OUYA: a new gaming console for 99$

This got viral overnight, a new Kickstarter project to create an open gaming console, hackers friendly, and with a focus on “free to play” or freemium games. The console project, named OUYA, got funded in less than a day on kickstarter, and there’s still 29 days to go, so this is pretty exciting.

One of the exciting bits is that people who pledge 99$ or more will get the console. That’s a very attractive price, and the remaining slots are going down very fast (90% ordered as I type this), so hurry up if you’re interested. I personally already pledged :)

This is not a next gen console…

Now let’s not get over excited too quick. We’re not really talking of a competitor to the Xbox360 or the PS3 here. The specs are not super highend, the platform will be running on Android, with hardware that currently exists (highend Android for now, but by the day this is released, in march 2013, this will be lowend specs). The 8GB internal storage really sounds not too much to me. My phone has that, and some android games already take close to a GB. Only one usb port, meh…

In the end, what makes the power of a console is the amount of exclusive contents it gets, and the team behind Ouya has yet to explain how they plan to secure that. But given the buzz around that kickstarter campaign, it is possible that they will gather some attention from big players… who knows, maybe Valve will get interested. After all, there were rumors of them coming up with a game console a while ago.

…But it could still disrupt the market

This is not the first time an alternate “hackers friendly” gaming console hits the market. The Open Pandora was also a nice portable console, with better specs than the PSP or the DS, but it joined the market too late in the game, and was a bit expensive. From a pure gamer’s perspective, the open pandora was a failure, a geeky expensive gadget for developers.

But these are different times. Kickstarter did not exist when the Open pandora was created, and the OUYA is backed up by a bunch of indie developers. It could actually make a difference in the gaming market. If anything, with more than 11’000 backers within a day, it is sending a strong signal to Sony and Microsoft that their “we take the share of the lion” console business model is not pleasing everyone, especially game developers.

This success is is also a message to the creators of that project: people are expecting a LOT from this. Trophies, online play, media center functionality… basically everything that made the xbox360 and the PS3 successful, without the hassle for developers. At the current rate of the kickstarter campaign, I would expect Ouya to try for a bit “more” than just an android tablet with a sleek design. They could actually become a major player in the console market, if they play this thing correctly.

Well, and if it’s not becoming anything of that, I guess I just got myself a nice Android for half the price of the nexus 7.

By the way I’m seeing a lot of gamers saying they would never buy a “hackers friendly” console, because people will cheat on it. This is a typical misunderstanding of what hacking is about. There are ways to secure video games on open systems. A system can be hacking friendly and still be secure. it is the responsibility of the game developers to secure their system for online play. Just the same way you are not worried to access your bank account from your computer, because the fact that your computer is “open” to development has nothing to do with the security of your bank’s website.

Thanks to Watching the World Burn for the tip!

  1. AlphaKiloCharlie’s avatar

    Do you think it could succeed? Please give us your thoughts when you receive it.

    Reply

  2. HIMFan’s avatar

    If you read all of the FAQ’s on their page, they’re doing a lot more than just a TV that runs Android tablet/phone stuff. It delves into even deeper things.

    Watch the video. Read every piece of text. It’s golden.

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

    Reply

  3. James Way’s avatar

    “Just the same way you are not worried to access your bank account from your computer, because the fact that your computer is “open” to development has nothing to do with the security of your bank’s website.”

    Very well put good sir. I’m excited for this.

    Reply

  4. WTF’s avatar

    no thanks.. psp cheaper for homebrew :)

    Reply

  5. WTF2’s avatar

    then some wallhack and whatevers will grow and destroy online gaming experience using “this” console :P

    Reply

    1. wololo’s avatar

      It’s the responsibility of game developers to code their games properly, with security in mind. Read the full article, and the bank analogy

      Reply

  6. salkfhkas’s avatar

    How its performance.

    Reply

  7. Kid’s avatar

    Considering this won’t do much a phone plus controller hooked up to a TV couldn’t potentially do. I’m not interested and with the likely announcements of more next gen consoles and the Wii U release next year. This will probably get forgotten about and looked over by many. I can’t imagine so many amazing game coming to this either if plans I hear of retailing games for <$20 are true. But only time will tell I suppose.

    Maybe this will go the same way as onlive, in a best case scenario, it might have some success but only remain in the background overlooked by many?

    Reply

    1. wololo’s avatar

      To me the big factors of success will be the price and the “consistent” experience. The issue with phones/tablets right now is the lack of a dedicated gaming platform such as the PSN, and device fragmentation. With a unified device, we could start seeing games made specifically for this platform.
      Again, that’s lots of “if” here, and you are right it could end up being a gimmick. But at worst it will be a cheap android, I don’t mind paying 100$ for an ok Android device I can hook up to my TV. It will be a nice media center.

