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Developer versions of Kickstarter-funded Ouya console now shipping

Nintendo's Wii U isn't the only new game console that's shipping these days. Kickstarter darling Boxer8 has mailed off its first 1,200 Ouya developer units and also opened an online portal for developers creating games and apps for the crowd-funded, Android-based video game console.

"We just licked the stamps and waved a fond farewell to 1,200 Ouya developer consoles," the Ouya team wrote on its official blog. "These are the early versions of Ouya that developers will use to start making games. They're on their way to developers around the globe - by land, air and sea. Okay, only by air - we want you to get them quick. Devs, expect them on your doorstep within the next few days."

Boxer8 posted a video of the "unboxing" of an Ouya developer console (below). Here's what some lucky folks who contributed $699 (£430) or more to the Ouya's Kickstarter campaign will be receiving in the mail soon:

  • A jet-black Ouya devs package
  • An 'Official Developer Welcome Letter
  • 'One 'frosted, translucent' Ouya dev console with Micro-USB port
  • Two 'frosted, translucent' Ouya dev controllers with batteries
  • An HDMI cable, a Micro-USB cable, and a power adapter

The Ouya Developer Portal has also gone live. Developers can download the Ouya Developer Kit at the site, which also serves as the go-to destination for devs to get started on learning how to develop for the console, submit Ouya games for review, set up and define in-game products, and chat with other Ouya developers.

Earlier this year, the Ouya console was a major success story on the crowd-funding site Kickstarter, where Boxer8 managed to raise $8.6 million (£5.3 million) in funding through August to develop the console.

The Ouya team has been on a developer recruitment drive ever since and hopes to release the first commercially available version of the console by March. So far, so good on keeping to a tight schedule - Boxer8 said at the end of November that it would ship the dev consoles on 28 December and came through on its promise.

The final console is expected to include TwitchTV and access to OnLive streaming video out of the box. The Ouya team also seeks to build an exclusive apps and games store for the console, which is intentionally being built to make it easily rootable and hackable at both the hardware and software levels.