Ouya - Android based, Kickstarter funded Game Console


#1

I found this really interesting:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ouya/ouya-a-new-kind-of-video-game-console

Its a new open, Android 4.0 based game console that has so far raised 5.78 Million Dollars from 45,100 backers on Kickstarter.

It will be fully compatible with all existing Android tablet/smartphone games from launch.

If all goes well, the Ouya will be available to buy in March 2013, for only 99 Dollars a piece.

Here are the tech specs for it:

[ul]
[li] Tegra3 quad-core processor[/li][li]1GB RAM[/li][li]8GB of internal flash storage[/li][li]HDMI connection to the TV, with support for up to 1080p HD[/li][li]WiFi 802.11 b/g/n[/li][li]Bluetooth LE 4.0[/li][li]USB 2.0 (one)[/li][li]Wireless controller with standard controls (two analog sticks, d-pad, eight action buttons, a system button), a touchpad[/li][li]Android 4.0[/li][li]ETHERNET! (Announced by Muffi 7/18)[/li][/ul]

Obviously, this isn’t a PS3 or Xbox 360 killer hardware-wise.

Rather, it is a cheap, open, anyone-can-develop-for-it Android compatible game console for “the rest of us”.

Its going to be interesting to see how well Ouya does in the market.


#2

This is posted already.

Also it is vaporware. If anybody believes this thing has a chance of coming out they are out of touch with reality. The makers of the console are clueless as well. It is not going to be 99$ on release, that is only for the kickstarter preorder price. I would not waste my 100$ on it though because it is never coming out.


#3

I have to agree with Ali on this. Consoles are extremely expensive to manufacture; in fact I’ve heard that consoles are generally manufactured at a loss, while the profit is made through licensing. This wouldn’t apply in this case. The entire project is little more than a pipe dream.


#4

While I’m a skeptical backer, I’d suggest doing a bit more research before forming such a concretely negative opinion of the project. I’ll admit the ouya team has done a very poor job of marketing and explaining the details behind this thing, but after reading numerous posts (particularly ones where members of the team address these concerns), it’s not the disaster everyone makes it out to be.

The biggest misconception people seem to have is that it’s competing as either a mobile device or a AAA console. It’s neither of those things. It’s a cheap hardware console designed for a niche market of people who want to tinker and make games without the large startup costs required for the big 3 consoles.

Also, I would like to ask, what’s wrong with people trying to do something new? Even if they fail, isn’t it important that people TRY. Without people like these, there would be no innovation.


#5

There’s been allot made of the kickstarter presentation video and how it presents its case. In reality, the system has No major publishers backing it. They use screen shots of title that shows Madden, (at 2:08 in the video) when EA isn’t supporting it. There’s allot of wishful thinking going on there and eager gamers looking for something new may have been taken for a ride.

Keep in mind what Android OS is good at… Touch Screen. What touch screen games do you want to play on a TV?
Then key in the console being open to hacks. As it stands, Android games suffer high pirating rates. Not sure which major publishers want a platform with such little controls over their games.

Some points made against the backing of Ouya - The Trouble with Ouya


#6

On live will be available with ouya, so big games will be playable. That alone is worth it IMHO.
Sad to see all kinds of negativity towards a creative product coming from a creative forum…
Even if it fails there is lots of potential for this console. I hope it makes it.


#7

Those specs aren’t out the realm of possibility. It is not on par with a AAA console which is basically a computer. Those specs are a cheap phone/tablet with no screen or battery.


#8

Yah the negativity is kinda depressing. On one point people ask where is all the innovation, and on the other hand they can’t stop criticizing. Fine, so it has some major flaws. But nothing that exists today has been done perfectly the first time. Failure is part of progress.


#9

This isn’t really what one would call innovation. For one Sony is already making the Google TV that plays Android based games.


#10

Yes. It is basically a Nvidia Tegra 3 based android tablet computer, with no screen and no battery, in a console casing.

And it is aimed mainly at gamers on a budget, but also at small indie developers who cannot afford to publish to Xbox or PS3.

Ouya have also announced that they are partnering with Onlive.

This means that at lauch, Ouya will let you play over 80 major games cloud-based.

And of course all existing Android games + Apps will run on the Ouya.

I don’t know if I’ll buy one when it is released. But I do think these people are pursuing a worthwhile idea.

