July 27, 2012 at 2:20 PM ET
Ouya, the Kickstarter-funded game machine that has had everyone talking, got tongues wagging again today after its creators revealed the first full frontal photo of the controller gamers will use with the console.
The controller, pictured above, sports a large, circular touch pad in the middle -- something Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii controllers don't have. The controller is being designed by renowned industrial designer Yves Behar (he designed the One Laptop Per Child laptops).
Ouya, which was first revealed earlier this month, has been met with a resoundingly positive reaction among gamers and many developers (though certainly not all). The Android-powered console -- due to launch March 2013 -- raised $1 million in pledges in its first eight hours on Kickstarter, making it the crowdfunding site's fastest project to reach the million dollar mark. As of this writing, the project has raised more than $5.6 million in pledges.
On Friday, the folks behind Ouya also announced that they are partnering with OnLive to bring streaming games to the console. OnLive will be available on Ouya at launch, according to the announcement.
This is excellent news for gamers since it means the console won't just be home to smaller indie and mobile games. Owners will be able to stream OnLive's hundreds of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3-quality games through the upstart game machine as well -- we're talking about titles like "Darksiders II" and "Batman: Arkham City."
The OnLive partnership also means Ouya owners will be able to start a game on the console and then pick it up on the PC or a tablet. Additionally, OnLive offers free 30-minute demos of their games.
This kind of streaming game partnership is a very smart move. Note that Sony -- maker of the PlayStation 3 -- recently acquired streaming game service Gaikai.
As for the Ouya controller, it aims to blend both mobile gaming controls and console gaming controls into one package. The circular touchpad will allow for the kind of touch-screen gaming done on smartphones and tablets. The dual sticks, colored buttons and d-pad are all about the traditional console gaming.
But the controller been met with some mixed reactions. The creators have asked folks to weigh in on the design on their Facebook page. Not surprisingly, people have lots of suggestions for changes.
"Make the touch screen a little bigger," suggested Ryan Winkler. "Plus the handles are too long, make them shorter."
"I would love to see a controller with more buttons on the back of it," wrote Jennifer Szczublewski. "It would be awesome to keep the two thumb sticks on the front, but then have a lot of the other stuff moved to the back under the natural position of your fingers, maybe with braille-like indicators on them."
"I suggest a little keyboard in the bottom," added Beto Romao.
So, what do YOU think of the controller?
Winda Benedetti writes about video games for NBC News. You can follow her tweets about games and other things on Twitter here @WindaBenedetti and you follow her on Google+. Meanwhile, be sure to check out the IN-GAME FACEBOOK PAGE to discuss the day's gaming news and reviews.