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Top 5 hacks for OUYA: XBMC, Nuidroid, ClockworkMod, Google Play store and retro emulation

We've searched high and low to bring you the 5 hacks you should look to explore on your OUYA console.

OUYA has had mixed reviews so far, with many criticising the small box as a games console, which is accurate for the most part. When we went hands on with the unit, however, we discovered a device waiting to be opened up by various tweaks and hacks. There’s a growing community of OUYA hackers out there, and we’ve uncovered five of the best projects you can start getting to grips with.

1. Add Google Play store

One of the disadvantages of OUYA is that it lacks the variety of games many of its competitors already run. Over on the XDA Forums, WonderEkin has created a guide to getting Google Play store straight on to the console. It isn’t an easy project and it does require to have previously rooted the console, but once added, you’ll have a much more varied selection of games to play with. If you’re up to the task, then the guide can be found over in this thread.

2. Install XBMC to stream media files

There’s an abundance of ways to get XBMC on to the OUYA console, but the easiest is as follows. Firstly navigate to the ‘Make’ tab on the console and enter the developer’s section. Use the search bar provided to search for ‘’ which will take you to the .apk file of XBMC. The download will start automatically, and you’ll then then need to navigate to the ‘Downloads’ section once it has finished. Once you’ve then installed the file, you’ll find XBMC listed under the ‘Make’ tab for you to use.

3. Relive classing gaming moments with emulators

By far the simplest way of expanding your gaming collection is through emulators. Thanks to the USB port on the back of the OUYA, simply transfer your emulators (many of which are compatible on the console) on to your USB stick and then plug it directly into the console. You can then go to the storage section on the console and run them from there. To take it one step further, you can even pair your wireless PS3 controller to the console, if you so wish.

4. Motion controlled gaming with Nuidroid

Okay, so this one you can’t get just yet, but it’s a sign of things to come for the tiny console. Nuidroid is a unique motion controlled gaming accessory that enables users to interact with their games, similar to that of Microsoft’s Kinect. The software was recently shown off at a NVIDIA conference, but the software behind Nuidroid is still fairly basic, so don’t expect it to appear on the OUYA for some time yet.

5. Open up OUYA with ClockworkMod

Those clever people over at the XDA Forums have done it again! This time around user mybook4 has managed to port a stable version of CWM Recovery on to the console. The process is lengthy and requires you to have a decent knowledge of general Android hacking, but the process is considered working by many members. If you’re up to the challenge then head on over to this thread for more information and step-by-step instructions.

Read these other Android tutorials

Cook your own Android ROM
Secret codes for Android – no hacking required!
Stream media from Android to Xbox 360 or PS3