US video game provider Ouya has linked up with smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc. to expand in China, Reuters reported.
Xiaomi, which is now the country’s top smartphone seller, will help Ouya sell its games through the Chinese firm’s MiTV television and MiBox set-top box platforms.
Julie Uhrman, chief executive of the Santa Monica, California-based firm, said details of the partnership are still being sorted out, although the plan is for gamers to shop for and download a selection of Ouya’s games on Xiaomi’s devices.
“For the likes of Xiaomi’s MiTV, its set-top boxes and other Android set-top boxes that are entering the market, this could be a turning point … in bringing great content and developers to gamers and into a region that they have never had access to before,” Uhrman told Reuters.
Ouya, which raised funds on crowdfunding site Kickstarter, began selling a US$99 game console based on Google Inc.’s Android software last year. To boost sales, Ouya started marketing its software as an app this year, allowing developers to sell games on other hardware makers’ devices.
Whether the Chinese take to gaming on television remains to be seen, according to the news agency. But its deal with Xiaomi allows the startup to distribute its content in a fast-growing video game market.
China is the world’s third largest gaming market, with sales growing by more than a third to nearly US$14 billion last year. The government’s move in January to allow Microsoft, Sony Corp. and Nintendo Co. to sell consoles has re-kindled interest in gaming hardware, the report said.
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