Monday, October 7, 2013

Ouya, redefining the video game console

Originally Published: July 18, 2012
Video games are expensive. For example, take the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3. I currently own both of these since their launch and the Xbox set me (a college freshman at the time) back $300 and that wasn’t including buying games, a hard drive and an extra controller. I originally got my PS3 for Christmas and now that I look at it, having my parents pay at least $500 for it, when it’s now half the price, was crazy. / CC BY-SA 3.0
A new project, which is starting with the ever-popular Kickstarter method to gain funding, is hoping to change that. Called Ouya, “a new type of video game console,” it’s being built upon open-source technology, will run Google’s Android operating system and will retail for $99. The project was founded by Julie Uhrman, a game industry veteran, and is in collaboration with designer Yves Béhar.
While everyone is gaming on their mobile devices, like their iOS and Android phones and tablets, this console will essentially bring those games to your television. You have to admit that this is still the best way to play games, with a controller in hand.
Now although the console will be $99, it will still be powerful with the following specs:
  • Tegra3 quad-core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB of internal flash storage
  • HDMI connection to the TV, with support for up to 1080p HD
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth LE 4.0
  • USB 2.0 (one)
  • Wireless controller with standard controls (two analog sticks, d-pad, eight action buttons, a system button), a touchpad
  • Android 4.0
The best thing about Ouya, in my opinion, is it will be powerful enough for hardcore gamers with its Tegra 3 processor, able to handle shooters like ShadowGun and Renaissance Blood, but it’s also for the casual gamer. With it’s touchpad built into the controller, you should be able to play games like Angry Birds just as you would on your phone or tablet. Since all the games come from the Google Play Store, you won’t be shelling out $60 for games, only on average 99 cents to $10. So, how game-changing does that sound? / CC BY-SA 3.0
Some other features include since the console is open-source, people are free to gain root access to the device and are free to mod it as they please, which usually voids your warranty. Ouya is also planned to include game titles from both major and independent developers.
Just like most things going full-circle, I think once again the little man will have a chance in the game industry. Mobile devices let anyone develop their own applications and games and sell them and now people will have the opportunity to do the same for a TV-based video game console. This actually in a way reminds me of Steve Wozniak’s book, when he talks about helping Steve Jobs making games for Atari (sometime in the 70s) and getting paid for developing a game in just a couple days. It was a simpler time when they weren’t spending millions of dollars to develop a game.
As of writing this post the Kickstarter campaign is up to $5,051,413 and has 21 days left. The project originally only had a $950,000 goal. Ouya is planned to launch in March 2013. If you want more information about the project or would like to back it, check out the campaign page at

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