Sure, nearly all of us here would like to see a Linux game box. But most attempts haven't amounted to much. I suppose one of us to crowdfund one. But there's a lower risk alternative here. Someone, or a company, can make a Ouya mod to run Linux. Suppose Ubuntu Software Center offered an Ubuntu for Ouya mod and games compiled for it. Not that far fetched considering the Ubuntu for ARM efforts
I wouldn't mind if it ends up being a good gaming console in its own right, but the following are the reasons that I decided to sign up:
1) Cheap front-end for MythTV (and possibly Netflix/Hulu/Pandora). It's based on Android, and there's already several MythTV Android front-ends available.
2) Rooting the console won't void your warranty, and they make it easy to do
3) Free demos for any games released in the Ouya store
4) Emulation of NES/SNES/etc will either be possible, or I'll make it possible.
5) USB Ports to hook up all sorts of external peripherals (including external storage/KB/Mouse).
I too have dreamed of such a thing for a long time. Make a "console" which is basically just a standard assembled computer. Use standard GNU/linux distro (based on ubuntu, fedora, opensuse, aarch, gentoo, etc.). Create some sort of lightweight custom UI/window manager for gaming alone. Create a cross-platform game engine (maybe based on Qt,OpenGL and SDL? ) and tell potential game developers that that's the SDK. encourage them to compile for generic x86 or x86-64 if they plan to support future versions of the "console".
and then hey look, somehow, magically, your games work on standard linux installs on laptops and desktops as well. now isn't that a coincidence? oh, and this is cross-platform, so you can just compile your games for windows and macosx as well (with sine tweaks i guess).
preload the "console" with lots of open source games (for example the ones from linux live gamers DVD). provide linux friendly peripherals (joysticks, kinect with openkinect, leap motion etc.)
Exactly what came to my mind, either!
Thanks, Michael, for publicly telling us the first details of the coming (2013) Steambox that you saw while being at ValvE headquarters!
I wonder, though, how Gaben is going to react...