Raising Expectations for Ouya

Few projects have seized the Kickstarter zeitgeist as effectively as Ouya - but it's destined to disappoint

This time last week, nobody had heard of Ouya; we might have guessed that it was an approximation of the sound of a polite grandmother dropping a hammer on her toe, or the carnal grunt of an Old Etonian. Seven days later, it's soared past its funding target on Kickstarter and has become one of the hottest topics in the industry. Yet it's been fascinating to speak to a variety of different people about the proposed console and gauge the reasons for their support, because doing so has revealed vast fractures in terms of what people actually expect from this console.

For most - especially those at the lower end of the pledging scale, I expect - their support is a reflection of pent-up demand for a smart TV device. An all-digital console with the same development philosophy as mobile and tablet games is seen as filling the gap which has been created, conspicuously, by years of talking about a Google, Apple or even Valve led Smart TV revolution which has thus far failed to materialise. Ouya hitches a lift on a variety of related trends in a pretty overt way - the rise of indie (and of the superstar indie developer - witness the quotes from the likes of Mojang and Jenova Chen on the Kickstarter page), the rise of crowdfunding, the sense of inevitability about mobile and tablet gaming making an impact on the TV screen.

"Ouya hitches a lift on a variety of related trends - the rise of indie, the rise of crowdfunding, the sense of inevitability about mobile and tablets making an impact on the TV screen"

Then there's the controller - a conventional joypad. No touch screen, no movement controls. Among the traditional gamers who have voiced hatred of such things for years, not a dry eye in the house. Could it be? Could this be the device that's going to reclaim these brave new worlds of gaming - F2P, mobile, tablet, digital - from the hordes of arm-waving, song-singing, touchscreen-molesting not-proper-gamers who have infested them? Shut up and take my money!

If you're detecting a hint of cynicism here - well, I think that's natural. Here we have a device which clambers atop a rickety tower of trends and waves its arms for attention. Think about it - it's an open platform, for indie developers, crowdfunded, all-digital, "disruptive" (maybe), hacker-friendly, free-to-play... It's painfully hip, like a console built after a brainstorming session consisting exclusively of words cut out from the headlines of Boing Boing posts. This console wears heavy non-prescription glasses and patterned cardigans, has a dreadful beard, drinks chai lattes outside pop-up cafes in Shoreditch and listens to the latest unreleased music demos on an old tape walkman "ironically". It couldn't have been more guaranteed the Kickstarter success it has ultimately achieved.

I don't begrudge it that. It has played to a crowd beautifully - perhaps even unconsciously - and indeed, it's a thing of beauty in many ways. Like the trends which have birthed it, the Ouya is a lovely idea. Cheap, open, hackable, filled with content from talented indie developers. It's a beautiful idea and in fact, it has the potential to become a beautiful little community - a creative incubator filled with new ideas being tested and trialled, welcoming fledgling developers to dip in and show what they can do, while giving more established developers a platform on which to trial new ideas. (Of course, PC advocates might point out that Windows and indeed OSX have been doing exactly that for years, but while there's substance to that argument, the point remains that console gaming and hence console development is intrinsically more attractive for some players, so there is theoretically room for an "open console" of sorts.)

The real problem is one of expectation. Ouya's creators asked for $950,000 and at the time that I'm writing this, they're hovering around the $4 million mark. Exceeding their target by such a margin has created immense excitement around the platform, and that's led to a lot of the fractures in terms of expectation that I alluded to earlier. Some people (outspoken Android advocates, mostly, which can't be an easy position to take and thus deserves our sympathy) view this as a final piece of the puzzle for Android, completing a platform comprising mobile, tablet and now console offerings and thus ushering in an era of dominance for their chosen OS. Others, more sanely but equally questionably, view it as a full-scale introduction of F2P mechanisms to the console space which will prove disruptive to the console business at large.

