Seems like it's been a while since we've heard any news about the Android-based OUYA game console. The latest update on the Kickstarter page, posted on Friday, reveals that hardware units for developers will begin to ship on December 28. These will be early versions of the controller and console combo designed for testing Android games on the OUYA platform.
"When the final consoles ship, EVERY OUYA will be a dev console," the update reads. "We told you that already. What we didn’t tell you was that the advance dev consoles you ordered are pretty special – you’ll know what I mean when you open yours. They’re rare drops."
"The dev consoles aren’t cheap for us to make. And we heard from many of you during the Kickstarter campaign that you simply couldn’t afford one," the update adds. "We wish we could just give them away, and we decided for a few of you – we’d do just that!"
Developers will have to work for the freebies according to the team, and are directed to the Dev Console Giveaway page which provides more details.
In addition to the developer consoles, the team is also working on the OUYA Development Kit (ODK) that will be available to download once the hardware begins to ship in late December. The software will be provided via a web portal to all developers – not just those who receive testing units. This portal will eventually open up to allow developers to upload their games, and to receive help from the OUYA forums.
"While jamming on the ODK, we’ve also had a team focused on the user interface," the update states. "This involves optimizing Android Jelly Bean to play games on a big screen and spending time understanding the best ways gamers can search for and discover new games. It’s still in development, but it looks great, and the advance dev consoles include a sneak peek."
The first batch of $99 OUYA consoles for those who made a purchase without developer credentials is slated to ship sometime in March 2013. The Kickstarter project originally launched during the summer and reeled in 63,416 backers pledging $8,596,474 USD.