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Ouya to start embedding in other hardware

Ouya to start embedding in other hardware

Mon 03 Mar 2014 4:08pm GMT / 11:08am EST / 8:08am PST
BusinessHardwareDevelopment

The Android-based games platform will no longer be exclusive to the $99 Ouya hardware

Ouya has had a somewhat bumpy ride since its launch last year. With multiple revisions to the hardware, controller and internal software, things have improved, and Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman feels that the platform is on solid ground now with over 675 games available and 33,000 developers signed up. In an effort to make Ouya more ubiquitous as a platform, however, Uhrman has revealed that the company is becoming platform agnostic.

"One thing you'll start to see is Ouya on other people's devices," she said. "For us, we'll always have a minimum set of standards so the games will work well on our device as well as others. It's the hardware plus an ecosystem. If you think about the traditional game consoles, they're custom hardware and custom chips. To get those games, you have to buy a box for hundreds of dollars. We've always wanted to open that up. We started with a $99 box, but we always wanted to create a console platform that can live on other people's devices. We just knew it was going to take us a little bit of time to get it ready. Now we think the software is good enough, it's ready to be embedded in other people's devices. We actually started having some of these conversations during CES, and the takeup was so great that we're really jumping into the strategy with both feet this year."

With Apple going strong and potentially looking to Apple TV to expand its gaming horizons, and Amazon strongly rumored to be making its own console push, perhaps Ouya is feeling the pressure. Uhrman doesn't seem concerned, though.

"It wouldn't be a legitimate product category if Amazon or Apple didn't try to compete in it," she said. "We think that there is no better proof to our category that it's worth pursuing than Amazon deciding to go into it. We remain focused on being about games first, and changing the way console gaming works."

The full interview can be read at the [a]listdaily today.

19 Comments

James Coote
Independent Game Developer

6 11 1.8
Popular Comment
This is a good move for OUYA if done right.

OUYA tried to bring a lean approach to console hardware, but consumers just weren't ready for a minimum viable product, especially at a time when super-shiny PS4 and Xbox One were just around the corner.

They've correctly identified the important thing is the ecosystem, and the failure of Madcatz Mojo console, which just had vanilla Android/Google Play, has vindicated their decision to have a dedicated store where every game guarantees to work with a controller and account for things like overscan. It makes sense to now concentrate on becoming the defacto store for Android-Console / Android-controller-supported games.

This is definitely OUYA going to plan b, but it's a good plan b. If they can long term build alliances with OEMs and start helping developers really shift units, then it could pull them out of the current rut they're in.

Posted:4 months ago

#1

Paul Jace
Merchandiser

868 1,273 1.5
This kind of reminds me how some subscription based mmo games go free to play in order to survive after lackluster sales.

Posted:4 months ago

#2

Jean-Claude Cottier
Director

2 0 0.0
That's a good move, and for OEM, it might sound interesting enough to make it viable. Good luck OUYA.

JC

Posted:4 months ago

#3

James Battersby
Developer

15 8 0.5
They had better be a lot stricter than Google is for android handset compatibility or they'll need a plan C very quickly!

Posted:4 months ago

#4

Chris Nash
Compliance Technician

45 13 0.3
It's a good move - sell Ouya as a complement to existing technology, built into TVs, Blu-ray players, DVRs, other set-top boxes...

Posted:4 months ago

#5

Robin Clarke
Producer

297 681 2.3
I don't think Amazon or Apple making set-top boxes legitimises the microconsole product category at all.

Posted:4 months ago

#6

Jeffrey Kesselman
Professor - Game Development

30 52 1.7
Popular Comment
This looks like a blink to me.

Ouya has discovered what I always suspected, that there really is no market for an underpowered cell phone tethered to your TV, and is looking for other markets.

Posted:4 months ago

#7

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,136 914 0.8
This is a very interesting move indeed. I must say, I think the OUYA ecosystem is becoming very good and improving. For those I've spoken to, who wanted OUYA (and its titles) on their phones and tablets, well, it could happen now, without OUYA inc releasing these devices themselves.

One of the stumbling points I see however, is that OUYA as a software platform has Google Play, Amazon, AppStore and Tegra Zone to compete with amongst other things. Whilst I'm not sure where they will launch in the coming months or years, we have competition around every corner.
It's a good move - sell Ouya as a complement to existing technology, built into TVs, Blu-ray players, DVRs, other set-top boxes...
Yup. TVs, Blu-Ray, DVRs with "OUYA" could be a great direction for them. But I guess, as mentioned, competiton is out there and I guess others could do the same. Including bigger, stronger companies.

Posted:4 months ago

#8

Peter Bond
Studying Art & Design

66 18 0.3
Only time and money will tell! ;)

Posted:4 months ago

#9

Nuttachai Tipprasert
Programmer

79 60 0.8
Can anyone explain me what benefits OUYA gives over Android? In other words, why should hardware manufacture adopt OUYA instead of normal Android? It's killing me but I cannot come up with any reasonable answer for those questions.

