Technology

Square Enix backs Kickstarter-funded console Ouya

Kickstarter screen grab
Image caption Kickstarter announced the project in early July

Upcoming Android-based console Ouya, funded via crowd-sourced funding website Kickstarter, has received the backing of one of the world's biggest video games developers.

Square Enix has promised to provide its Final Fantasy III game for the console's launch in March 2013.

Users will be able to plug the $99 (£63) Ouya directly into their TVs.

An analyst said other publishers were likely to follow Square Enix's lead.

Ouya exceeded its funding target within a day of the project being announced in July. The console has so far received more than $5m (£3m).

Its TV connectivity could be especially appealing to publishers, IHS Screen

Digest analyst Piers Harding-Rolls told the BBC.

"The landscape for devices that are connected to the internet and that enable playing of games on the TV is evolving rapidly," he said.

"Ouya is only one of many different connected TV devices that are emerging as alternative or incremental distribution channels to the dedicated consoles.

"Traditional games publishers such as Square Enix are keen to diversify into these new channels if the investment is minimal, as it represents a low opportunity cost that might have significant upside.

"As such it is very likely other publishers will also be looking closely at the Ouya platform as a potential distribution partner."

For now, Square Enix, also known for its Dragon Quest and Tomb Raider titles, plans to release only its 1990 classic role-playing game on the console, but it said it was considering creating more content.

"This will be the first time gamers outside of Japan can play FFIII [Final Fantasy III] on their televisions through a console," Ouya's creator, Julie Uhrman, said in a post.

"We're promising to deliver Final Fantasy III like you've never seen it before."

Gaming service Onlive, which offers a cloud gaming platform, has also announced its support for Ouya. The console will run Onlive's on-demand games service right from the start.

The system allows users to play games without owning a traditional console.

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