Ouya, the $99 Android game console that racked up more than $8.5 million in Kickstarter funding last August, will finally begin shipping to backers next month. The big date: March 28, according to CEO Julie Uhrman in a Kickstarter update this morning. A full launch in retail stores is still set for June.
Uhrman acknowledged up front that units will ship in staggered fashion over a number of weeks, given that production is still ramping up and the company has a large number of orders to fill. She did tell the project's backers to expect a tracking number with an arrival estimate via email.
Ouya's Confirmed Games
Uhrman also announced a string of confirmed games for the console, expanding on a once-ambiguous set of titles that had many skeptical that Ouya could live up to its goal of revolutionizing the game industry.
(See also: Can Ouya Challenge Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo?)
Newly announced games include an exclusive title from Kim Swift (of Portal and Left 4 Dead fame) and Airtight Games, a port of developer Minority Media's Papa & Yo, The Ball from Tripwire Interactive (maker of The Killing Floor), and a console version of the PC role-playing title ChronoBlade.
Uhmran also announced the winners of Ouya's 10-day game jam contest, co-sponsored with Kill Screen:
- CREATE Grand Prize: Strange Happenings on Murder Island (Free Lives)
- Most Surprising: Television (Laboratory Games LLC)
- Four Bright Buttons and Two Sticks: Bombball (E McNeill)
- Most Immersive: Whispering Willows (Night Light Interactive)
- Pop Your Eyes Out: Pipnis (Santa Ragione)
- Best Couch with Friends Games: 2D Cube Zombie Platformer (Molinware)
- Best Game Created Using Unity Engine: Stikbold (Team Stikbold)
Ouya, of course, still has a long way to go before it becomes a console gamers can rely on. Uhrman is quite aware of all that:
You will also get to watch Ouya evolve over the coming weeks and months. We’ll continue to add new features, refine our user experience, and bring on more games. As always, we appreciate your feedback (and apply it), so keep it coming.