Ouya game console upgrades to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

The Android-powered Ouya game console looks on course for a projected early-2013 release, with the latest information revealing that the hardware is about to enter the Engineering Verification Testing phase ahead of an expected developer kit release this December.

The open-source project, which rose to prominence earlier in 2012 via a massively successful Kickstarter campaign that raised more than £4 million, also used a recent blog post to announce an even more exciting development: it's upgrading to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Originally, the Ouya was lined up to ship with version 4.0 of Google's Android mobile operating System, dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich. But it has now been revealed that the console will in fact showcase a newer version of the OS, though there's no indication as to whether it will be version 4.1 or the more recent Android 4.2 Jelly Bean iteration.

"I'm happy to announce OUYA will run on Android Jelly Bean, the newest version of the Android operating system. We're making the jump from the old version, Ice Cream Sandwich, to ensure that we're running on the most up-to-date software available," said Ouya project founder and game industry veteran Julie Uhrman.

"You asked if it could be done, we looked into it, and we made it happen," she wrote.

The Ouya is currently available for purchase via ouya.tv, with a console and controller bundle costing $99, and extra gamepads running $30 each. There's also $20 of international shipping charges to take into account, meaning that UK buyers of the console are looking at laying out just over £90.

In addition to featuring Android software, the Ouya features an Nvidia Tegra 3 SoC, comprised of a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU and an Nvidia GeForce GPU.

For more on Android's evolution from a simple mobile OS to a burgeoning ecosystem taking in handsets, tablets, and now game consoles, see Stuart Andrews' feature on the rise of Android gaming.