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XBMC now working with Android gaming sensation Ouya

The team behind open-source media platform XBMC announced today that it would be working with the developers of Ouya to make sure that XBMC works on the still-developing but widely hyped Android gaming console.

PREVIOUSLY: Popular open-source media player XBMC headed to Android

XBMC community manager Nathan Betzen said in a blog post that XMBC's recent work on Android, along with early access to prototypes of the Ouya hardware, should help the team ensure compatibility.

"The conversation between our two teams is young, but talk is ongoing and positive. We look forward to providing more exciting news on this front as it develops," he said.

A Kickstarter project that quickly overran its initial goal of $950,000, Ouya is designed to be the first open-source gaming console. The Android-based system will mandate that game creators make "at least some gameplay" available free of charge, and will provide a free SDK with every device to help spur independent development.

Ouya's funding window is set to close at 1 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 9, but the project has already taken in more than $7 million in donations.

The console, which is to be sold for $99, has already attracted several other high-profile partnerships, including recent deals with online media companies Vevo and OnLive.

Despite widespread excitement, opinions are still mixed on Ouya's potential for success. While the price and flexibility are attractive, many raise the question of quality control -- what's to prevent the platform from being overwhelmed with poor quality, home-brew games? Additionally, despite technological advances, Ouya's hardware will be noticeably inferior to big names like PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 from the outset.

Nevertheless, the product's potentially substantial appeal to the casual gamer, combined with its low price for both users and developers, could make it a surprise hit when it releases in March.

Email Jon Gold at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.


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