Musings on an Android Console “OUYA”
Let’s get the bad mojo out of the way since most of this blog post will be very positive. I don’t like the name of the console, and price of the controllers. That’s it. Really. Now let’s get to business.
OUYA Price. http://shop.ouya.tv/
$100 for the console and 1 controller.
$50 per bluetooth wireless controller.
The OUYA is an Android gaming console sponsored in part by thousands of people who believed this was a good idea and pre-ordered it or helped out with a few bucks on KickStarter to prove it. But besides the console’s origin, the OUYA is an interesting gaming device. For one it’s powered by an ARM based Tegra 3 — Quad-core processor designed for low power devices, so it’s not as strong as a PS3 or an XBOX. However, it’s still powerful enough to play 1080p video content and 3d video games, what more can you ask for? OUYA doesn’t have direct access to all of Android’s game market or Applications ready for installation, so it relies on developers porting or making games to the OUYA online store. What helps out is the OUYA for game developers is having Android 4.0 and root access which doesn’t void the warranty unlike most cell phone and tablet manufacturers. The SDK (software development kit) is also easily available. CONSOLE SPECS
But no matter how good a system is on paper, it needs games and games need developers. The OUYA already has a few games in it’s ever expanding library. In fact they recently launched a promotion to encourage developers to make exclusive games for the console, for a period of at least 6 months. Does it sound like bribery, yes, but will it work? You’d have to ask your local video game developers to see if they think it’s a good idea to receive payment for their games.
The OUYA has some good games even though the store only has a little over 260 games, some gems are hidden in there. TowerFall, emulators and Final Fantasy III are all good picks and more games are coming.
However after reading a few reviews from people who played with the OUYA after a short while, of hearing people with skepticism say how the console is already a huge failure and they’ll never buy one. I feel annoyed at how some folks really don’t understand how this piece of gaming technology works.
“If I have a phone that can do all that, why would I buy this?” Is the question someone asked me. I asked in return, “Do you do this often?” He replied no. I assume most people don’t use their phones for gaming anyways, at least on the television. It’s easier to leave the big name (SONY/MS/NINTENDO) console or a computer ready for dedicated gaming.
Some folk tend to have a lot of technological devices in their house and tend to look at the small android gaming console as another thing that will take up space until it ends up being thrown away or lost in a box. But most techies are like that anyways, they go after the latest and tend to forget all the old things, in a word, upgrade.
Using the Ouya as a computer for Android apps or video playback through XBMC are great features that really show how closely related this console is to a phone.
One of the major faults to the OUYA was being overhyped, it seemed that they really promised a lot for only 100$ and they still delivered, a year later when the hype wore off, people began to doubt… But not if you remember the reason you wanted one. Android gaming console, because that’s all it is.
There’s a few other gaming fads still to come, the Gamestick, which is also a great idea, just not the right time because Ouya was going to steal most of the spotlight and I’d like to wait and see what the GameStick console does differently to separate itself from the OUYA. I did however go for the GCW_Zero portable Linux gameboy. Also known to some pirates as a Dingoo. It’s their newest model of Gameboy/PSP knockoff except it’s better hardware-wise and it runs Linux. Oh Yeah! I never had a reason to buy one, at least until the kickstarter came along so I purchased one eagerly to wait and see how it comes out. Mostly to play my DOS games and have a portable gameboy to replace my gameboy advance SP for which I lost most of my games.But that’s besides the point, let’s get back to the OUYA.
One things I wish the makes of the OUYA would have done was the known method of “Under-Promise and Over-Deliver.” But thinking a little more about it, I don’t know if that would have been a good idea for them. Maybe the hype WAS to their advantage after all. The amount of attention developers and bigger name studios had by putting their games on that console in order to be one of the “first” to claim a spot on the android TV console market has it’s advantages. Now I’m not going to ramble on and say what the OUYA needs to do for it to become a better console since I’m sure the creators already know what I’m going to say. I’m just going to mention that it’s a work in progress on it’s way to become a big name in video gaming revolution, as far as gaming revolutions go.
I actually don’t recommend everyone the Ouya, yet. I purchased the Ouya wanting something I could play with from time to time, run my NES, Super NES, N64, Playstation games and Sega Games a few popular Indie title along with XBMC all on the same console would be great if that’s what everyone wants, and if it’s not, then why would buy something that’s not meant for what you wanted? You want to play Crysis 2, Skyrim and Star Wars the Old Republic on Ultra High Graphics? Then by all means, skip this console. I’ll never understand people who expect the impossible from so little.
Some games do feel cheap and laggy, check out the racing section which has a few “lazy” ports that don’t function properly showing it’s still an ongoing process ..cough Highway Rally,Space Roads, Rage Runner cough!… But the good news is the games are updated often when needed. Some games may never work out in the long run, but this console will have a future due to the fact that this thing is hackable, easy to take it apart, or even make a new case for it.
It’s not a revolution yet. Lots of people will love it and sure not everyone will want an OUYA. Nintendo MS and SONY really are the big 3, kind of like in the American Automobile Industry, but that doesn’t mean they should be the only ones with consoles out there, I like variety and choice since it gives me a sense of freedom to play as I please. This is the reason I play and enjoy an OUYA.