’s streaming radio service iHeartRadio and VEVO’s music video service will both arrive on the gaming platform as apps.
These aforementioned partnerships — particularly with OnLive — help provide Ouya with much-needed credibility pre-launch. Building, producing, and launching a game console, however, is an exceptionally complex undertaking. Ouya is currently slated to launch in March 2013, but a number of critics think that timeframe is overly optimistic.
If you want to back the Ouya project on Kickstarter, act fast: the campaign will close in just over two days.