"What we've seen so far is a sliver of a fraction of a niche, not a workable market and not an indication of guaranteed success"

Those two are marginal viewpoints, certainly - but they can be found easily enough within many discussions around Ouya this week. Much more common is the viewpoint that this has just become a major battleground between "open" and "closed". Consoles are, unquestionably, "closed" - it's insanely expensive to develop a title for the Xbox 360 or the PS3 and you need permission from a platform holder, probably via an equally restrictive publisher, to do so. At the other end of the spectrum, Ouya is open; buy one, build something, release it. (In the middle, you get all manner of things being labelled "open" or "closed" based on rhetorical convenience rather than any truly useful definition - witness iOS and WP7 being labelled "closed" despite occupying a space at the "open" end of the spectrum so close to Android's own policies that most consumers couldn't make a meaningful distinction between them.)

So poor Ouya, now, is going to be a stalking horse for the hopes and dreams of the "open" crowd. This beautiful, well-intentioned, achingly hip piece of technology is going to go out into the world with the expectation of actually winning over a meaningful audience of consumers who will knowingly choose an "open" platform over the "closed" ones currently on offer - who will buy into the Ouya vision of a future where entertainment exists without gatekeepers or curators.

Let's put this in a little bit of perspective. First, hard numbers. Ouya, as I write, has raised $4 million from around 31,000 people. That's a big number of consumers to some people. If I wrote a book on Kindle and sold it to 31,000 people for a fiver each, I'd be very happy. For a console with an F2P business model, though, it's barely even a test market, let alone a viable consumer base. Remember that even the most successful console games rarely sell to 10% of the console installed base (misfits like Wii Fit aside) - even if we assume that F2P ensures a wider group will sample the game, remember that only around 1 in 20 people who play F2P games actually pay (the figures fluctuate and are tough to pin down, but that's not a bad ballpark). Now, Ouya will hopefully sell to a lot more than the 31,000 people who backed it, but the point remains - what we've seen so far is a sliver of a fraction of a niche, not a workable market and not an indication of guaranteed success.

Secondly, a brief exploration of why consumers buy consoles. One word - games. Consumers buy consoles because those consoles have games they want to play. A handful buy consoles due to platform loyalty, and go on to make a lot of noise about them on the internet, but they're not an important market overall (even Nintendo's consoles sell, ultimately, because of Nintendo's games, not because of the Nintendo name itself). I doubt that any human being in history has ever walked into a games store and bought a console because they like the market philosophy behind it ("an Xbox 360 and a copy of Atlas Shrugged if you would please, shopkeep!"), although if someone has, I'm sure they'll pop up in the comments below to prove both my wrongness and their own loneliness in the world. On mobile, a handful of noisy Internet types choose Android specifically because of the open/closed debate, but again, they're not a particularly important market segment - one of Android's greatest problems is that most people who choose Android phones do so simply because they're cheap, and go on to spend no money whatsoever in the Google Play store.

"Those creating huge expectations for the console are going to be disappointed; the internet opinion machine will take that disappointment and turn it into failure"

This is the reality facing Ouya. You convince consumers to buy a console by having top-flight software available for it. You convince developers to create top-flight software by either paying them (first party), or by convincing them that there are going to be tons of consumers around to buy their software at launch. The way you achieve the latter is by injecting enormous amounts of money into both first party software and launch marketing. Ouya, which is launching a console on a budget less than that of most console software releases, let alone hardware launches, cannot afford to do that - and all the Boing Boing posts and Kickstarter magic dust in the world doesn't change that.

To me, the saddest thing about this situation is that Ouya is brilliant. It's a great idea, and I think it's going to do something really interesting in terms of creating a community that's very small, very rough and tumble but utterly buzzing with creativity. I've backed it (not least because in a week when people seem to have decided that throwing money at an existing, profitable publication through Kickstarter is a reasonable use of the site, giving some money to an actually innovative, creative project seemed like the best riposte) and I'll buy one, and I'm intrigued to see what comes of it. But it's sad, because Ouya is going to be judged a failure. Those creating huge expectations for the console are going to be disappointed; the internet opinion machine will take that disappointment and turn it into failure. Ouya will do some great stuff, but it's not going to disrupt the console business (which is already pretty disrupted already) or initiate a revolution against closed platforms. I fear that the hype will make it impossible to enjoy the platform for what it is - an idea that's simply too lovely to survive in the real world.