Posted:4 months ago

#10

Christopher Ingram
Editor-at-Large

44 34 0.8
@Nuttachai There's the potential of an additional layer of quality control, but most importantly is the additional exposure for the Indies that release on the "Ouya" platform on the other devices. The ecosystem on Google Play and iOS is so vast of an ocean that exposure has become a major hurdle that must be overcome. This new Ouya market could alleviate that for some time. With Ouya focused solely on video games, it would be a wise decision to keep the exposure for new titles flowing, even after the services starts to acquire a large amount of titles as well.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Christopher Ingram on 4th March 2014 2:57am

Posted:4 months ago

#11

Curt Sampson
Sofware Developer

595 356 0.6
I wonder if there are any technical reasons that the Ouya capabilities (supporting a controller, having the "big picture" interface and Ouya shop available, and perhaps having an HDMI output) could not be integrated as an add-on to a "standard" Android device, such as a regular phone or tablet. Possibly some tablets even have enough hardware and software support that Ouya could do this as a sideloaded app, the way Amazon Appstore for Android works.

I like my Ouya well enough, but I'd much rather just be able to bring up "Ouya mode" on my phone or tablet, so that I don't need yet another device. My Ouya's controller pairs well enough with my Nexus 10, but even the games that support a controller often don't do a great job of it.

Ouya's core value proposition is a bit of hardware validation and a curated environment for buying games. Getting that on to as many platforms as possible is the only way I see that they could really be successful. If they can do this, they might be able to succeed where Sony tried and failed with PlayStation Mobile. They might even convince a phone manufacturer or two to produce a phone with a built-in controller, along the lines of the Xperia Play.

One obstacle, however, is Ouya's regrettable decision to go with "clever" names for the buttons on its controller (O/A/U/Y, spelling out "OUYA" when read in the right order) rather than the standard A/B/X/Y names used by the Xbox and most third-party controllers. The Y does match up at least, but the standard "B" button is Ouya's "A" button, which seems likely to generate confusion if they want to support non-Ouya controllers.

Posted:4 months ago

#12

John Pickford
Owner

44 146 3.3
Does Ouya really have an eco-system? Doesn't that suggest a thriving store?

None of the developers I speak to are making games for the system. I know one or two who ported titles over a described it as a waste of time. Maybe they weren't the right kind of games. Is anyone having success on Ouya?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by John Pickford on 4th March 2014 10:40am

Posted:4 months ago

#13

Tom Keresztes
Programmer

632 239 0.4
People seem to miss the point. It can done on any hardware running android, but

- nobody did it in a console form factor before the Ouya
- nobody did it at this price (99)
- nobody tried to provide the ecosystem thats suited for games. Shop is not the online service...
- Its not competing with Microsoft or Sony, its a small player for a very specific audience.

In other words, just because its not meant to be for you, dont assume it has no place. I, for one, a budging developer welcomed it as a playground for console style development. Yeah, wont make much money from it, but does money have to be the only reason someone making games ?

Posted:4 months ago

#14

Craig Page
Programmer

382 218 0.6
Ouya really needs some exclusives and a tech demo to show something better looking than 8 bit retro apps.

They should really use up some of their investor money to act as a publisher, and lure in a few developers with guaranteed money. No one took advantage of their kickstarter matching funds, but if they offered some "fund the whole thing" funds that would be more tempting...

Posted:4 months ago

#15

Al Nelson
Producer

32 47 1.5
D'oh, better check what they means for our Ouya product.

Posted:4 months ago

#16

Nuttachai Tipprasert
Programmer

79 60 0.8
@Christopher Ingram Call me skeptical but I honestly don't thing that OUYA is the best platform for indie at all. Comparing to PC, OUYA has too few install based. Also, OUYA hasn't yet proven how their store can solve discovery problem because it isn't crowed yet. And, AFAIK, the only way to order OUYA outside of the State is mailing order, which, is not a popular choice elsewhere in the other parts of the world. I think before they try to solve app store discovery problem, they should solve their system exposure problem first. Game console that has fewer than million install based is not worth developing. It's my motto.

[Edit] After I have sometime to think, embedding their OS into other hardware might help them solving their exposure problem in a way. But, then again, developers will have fragmentation problems that's plagued mobile and PC to deal with. It kinda defeats the purpose of having indie friendly console that they were aiming at the beginning of KS campaign. Sill, time will tell whether this is a good move or not. Lets hope this will work out some how.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Nuttachai Tipprasert on 5th March 2014 1:51am

Posted:4 months ago

#17

Jeff Kleist
Writer, Marketing, Licensing

266 128 0.5
There's already a pike of competition out there, it's basically a last ditch effort to save the thing. There's simply not enough difference between it and the existing platforms to change vendors

Posted:4 months ago

#18

Keldon Alleyne
Handheld Developer

427 403 0.9
It's got the marketing but lacks the innovation.

Posted:4 months ago

#19

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