OUYA is coming soon (tomorrow is the planned ship date for the earliest Kickstarter backers), and recent reports of emulators of classic gaming consoles made for the Android device are generating some buzz. Today, emulator developer Robert Broglia, who’s responsible for some of the most popular Android emulators including Snes9x EX+, has revealed to OUYAForum that he’s working on emulators for Game Boy Advance, Sega Genesis, NeoGeo and more.
Snes9x EX+ is the first he’s hoping to release, with a test APK (Android file package) due soon, though he says he won’t have his own OUYA to test out the emulators before April, since he pre-ordered the console only after it finished its Kickstarter run. Broglia plans to port versions of most of his Android-based game console emulators, however, including ones for TurboGrafx-16, Atari, Sega Saturn and ColecoVision, in addition to those mentioned above.
Broglia charges for the emulators he offers on Android, but OUYA has its rules about content that stipulate content must have at least some kind of free-to-play or free-to-try. Also on tap are an x86 PC emulator that will allow use of classic DOS gaming software on the OUYA, as well as a Commodore 64 emulator, both from separate developers. In other words, the OUYA is set to become a nostalgia machine for gamers who grew up in the 80s and 90s.
Already one OUYA emulation project has been approved for inclusion in the official marketplace, but when I contacted OUYA directly to learn about whether or not they have an official stance on emulation, I received no response. As mentioned, the Google PLay store has emulation apps available, and developers have commented in the past about how open the marketplace is for the upcoming Android console.
Past devices have built their entire existence around game emulation, including the GP2K Wiz and Canoo from South Korea’s GamePark holdings. OUYA’s focus is much broader, but as a simple, living-room based way to bring games of old back to people’s televisions (even if the method of doing so isn’t strictly legal), it could hold significant appeal to niche audience above and beyond its other merits.