(Pocket-lint) - It has been reported by others before, even confirmed by the team behind OUYA themselves, that the forthcoming Android games console is capable of working with USB controllers from rival machines. Now Pocket-lint has learnt exclusively, from its good friends at games development company Puzzl, that many of the wireless controllers already on the market also work too. And that includes the Xbox 360 controller.
Microsoft is famed for keeping its wireless Xbox 360 controller tech close to its chest. One accessory manufacturer we've talked to has decided against making an Xbox 360 controller because it is only allowed to build a wired one. Therefore, for the standard wireless controller to work with OUYA is a big deal. It means that new owners can use existing kit they have lying around - as long as developers build key-mapping and compatibility options into their games, that is.
As well as the wired and wireless Xbox 360 controllers, Puzzl has tested all manner of other control devices on the OUYA devkit it was sent a few weeks back. Sony's latest DualShock controllers work. As do the Logitech G25 wheel, Nintendo Wii remote, Universal OnLive Wireless Controller, and Apple's wireless Bluetooth keyboard. All of these were tested successfully by Puzzl.
The developer even got a Hori Arcade Stick to work through USB.
None of these will work straight from the box, however. As Nilsen Filc, Puzzl CEO, explained to Pocket-lint, his team discovered the compatibility only while exploring OUYA in root mode.
"We just fiddled today in the inners of the OUYA in root mode - as we're working on our own controllers' support implementation for our four players games," he said. "A bit surprised of what we found in the base kernel of OUYA. It is really targeted, and not really advertised, although it should be."
While it is capable of working with other controllers, Filc informed us that the ones that come with the Android console are actually rather good to start out with. "Controllers are good," he said. "Their weight distribution is natural, and them being powered by two classic AA batteries is a good choice.
"There are 11 buttons on the controller to work with [four triggers, four buttons - O, U, Y, A - and one menu button which acts as a pause/start button as well. There are two analogue sticks which are clickable, and a d-pad]. One top of the controller there is a touchpad, which acts as a mouse - no multi-touch on it though."
In addition to being a very capable games console, the Android-loaded OUYA will be a more than decent media streamer too, we understand. The OUYA manufacturer has previously announced a deal with XBMC to provide a front end for media playback, so always had ambitions in this area, but Puzzl has tested the media streaming and playback capabilities with great results.
The machine is capable of playing 720p and 1080p mkv, avi and mp4 video content. Filc and his team have "watched several movies on the dev kit" and playback was "flawless and the console is quiet". It can stream the content over a network, with OUYA having both Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity. Videos can also be stored on the console's hard drive, but cannot at present be played from USB sticks - "We need drivers," we were told.
"It would really make for a fantastic media box - we already use it for that here," said Filc. "And convenient as well, as it's super tiny to move around to friends' houses."
The more we learn, it seems, the more we want an OUYA. Could even be a Roku beater perhaps?
It should be available to the public around March time for $99 - that's when those who pledged money on Kickstarter will get their machines.
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Pocket-lint previously heard from a different source that it will cost £99 in the UK.
Puzzl is currently working on multiplayer puzzle game Yummy Circus which will be released on OUYA, PC, Mac, iPad and Android. It will feature online play for up to 12 players, but the OUYA version will allow up to four players to play from the same console.