July 15, 2012

OUYA: Console for the Masses

The gaming market has been dominated, for many years now, by consoles and the PC. But recently, with the arrival of the mobile phone and tablet, lots of gaming, with their developers, have shifted to developing games for mobile devices - leaving the remainder of the dedicated ones stuck to strict requirements to generate the most revenue for the publisher.

The OUYA is here to change that.
$99 console for the 99% - PCWorld

Their mission is to go back to the days when you were "running into a castle only to realize that she was in another", fighting bosses who told you how much "you suck", or manipulating and trading players to have the best team.
Manipulating stats? No, of course I didn't.
Step 1 - Make it cheaper to buy.

Console gaming is currently a duopoly - leaving them to fix prices higher. With the introduction of this $99 console, PS3 and Xbox 360 prices should be ready to drop (Yes, I know the wii is existant, but who really wants 360p gaming?!?).

Step 2 - Attract great developers.

The Android ecosystem is already full of developers - so that's great. Each OUYA console will be a developer's kit, without needs for licencing or publishing costs, or expensive SDKs.

Step 3 - Lower prices for purchasing games.

The OUYA will follow a Free-to-play model - similarly to League of Legends and Team Fortress 2.
All games will be free to get, but you might have to pay for unlockable in-game-content, or maybe for a full version. If there are any Multiplayer games - let's hope it wont be Play4Free, Pay2Win.

Step 4 - Make an awesome design.
Metro UI, but good looking!
Thanks to designer Yves Behar and his firm fuseproject, the user experience will be great. With an metro-like UI (which actually looks nice) and a console designed with modernness in mind, the OUYA looks great! The console isn't too big itself, allowing you to bring it around?

Step 5 - Make it user-friendly.

With every model including a SDK, it's great for developers to start off.
It's easy to open (using standard screws) and hackers can design and mod it to their likes, or use their own peripherals. Hey, it's even rootable without voiding the warranty!

Step 6 - Make it fast.
You can find this in "Superphones!"

The OUYA sports a Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of flash memory, HDMI, Wifi, Bluetooth, USB 2, and Android 4.0 (which the majority of Android phones don't have yet).

Step 7 - Introduce enough games and apps.
eSports - Twitch.tv

With the current games for Android, all the devs need to do is to change the controls and some other stuff. Introduce some apps like Skype and Google Hangouts, and you can make a few calls here or there! Hey, you can even watch eSports on this (Twitch.TV is supported!).

Analysis

We've already seen it be successful - it's raised almost $5 million at the time of writing, with more than 30,000 backers - breaking a Kickstarter record. But, what will this mean a new console entering a successful market? 

They've already gotten support - with production being ramped up. The hackableness is great for all those modders, and included SDKs and being rootable without voiding the warranty is great for developers. Low costs of purchase and development is sure to bring down the costs of other manufacturers. 

Here's what we're hoping for: Developer support, so that early adopters aren't left without games on the launch day, and adequate production to keep up with demand. 

Conclusion

Forget Console v. PC, this is OUYA v. the masses! The console for the 99% as said by PCWorld. Costing only $99, this costs less than any console, and surely less than any smartphone could. The possibilities are endless with this - introduce Netflix, maybe a browser, and you've got a great HTPC!


Will you be getting a OUYA? Leave us a comment below!

Deon Hua is the Editor-in-Chief at [blank]’s Universe. He is also a technology enthusiast with his expertise in computers and Pro Audio and Lighting. You'll probably catch Deon writing a movie review when he has time.