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Latest comments (42)

Bostjan Troha CEO, Zootfly6 years ago
"the internet opinion machine will take that disappointment and turn it into failure"

You have already started this opinion machine. Before the device even got out of the door! Amazingly condescending.
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Dirk van Wijk Student - Computer Science (Master) 6 years ago
Pretty brash statements you make there. Already condemning it after a week it got revealed. I hope it's not too good to be true :)
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Mark Jawdoszak Director, Gaslight Games6 years ago
Bostjan and Dirk - thank you both for echoing my sentiments!
I've read a lot of blog posts, tweets and opinion pieces that seem to have missed a trick: what the OUYA CAN be!

Yes, it has a hard slog ahead of it. Yes, signing up developers and games and ensuring it's portfolio is good enough to warrant its existence will be everything. And yes, there's a whole of of "ifs" floating about.

But even if it can deliver on a fraction of what it's claiming, then that's a win. Will it a be a financial win for the OUYA and those developers who release on it? Only time will tell, but slamming it because it's something new or different or you have nothing else better to say doesn't help matters. It, as Dirk has already said, condemns it just after the reveal!
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Show all comments (42)
Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters6 years ago
Well, it does say "opinion", and everyone's entitled to one. Personally I don't see the point in the Ouya. Mobile's advantages are that they're massively portable, and easily accessible anywhere, whereas consoles advantages are that they're high quality and powerful. Ouya isn't portable and it isn't powerful. It's like it takes the worst of both worlds.
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Sam Brown Lead Audio Programmer, TT Games6 years ago
I'm afraid I'm with Rob on this one. Much as I want this to succeed, the history of our industry is littered with previous attempts. Phantom, Nuon, Indrema, EVO Smart, Zeebo, Game Wave... the list is long. All of them had funding, backing and keen support amongst the enthusiasts, and all of them ultimately failed. I can't see this doing much better.
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Felix Leyendecker Senior 3D Artist, Crytek6 years ago
Agree with dave.

The only thing it has going for it is that it's cheap. The hardware power is problematic too. Looking at the most successful PC f2p games, would they run on phone hardware? Not really. They are still 3d games that would have to be rendered in 720p minimum to be appealing on a big screen.

Another question one has to ask himself: Would the appstore model and mobile gaming market evolved to what it is today if there had been no iphone, just the ipod touch? Hardly.
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Rasberry Pi is flying off the shelves - is that to be considered a failure on this site because it's not making lots of people rich? You have to consider the goals of the peeps behind Ouya... and these may not be the goals you are looking for.

There's little reason to think this is like Phantom, Nuon etc. It's cheap to make, cheap to produce stuff for, easy to fill with solid, ready-made content, and ultimately cheap to buy. If they included music/TV streaming services and wrap it in a simple UI then this box could do very well.

It could still fail of course but as likely for human reasons - I've heard nothing here to tell me the idea isn't as sound as any other crazy idea that made it that you didn't foresee. And anyway guys it's Friday - jaysus dream a little will you? :)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Barry Meade on 13th July 2012 11:40am

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Antony Johnston Writer & Narrative Designer 6 years ago
As soon as I saw this in my RSS feed, just from the standfirst alone, I knew it had to be Rob's column ;) Hard to disagree with any of it, though. A noble effort, sure, but I just don't see it taking off.
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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd6 years ago
Well this isn't exactly difficult to copy since it's just an Android device with a controller that connects to the TV and is far from innovative for that reason. Having said that why wouldn't it do well? Time will tell of course, but if it is supported by Unity and eventually Unreal (I'd imagine) there will be great games for it, it's much cheaper than an iPhone and iPod Touch, and will have a much larger selection of games than all the other consoles.

