Did you know there is an outlet for indie games on consoles. Did you know it's NOT XBLA, it's Sony Playstation and has been since 1995.
I guess I missed this story. I remember hearing about the "Yarouze" in the PS1 days but either I didn't read the reports in detail or else they were reported wrong in the western press. What I remember hearing was you could get a special PS1 for game development but otherwise there was no point. But, it turns out it was not just for hobbists, it was to find new games for Sony to publish.
According to this page there were 1200 submissions between 1995−1999 and of those 30 were published. The biggest hits of those were the original Dokodemo Isshou which was highly innovative at the time as well as XAI, an addictive puzzle game. I believe both sold over a million units in Japan.
This year Sony again asked for outside indie submissions in their Game Yarouze! 2006 campaign. They have some interesting stats on that. According to those charts. 52% of the submissions were from people in their 20s, 38% in their 30s but they even had 5% of the submissions from teens. 8% of the submissions were from women. Of the types of submissions, 80% were design docs, only 3% were actual demos and only 2% were videos.
That ended recently but they just started a new one, Game Yarouze! Digital Meister. This time they are looking for downloadable game ideas specifically for PS3. If you have a demo you can send one, otherwise you can just send a game design document. Does any other company in the entire industry except outside submissions for games and if so, have they published any? I've never heard of any.
One issue, you must live in Japan to submit games or game ideas. Now if Sony America and Sony Europe would just start doing the same!