I’ve been keeping a keen eye on Ouya, the start-up, android-based console. I;m not the only one – because it’s gone on, so far, to make a record-breaking US$7 million kickstarter bid – so there’s obviously a lot of interest in the open console. I’m mostly interested in it as a standalone media centre and emulator – and to that end its just got a shot in the arm that’s got me more excited. It’s getting its own custom version of XBMC – right out of the box.
For those of you unaware XBMC, or the Xbox Media Centre began its life as homebrew software for Microsoft’s first, hacked to hell console as an all-encompassing media-centre software, and has gone on to become one of thepremier such bits of code, for windows, Linux, android and iOS. the folks from Ouya have now confirmed that their little console that could will have XBMC built right in – because “hundreds, if not thousands” of backers requested it.
XBMC provides a great way of indexing video and audio content- as well as a great interface for actually playing that content. It also includes application launchers – and can be used as a graphical frontend for a number of programs – including emulators.
“… we are delighted to announce that XBMC will be working with Ouya to ensure that XBMC works well on the Ouya platform. Ouya’s Android underpinnings and XBMC’s work on Android (soon to be merged into master, pending final sign-offs!) will dramatically speed up that effort, as will early XBMC dev access to Ouya prototypes,” they said the announcement.
Joining XBMC as far as built-in media apps go, is TuneIn Radio, a great bit of software that allows you to stream radio content from all over the world. I have little interest in Ouya as a games console – but as a nicely specced media centre and cheap way to make my dumb-as-a-bag-of-hammers TV a smart one, I’m sold.