For an independent developer this is a great avenue to use, and hopefully we will have the freedom to create our own game portals, which would really be a revolution.
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Tom Keresztes Programmer 6 years ago
While the tegra3 is not an as fast a 360, it is still a capable hardware. Especially considering, that in a console it wont have the power limitations of a portable device. Besides, is there any other console that allows you to publish games?

xgamestation, perhaps.
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James Battersby Developer, Blue Beck6 years ago
Lite games for a lite console.

Universities/colleges should at least jump on the bandwagon and get a few kits for their students studying how to make games. Relatively inexpensive and hopefully easy to deploy to, providing opportunities for budding developers to get to grips with what is required in making successful games.

If we can quality control the apps/games appearing on this device (rather than have the vast amount of flotsum on Google Play as we do now) then maybe, just maybe, this could work.
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Adam Campbell Game Production Manager, Azoomee6 years ago
I agree with Barry Meade, I think people are looking at things the wrong way and not considering the real-world intentions of the company and the device, compared to the mad expectations some have.

Also, I do see this as being a pretty capable device with a lot of potential. I can see why they chose this hardware platform too. Small form factor, reasonable multi-core processing and shader based graphics ability but also architecture that is similar to other Android devices.

The compatibility with existing games and tools will be high, potentially coaxing devs into making adapted games or original games on a platform they're already familiar with. I think the rise in digital distribution and indie development in the mobile industry is a great thing to capitalise on in this somewhat modified form.

We would expect Apple to do the same thing with an Apple TV. This is effectively the Android version of what they Apple could be doing in the future, with their small, £99/$99 box with iOS apps and HD output capabilities.

This may seem like a long shot but could a buyout of the platform be on the cards in the future? Food for thought.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 13th July 2012 1:04pm

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Felix Leyendecker Senior 3D Artist, Crytek6 years ago
One thing to consider is: If this will have any amount of success, what's to stop MS and Sony from offering the exact same thing while offering an install base of 60+ million, superior hardware and an established online community?
All it would take was a policy change in their existing online stores. Well, that, and you still need a devkit, i guess :P
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Dylan Fries Lead Developer, Best Boy Media6 years ago
I would buy one of these just to be able make make games to play with my friends using controllers from the couch. Controllers have their issues but they're good for sitting around with your friends. It is an ambitious platform and, as the article pointed out, certainly has challenges, but an interesting idea and worth trying. It likely won't be as disruptive as some people seem to think it will be, its certainly not going to kill xbox or whatever, but if it can foster its community could be a viable alternative and a good platform. Also, 4$ million may not be much for AAA dev but its a serious chunk of cash if you're used to being lean and bootstrapping. Best of luck!
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Paul Shirley Programmers 6 years ago
@Felix:"what's to stop MS and Sony from offering the exact same thing"

Institutionalised greed will prevent them moving fast enough. The same attitudes Rob just put in print will stop them even recognising the opportunity (or threat perhaps) quickly. An industry that failed to foresee the rise of mobile gaming will inevitably make the same mistake again, not seeing that a non AAA console market is even more disruptive than the MS/Sony AAA console hardware battlefield.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Shirley on 13th July 2012 1:41pm

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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 6 years ago
High expectations lead to even greater dissapointments.OUYA is defenitly a great concept, but mobile, or social games arent my thing. And the concept of OUYA can easily be integrated in next gen offerings by the big three.
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Adrian Herber6 years ago
Well played Rob. You want it to succeed, but fear expectations are too high, so you try to dampen them a bit to help it in the long run!

... but seriously, the main issue is whether they can break through that launch problem of getting enough consumers to get enough devs to make games to get enough consumers ... etc. We'll see over the next few months I suspect. Can they drive their preorders ever upwards to reach a critical mass? (Would 100K backers be enough? 300K preorders by launch?) Will they get a good launch range of games that gets regular consumers buying the console?
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Adrian Herber6 years ago
@Dave one could also argue that it has the best of both mobile and console worlds: low dev costs and great delivery network from mobile, plus a traditional controller and a big screen which are proven gaming technology from console. Just depends how you look at it...

