The ouya

So 2013 has seen a huge sea change in the video game industry, We have seen what i hope is a new direction from some feisty new upstarts that seems to attack the very core of the games industry. The big three Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft have plodded along with there standard business practice unaltered for many years now and now there closed system is finally being attacked on all front, it appears as though their monopoly’s may soon come under threat.

Nintendo is seeing its traditional handheld market quickly shrinking while Sony continues to flounder in this arena, It seems that Apples Iphone and Google’s Android are coming to dominate the handheld industry and i think that’s because phones are always with us and they offer us quick satisfaction and easy access to games that their handheld rivals cant match. Although the heavy hitters of the industry are finding there handheld domain under threat the home console market has remained very much within their grips, i think this is all about to change though and that thanks to the introduction of devices Ouya and the Steam box. These two have very different plans and both will hopefully offer something unique to gamers, Personally i think that both of these are amazing because the gaming industry has become somewhat stale and unimaginative something I think is hurting the gaming industry, The gaming industry needs a huge shake up that will get them out of the current model of better graphics and nothing new year and after year. So i have been tasked with writing up the Ouya and maybe looking into what i think is going to be the biggest earthquake to the gaming industry since ET.

Hardware:

PERFORMANCE

CPU brand

Nvidia

CPU model

Tegra 3

RAM

1 GB

CONNECTIVITY

Wi-Fi

Yes

Wi-Fi support

802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11b

Bluetooth

Yes

AUDIO / VIDEO

Supported resolutions

1080p

PORTS

Audio / Video output

HDMI

Controller connection

Wireless

STORAGE

Internal storage

8 GB

User upgradeable

Yes

External memory

SD

SOFTWARE

Online multiplayer

Yes

Online store

Yes

The specs are nothing too ground breaking, in fact they will be beaten by most mobile phones you can buy today. That’s the whole point of the Ouya though, They want to use easily available hardware so that developers can have an easier time porting their games to the system, This is a huge change from the closed hardware of the previous generations, This will also allow them to reiterate the hardware more frequently unlike there larger brothers, they have come out an said that it is their dream to release an update once a year but don’t worry all consoles will be backwards compatible.

Software:

The Ouya will run on the latest version of the open source platform known as Android, This means that it should be able to run all Android games, Emulators and software. I personally hope this is true because android has some great software, great games and not to mention it can run most of my Gameboy games through emulation, I personally cant wait for nintendo to realise this fact and bring there old Gameboy games to android but it think that may never happen, I think they could easily sell them for 9.99 and no one would bat an eyelid, Just think of the money Nintendo, Its just a shame Nintendo is still all about control rather than giving the users what they want and to be honest I think most of us would gladly pay them for the pleasure. So anyway back to my original point, This will use android software, A language that developers already now and use and this will insure that the console is adaptable and easily configurable, Not only does android run games and apps it can also be used to run media software like Plex, XMBC or Netflix so theoretically your Ouya could also be your media streamer but that’s a story for another day when I finally get mine.

Games:

A console is not just hardware and software though, We all know a console lives or dies based on one thing and one thing alone, games. The history of the video game industry is literally littered with the wreckage of so many lost consoles that simply never had the game support, The Dreamcast is the one everyone immediately remembers which didn’t enjoy the support of EA and tried to limp a long for sometime before it finally destroyed Sega. This may also prove to  be the case for the Ouya but I think it has a lot going for it which may buck the trend and insure that it could do an apple in the home console market.

  • Firstly the price:
    • At only 99 dollars about 80 pounds this will compete with consoles that are twice the  price as it, Which means many people will buy it on a whim and more console sales usually means more games.
  • Secondly Android:
    • This means that the console will already have a market for games at launch, Angry birds anyone? While I’m over angry birds it does have some brand recognition with the mums and dads so they could use it to shift a few more consoles.
  • Thirdly the developers of the console have said that they wish to focus on free to play games meaning that this console could potentially only have one price point for entry which will please the parents out there.

In conclusion the Ouya looks very promising, It is the first console to be completely crowd funded, With easy to get hardware making development easy and a completely open source software platform means this has the ability to upset the big three and i for one can’t wait. This generation of consoles has been the most boring and totalitarian of them all, We have slowly seen every single one of our consumer rights taken a away and replaced with these monopoly’s and I think its time for a Linux style upset. Do I think that Ouya can usurp the big three? No but I do think that if this console gets enough traction then it might force them to change their ideas. The simple answer to that is yes and based solely on that hope they will have my support.

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