      Reply

  8. Watching The World Burn’s avatar

    YAY I HELPED. Also if and when it’s released since they don’t mind you or someone else could probably make a psp emulator for it so we could play our psp homebrew on it. Also when I find something I find all the good stuff :)

    Reply

  9. Watching The World Burn’s avatar

    Also with all the comments on the kickstarter page they probably will be adding more memory and ram for it

    Reply

  10. SSJ-Vita’s avatar

    Man watch out Mortal Kombat, “which is the only thing my vita has going for it” I just may have to sell you along with the sega I mean sony that you run on.

    Reply

    1. fate6’s avatar

      if anyone gives me the “Sega” feeling its Nintendo
      (and the WiiU is its Dreamcast)

      Reply

      1. Jose’s avatar

        I agree.

        Reply

  11. svenn’s avatar

    The reply is also true wolololo, an open system is more “breakable” then a closed. Then again, your comparing a pc vs a ps3/xbox360, endless discussion.

    I however am exciting as I hoped for this, dreamed about such a system. Its just will big game company’s spend money to bring games for it ? I have an android and there a few cool games out there, but then again, if you’r not the avg joe there is not much in the android game store.

    Reply

  12. Wolfdre’s avatar

    Ive made my pledge as well.
    I tossed in the extra few $ for a second controller too ;)

    Reply

  13. jd20dog’s avatar

    man i wish Open Pandora was as well funded as this

    Reply

    1. new’s avatar

      man, I wish Open Pandora was $99 or had 2012 spec and a realistic down to earth price tag.

      Reply

      1. wololo’s avatar

        Agreed. Hopefully this will give some incentive for the creators of the open pandora to do an “open pandora sequel”. They have the know-how and the community, kickstarter is all they need to take the prices down.

        Reply

  14. Vandurol’s avatar

    Hi Wololo,

    Long time no chat! ^^ I still love visiting this site. Just haven’t participated much as I should :P.

    However, this is truly intriguing. Base on the specs (mostly on the hard drive and size of the unit based on the video) it seems to be a thoroughly planned out OnLive console? Sure it has potential to run software offline (based on Android OS) but I fear it won’t be able to graphically compete with today’s standards (which is intentional, yes I know). It just seems odd to what is this console’s purpose? Enable android for console gaming? Well other devices (as mentioned in the comments) can enable that. But your argument is “lack of a dedicating gaming platform.”

    So in a nutshell, OUYA is a generic android device with a dedicated gaming platform giving a console feel and enabling easy use for developers to create and sell games. Genius marketing strategy. Who knows, I feel it is one of those “big hit or big flop” type of idea. As for perception of the audience, it seems it already is becoming a hit haha. Already $3 million in two days. Curious to see their promoting strategy.

    -Vandurol

    Reply

  15. OMightyBuggy’s avatar

    I backed OUYA with $99. :)

    Reply

  16. Zer01ne’s avatar

    If the interface is Android and the programing language is Java…Useless, Android Phone can do the same !

    Reply

    1. OMightyBuggy’s avatar

      For something “useless” you say, it already has $3.9m as of right now! XD

      Like to see other Android devices top that in 3 days Zer01ne. :P

      Reply

  17. Norml’s avatar

    Whoa, that went fast.
    31,786
    BACKERS
    $4,082,955
    PLEDGED OF $950,000 GOAL
    27
    DAYS TO GO

    Reply

    1. OMightyBuggy’s avatar

      Now $4,257,999!

      Can’t wait to see how much it is going to be after the 30 days.

      Reply

  18. Casavult’s avatar

    Already backed it. It looks to be an awesome console and I love the fact that it’s OPEN! :D

    Reply

  19. Javier’s avatar

    Are you doing Wagic for this one? that would be awesome.

    Reply

  20. mtb’s avatar

    This was my dream to do this.

    Reply

  21. Mud’s avatar

    I’ll buy one if Wagic will run on it.

    Reply

  22. Timberack’s avatar

    Can’t wait for this, it’s going to be so awesome. Can’t wait to run all the emulators and homebrew. Finally a console for the hackers. And at $99 you can’t beat that price. Free games and internet, count me in.

    Reply

  23. Alasdair Young’s avatar

    I know I’m responding to a rather old post, and the fact that Wagic is on hold, but a Ouya version would be so awesome!

    Reply

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