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adrian Herber on 13th July 2012 2:21pm

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Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters6 years ago
@Adrian - I was thinking more from the consumer point of view, why would I want to buy one, not from the developer side. I suspect most of the people getting excited by this are developers hoping for another market to open up for cheap and easy games, now that mobile game space is getting crowded and more difficult to succeed in. Consumer excitement, well, I guess we'd have to wait and see.
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Adrian Herber6 years ago
@Dave yes fair enough. I think the only thing that can get consumer excitement up is the promise of good games shortly followed by the materialisation of good games. It certainly is a unique enough proposition that we have no precedent to accurately guess the outcome yet.
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Martin Grider Programmer 6 years ago
The article states its just a plain controller, but I thought it was going to have a touchpad. Yes, found it:

"We are designing the controller to be a love letter to console gaming. It will have everything you've learned to love: fast buttons, triggers, laser-precise analog sticks, a D-Pad – and it will have a touchpad for any games making the trek from mobile or tablet to the TV." - Ouya KS page
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Edward Buffery Head of LQA (UK), Testronic6 years ago
I've always been a gamer, primarily on PC. I rarely buy full price games because I don't have enough time to commit to them to justify the price, so I splurge on Steam sales and play a lot of browser based flash games on newgrounds, armorgames, etc. I have almost no interest whatsoever in actually purchasing the next generation of consoles, especially if they're going to be bigger and 'more AAA focused' than the current generation. I can't be bothered to play my preferred type of games on a tiny mobile screen either, but I absolutely love the idea of sitting on the sofa in front of the TV with a controller in my hands, browsing through a menu of free to try, small, cheap yet fun and varied titles, and I wouldn't be surprised if several personal contacts write something for it.
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Derrick Samuels CEO, Envizions6 years ago
Thanks for the mention Sam. The EVO team is still kicking and innovating. Being a smaller company we have to find ways to use our resources to push our platform. We were the initial company that started work on a Linux and introduced a Android based console in earlier 2012 We got press but not as much as Ouya has received. I can say without doubt we have a major announcement coming very soon regarding the direction of our platform and company. And we promise it's something very fun, simple, and very open for programmers to participate plus make money.
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Kieren Bloomfield Software Engineer, EA Sports6 years ago
I'm still scratching my head as to how this can be 'open' but yet railroading developers into free to play. That means someone is controlling content on the machine. Which would be pointless if the hardware is truly open and I can legitimately run what I like on it (free/paid/stolen...).

No dev is going to make money on this thing, it's a toy for enthusiasts and people wanting a taster for console development.

As for Android phones, yes I have one, no I haven't spent any money on the play store. Reasons for buying over iOS, none of the reasons mentioned in the article.
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James Verity6 years ago
gamers are looking for something... something that the cartridge based consoles and first gen (CD) consoles gave but the current gen (360/ps3) consoles have lost... thats why the Ouya is getting gamers attention...
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Jay Filmer Web Developer, Steel Media6 years ago
The one thing people don't seem to be thinking about is the cost. Not just of the console, but of the games.

Presumably they're going to be priced similar to AppStore and Marketplace titles?

