Ouya on time, dev console shipping Dec. 28

Going 'hands on'

Typically the gaming world is fraught with delays and push backs, but the crowd-funded, Android-powered Ouya game console is right on time.

The Ouya team cheerily announced Friday that it would send developers consoles on schedule.

The new consoles should leave the factory on Dec. 28 and arrive on owners' doorsteps within a couple of days, with one exception - it might take them a bit longer to reach Turkey and Russia.

We learned earlier this month that the Ouya team is backing the systems with Jelly Bean as engineers are tinkering away with the first run of printed circuit boards, pointing to a buzzing Ouya development phase.

Game time

Ouya got the attention of the gaming community when it raised more than $5 million (UK£3.12, AU$4.79) this summer to start developing. The makers promise the Ouya will be an open platform and only cost $99 (UK£61, AU$95).

Since the console is powered by Android, it will also run all the programs and applications a tablet or smartphone can, plus it already has a line-up of games.

It's a bit of a misnomer to classify the first shipment of the consoles as "dev consoles" since, after release, every console will have the Ouya Development Kit (ODK).

"Of course, when the final consoles ship, EVERY OUYA will be a dev console," Ouya creator Julie Uhrman explained in the announcement.

"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. :P"

Uhrman said the Ouya team is "jamming on the ODK" and is still building out and testing the developer kit. But when the consoles ship to programmers, they will be able to access a web portal to download the ODK.

Also planned is forum support and eventually a way to upload games to the Ouya game hub.

Getting your Ouya

Backers who threw in a pledge of more than $699 (UK£437, AU$671) got access to the first-round of Ouya shipments to tinker around with the ODK.

Those donors also got an extra control, help advertising their games for a year, and a founder emblem to mark their game.

For those developers who weren't paying attention the first time around or were too poor to kick in about $700, Ouya also announced a Dev Console Giveaway. Starting Dec. 10, the startup will give away a total of 10 Ouyas, one a day.

So it looks like the Ouya is humming along. Expect the Ouya to release globally sometime around April 2013, according to the pre-order page. And if the Ouya team keeps hitting its deadlines, there is no reason to doubt the projection.