Ouya console shipping to Kickstarter backers with 104 games, available in stores June 4

Ouya consoleCheck out our review of the Ouya Android-based gaming console.

The era of the $99 gaming system has begun. Ouya’s Kickstarter backers will be getting their hands on the console first, as the company already started shipping to backers on March 28. Don’t worry; if you didn’t back the Kickstarter project but still want an Ouya, it turns out you’ll be able to pick one up from a retailer like Best Buy and Amazon starting June 4.

Ouya is a $99 mini-console that uses Android and is powered by the quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor that you’d find on a smartphone. Like the Google Play app store, Ouya’s growing library of games (104 titles as of today) is only accessible from its built-in store, so you don’t need to pop in a disk if you want to game – the console doesn’t have an optical drive, anyway. Although its current titles are mostly retro-style arcade and mobile games, some gaming heavyweights like Portal‘s Kim Swift is already working on an exclusive title for the Ouya.

Since Kickstarter backers will be the first batch of users to give the Ouya a whirl, their feedback will inform Ouya on how to tweak the system for consumers before the device arrives in stores in June. One of the first things backers will have to do is run a system update, but, according to its blog post, Ouya thinks its update will only take “seconds.”

Customers will also have to enter their credit card information before they can download any game – even a free-to-play demo. If the comments on Ouya’s Kickstarter project page is any indication, this is not going to go over well with consumers. As one backer said, “I too have no problem giving them my credit card for the purchase of games. However, needing a credit card for downloading demos is a bit odd. As far as I am aware, XBox Live does not have this requirement (you can still download demos without XBox Live Gold), nor does the Wii.”

If enough backers complain to Ouya about its previously unannounced credit card requirement, hopefully the company will changes its mind before the consoles lands in stores in June.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Underwater survival game ‘Subnautica’ free on Epic Games’ online store

The award-winning underwater survival game Subnautica is currently available as a free download on the Epic Games store. The Steam challenger looks to attract players with a new free game every two weeks.

Want to share your Xbox One games? Here's how to do it

Sharing games on modern consoles is possible, but it takes a few steps. Here's how to start sharing games on your Xbox One console, so friends and family can easily access your library.

Grabbing a Switch for the holidays? Here's what you need to know to play online

If you want to play online multiplayer on Switch, you'll need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. Here's what you need to know about Nintendo Switch Online, from price to features to the awesome library of NES games.

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?

Sharing your best gameplay moments is quick and easy on the Xbox One

The current generation of consoles make it easier than ever to share your gaming highlights with the world. Here's a quick guide on how you can record a gameplay video on Xbox One.

‘Kingdom Hearts III’ out in the wild, director asks for support to stop spoilers

Kingdom Hearts III has been leaked, with several copies of the game out in the wild. The game's director, Tetsuya Nomura, responded to the situation, calling for help from gamers to stop spoilers from spreading online.

The DualShock 4 is one of the best controllers ever, and you can use it with a PC

Sony's new DualShock 4 controller has become a fan favorite, and some people want to use it with a PC. Here's how to connect your DualShock 4 and start using it, either with an official adapter, or unofficial software.

Project Stream testers get to keep a free copy of ‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’

Those who participated in Google's technical test of Project Stream won't be able to access the service to play Assassin's Creed Odyssey after January 15, but they'll get to keep the game on PC anyway.

Newest ‘Destiny 2’ raid already completed by two-person team

The latest raid in Destiny 2: Forsaken is Scourge of the Past, and a two-person team has already managed to complete it. The task took 15 hours of trial-and-error effort before the duo managed to take down the final boss.

The 25 best SNES games

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games, including A Link to the Past and Chrono Trigger.

Need a discounted Xbox bundle by Christmas? Walmart has you covered

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both come and gone, but you can still save some cash on a new Xbox One bundle at Walmart. Both the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X are on sale now.

The history of Battle Royale: From mod to worldwide phenomenon

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in streaming and eSports in a way that might hint at the future of the industry.

With our Steam guide, you can give the gift of gaming this holiday season

The holidays may have passed, but it's always a good time to give the gift of gaming (especially when there's a Steam sale)! Here's our quick guide on how to give a Steam game as a gift.