Forget the philosophy or the "openness". The most likely way this will go mainstream, is because people won't need that much convincing to buy a cheap console that has loads of perfectly modern games for throwaway money.
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Alex Bortoluzzi President and CEO, Xoobis6 years ago
My interest is in the fact that you can easily port your current Unity games for it. If they can offer a curated store along with the wasteland of anything goes, it could attract bigger players. It's another venue for your titles struggling to find an audience on an ultra crowded space.
Another thing is the fact that OUYA can hit big on developing countries, where consoles cost way too much for the average gamer, increasing piracy. And the Wii pricing proves that low cost is a great way to fill college dorms with hardware.
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Richard Morwood Studying Bach. of Computer Science, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology6 years ago
its been announced a week ago and raised 4 million from 35k people - let's talk a if this is all of the interred people its ever going to get. never mind that it doesn't release until March (speculated release time frame), so it still had time to generate more interest with people, nor that the only people who will have heard about this so far are gamers who look at gaming websites. so many assumptions being made after only one week of it being announced -particularly about its numbers- is something that I find rather annoying.
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Adrian Herber6 years ago
One detail that I see a lot of people missing is that their definition of f2p is that they are insisting all games can be tried before purchase - eg this could be first level free, followed by one purchase for full game. This is quite a savvy twist on the traditional app store. Firstly, it combats shovel ware, because how will one make any sales on a rubbish game if people can play a demo and see how bad it is first. Secondly, since it is enforced across the whole store it may help combat 'rush to the bottom' pricing - with everyone being able easily try before they buy it it may be much easier to value your game at $5 instead of $1, and $20 instead of $6. I know I'd rather pay more for few known quantities than spend the same amount speculating on games I heard about somewhere.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 6 years ago
Heh. I remember before the original Xbox came out hearing (and being one of those who was saying) it was going to tank hard because of Sony's dominance in the market and Microsoft's lack of experience with consoles. And that was after hearing about all the talent working on the system. I guess we'll see what happens after Ouya launches and in the year or so afterward how things go.

Now, I don't expect it to "beat" what the big three are doing... but I do expect a lot of the people here playing the skeptic card will be chewing on consonants and vomiting up vowels if the thing does much better than expected...
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Fyzard Brown Sales Associate, VideoGameAdvantage6 years ago
Have they thought about the android fee Microsoft will expect from them?
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game6 years ago
"Have they thought about the android fee Microsoft will expect from them? "

What's Microsoft got to do with Android? I believe Google allow it's use for free, but if Microsoft can now charge a fee to use a product they don't own, that's scary.
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Sam Brown Lead Audio Programmer, TT Games6 years ago
@Andrew: Microsoft-and-Android details here

@Derrick: Nice to see you guys are still around. Believe me, I so want a mass-market open console, but I see them as having the same problems that Linux has beating Windows on the desktop.

Edit: Incidentally, if you want a really sceptical view, try this. Then go and watch the Kickstarter video again.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Sam Brown on 14th July 2012 1:39pm

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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game6 years ago
Thanks Sam, interesting read. It does say it's about half the OEMs of Android devices, so maybe it is avoidable?
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OUYA will definitely win its market share, IMO. Nintendo Wii costed much less than PS3 and Xbox360, which was attractive...and played games made for fun and not for performance. The big fail for Nintendo was that it pushed the "movement" and "family" side of it a bit too much.
OUYA is bringing tablet/mobile games onto everyone's TV: cheaply in many ways. The console will be the cheapest one ever commercialized probably. Games will be as cheap as current mobile/tablet games - up to $7.
The hardware is not too bad either. A quad core Tegra is a decent platform for $99.
Developing countries will buy into it as well because it's so cheap.
One issue will be distribution. If they don't fail at producing and distributing it... it will rock... and with some cool game on it you can kiss goodbye to Nintendo stuff. Hardcore gamers will still buy next-gen as well...but they will also get an OUYA...for the price of just 2 games of their preferred "mainstream" console.
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Martin Echenique Manager, Online Engineering - Sony WWS Online Technology Group, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe6 years ago
I have to say, I agree with Rob all the way.

For me, personally, Ouya will only be a device for talent to get training before breaking into the industry. I think it's fantastic in that sense, amateurs and hobbyists will have a new platform with which to hone and showcase their skills.

The comparison with the Raspberry PI is a necessary one. As similar as they seem, I think they're fundamentally different in their goals. Ouya is a games device, targetted at gamers and which will live or die by its software line-up. The RPI is completely different, it doesn't aim to become an ubiquitous device under people's TVs and I don't think anyone expects to make money by writing software for it (as far as I know), it's just not in its ethos.

We've had XNA on the X360 for years and yes, it's rather sandboxed and a bit constrained, but I don't think it's *that* different. When it was first announced, there was a lot of excitement, it would bring forth the democratisation of game development, anyone and everyone could write and sell their games and yet, it just didn't happen. I don't think it has anything to do with the quality of the platform or the tools themselves (amazing, in my opinion), the community just lost interest rather quickly and moved on to the next fad-of-the-month.