Good luck to them!


#11

Agreed, this is basically vaporware. This offers nothing that doesn’t already exist in the Android/indie dev community. In fact it seems like nothing more than some attempt to add an unnecessary middleman to the Android dev market. Why would anyone opt for this over their phones or tablets? And why would any dev want another control/display scheme to design for?


#12

The OUYA team will be doing a live Q&A on Reddit’s AMA subreddit this Wednesday at 10am PST. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how they address some of the criticism being expressed.

https://twitter.com/playouya/status/230014174481235969


#13

Its a game console for the living room, its cheap, its simple, it hooks up to a 1080 HD TV, its fully Android 4.0 app/game compatible, and it has a well designed, physical game controller attached to it.

If you are a developer, it has the bonus that every Ouya unit comes with a pre-installed SDK for game development.

If you can squeeze your game UI onto a tiny smartphone screen, or a slightly larger tablet screen, then surely it can’t be too hard to make that same UI work on a 32" - 55" TV screen?
You either scale it up. Or you simply reposition it in the top-right or bottom-right corner of the screen or something.

As for the controller, how hard is it for a game developer to remap the few controls a typical Android game has onto the Ouya game controller? For your average Android game, that surely won’t take more than a day or two to get accomplished?


#14

It couldn’t be any worse than a tablet, and we see tablets being sold all over the place at a profit.


#15

Exactly. If people spend good money on Android phones & tablets - and they do -, why wouldn’t they buy an Android console for the living room?

Especially if it doesn’t cost much & lets you play your favorite Android games on a 32"- 55" HD TV.


#16

Well the problem they’re going to have has nothing to do with the hardware. If they can build it for less than it costs to get it sold, they can make a profit… but they need to sell the consoles in the first place to make a profit.

Personally I’d love to develop for it, I’m just a little barely-indy guy… I’ve got my Breakout clone on the way. But what I really want people to use is a controller for my games, not a screen. I bought Sonic CD for my tablet and I really don’t like playing it much because of that screen… there’s no tactile response, and sometimes my thumbs miss the target at critical times. I’d love to play other people’s games on such a console as well.

It’s just a question of if the developers will support it. With the controllers, Android devs are going to have to adapt their games to that. It should be easy, but if not enough developers do it, then the console will fail for adoption reasons.

It should be alright in the short term I think. I mean, the thing will come out and we’ll get to play with it… I hope.


#17

I play sonic on my galaxy S I with a keyboard just fine. Which probably means most games come with controls in the first place (hence they can put them on an imaginary touch one), the keyboard is just remapping these to a physical button.
I’m not sure how this will work for touch based games like angry birds where swiping is necessary, but the developers could easily make their controls work for most games.


#18

It’s cute that everyone seems to think it’s “easy” to adapt swipe/touch controls to a button controller. First, there is often no analogous counterpart from one to the other. Second, it’s not that it might not be technically easy, but then the dev/pub has to implement and test another whole UI scheme, something that is not fast or cheap. The last thing devs want is a return to the multi-hardware standard of the old days. Development is already expensive enough, it seems a bad move to expect devs/pubs to add to their expense unless there were some potential big gain in return, and I just don’t see that. The overwhelming migration in games has been from console/pc to mobile. It seems like swimming upstream to try to go the other way.

Again, I say this console is a solution in search of a problem.


#19

You do realize there is a touch-pad on the controller, right? Maybe add a day of development at most to make sure the touch pad gets mapped to the proper screen coordinates and you’re done.

You have a good point here in that supporting more devices is an added cost no matter what way you look at it. However, if you’re smart about developing your game for multi-platform from the start (such as leveraging Unity’s ability to export to multiple platforms very easily) it’s not the big daunting task you make it out to be.

trancerobot - You pretty much perfectly summed up what the device is meant to be and why someone would be excited for it. I personally can’t wait to get my hands on this thing and start developing my game for it (also PC / MAC / Linux in tandem). I tried an early prototype of it on my Android phone and absolutely hated it.


#20

Thought this might be relevant, Square enix has just announced it will release Final Fantasy III as a launch title for the Ouya.

Source:
Final Fantasy III On Ouya

Perhaps more publishers will also add launch titles? Who knows? I doubt it to be honest but the optimist in me wants the console to do well and I think backing from major publishers will help…