I think Ouya is most likely to become an inexpensive toy for geeks to tinker with which, ironically, is a lot closer to the RPI than its mission statement would imply.
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Jeremy Glazman Programmer 6 years ago
Ouya should take all that extra money that was pledged to them and feed it to some proven developers to make quality games for their console. From what Ouya has shown so far, mobile/flash game ports like Canabalt aren't exactly going to attract a meaningful audience.
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Nuttachai Tipprasert Programmer 6 years ago
@Emanuele Salvucci I have to disagreed with you. I am Thai and, yes, I'm living in developing country. Will you be surprised if I tell you that the most popular console here is the PS3? Cheap or not, the only thing that can sell consoles is GAME and OUYA is not an exception. People buy Wii because they want to play Mario, Zelda, Metroid. People buy PS3 because they want to play Uncharted, MGS4, FF XIII (before the later two became multiplatform). People buy Xbox 360 because they want to play Mass Effects, Gears of War, Halo. What is the game that will drive people to buy OUYA? Angry Birds? Mine Craft? Or an haven't yet announced awesome indie games that no one really sure they will really exist? Yes, OUYA brings tablet/mobile games to your TV, but who asked for that? The main advantage of tablet/mobile games is their mobility. Forcing people to stay in front of TV and play mobile games that should be easily access elsewhere doesn't sound like a good selling point of the console if you asked me.
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Andy Grimbal  Game Production, Turner Entertainment Network Asia6 years ago
Way I see it, is you are paying a very reasonable price for a Tegra 3 Android TV box with a gamepad. That alone is reason enough to buy and even if Ouya fails, I'm left with a really cool MAME and console emulator. Can't lose on this one as a consumer.
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 6 years ago
By using the app store model the Ouya would destroy any direct competitor still using physical media for content distribution. That is a given.
It will be very cheap to make, using mass produced componentry and with the absence of rotating media drives.

But does it have enough power to own the living room? Is power necessary to own the living room? Will smart TVs do pretty much the same job pretty much for free? Will Gaikai have first mover advantage?

Ouya need to get to critical mass very quickly because consoles are chicken and egg devices. They won't get the software support unless there is a good installed base. They won't get the installed base unless there is plenty of good software available.

The two likely outcomes are that they bumble along as a niche player. Or that they get bought out by a big global brand (Sega, Electronic Arts, Zynga, Microsoft, Valve, Google and Amazon are all good fits).

There again they could surprise us by being the second coming. The new Sinclair Spectrum.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Bruce Everiss on 16th July 2012 8:27am

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Benjamin Crause Supervisor Central Support, Nintendo of Europe6 years ago
"[...] but it's destined to disappoint" this is the nail on the head for me.
Don't get me wrong. I believe this is a great idea and will allow many people to get a device that allows them to experiment and get into development.
But I fail to see how this could become a true success. My guess it will be a niche and an "entry point".
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Murray Lorden Game Designer & Developer, MUZBOZ6 years ago
I still have some belief that this thing could blow up in a very positive way.

If manufacturing of the device continues beyond the Kickstarter backers, and they managed to sell a few million in the first year, and if the consumers can reach Google Play through the console, and BUY games as well as get free ones, then I think there is hope, and great potential.

If developers and gamers can get their hands on one for $100 - $200, then it's basically just a fun developer's toy, and fun gamer's experiment. And the console opens up so many options for social games, that are just not really possible with iPads and iPhones. Like, actually social, like people playing together in the same room, at parties.

I just went to a game jam this weekend, and it's full of 20 year olds, running about, playing JOUST for example. A lot. These social games have the potential to really sell consoles, I think.

And the beauty of an Android console, is that all the cardigan kids can swoon in, with their indie games, and the great stuff will rise to the top, and the platform would have a real buzz about it.

But yes... selling a few million consoles is that first major hurdle. If they can't do that, at least over a few years, then it'll fizzle, I guess. But the idea of an Android / "open" console will probably appear again, anyway!

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