The Android-powered, open source gaming console Ouya can be bought from Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop and Target from June 2013. Ouya’s CEO Julie Uhrman also confirmed that the gaming consoles will be attractively priced at $99 and can be also bought from Ouya’s website.
The sale of the gaming consoles through retailers is commencing three months after it was first sent out to over 60,000 backers of its Kickstarter project which helped raise over $8 million. The little gaming machine promises excellent gaming experience and integration with OnLive, TuneIn and XBMC services. The retailers have started to accept pre-orders for the device.
Using with Other devices
An additional controller is also available at $50. Though Uhrman admits that $50 is pretty high for a controller, the presence of a touchpad should make up for it. It would be costing $20 less when bought directly from the Ouya Website. Uhrman also felt it would be great if people start using the controller with other devices like Apple TV. As she was quoted as saying, ” We are okay with that. One of the promises of being open is you can use what we build for other things. But you can create accessories and peripherals for our device as well. At the end of the day, it makes our ecosystem richer.”
The open source tag will also keep developers interested which would mean more games for OUYA. Uhrman also mentioned that ” We have about half a dozen to a dozen community sites with lists of as long as 200 titles coming to OUYA. We feel we’ll have a large suite of titles and titles from developers that are exclusive to OUYA.”
With new gaming consoles from Sony and Microsoft not hitting stores atleast until June, OUYA will plan to make the most of it. But it remains to be seen how OUYA will try to match competitors with deeper pockets. The feedback from developers who had a look at the upcoming gaming console felt that the device was a little “underpowered” compared to other currently available gaming consoles and the potential for developing it into a killer gaming console is always there due to the open source platform.
After the evaluation, a team of gaming developers including Jerrod Putman of Tiny Tim Games were quoted as saying “We tried some ‘native’ Android code, but also Adobe Air and Unity code and it all worked without hassles, Which basically means pretty much anyone — amateur developer or professional team — could get started making games. With absence of backing from bigger established players, the creation of a large base of developers and applications would be tough. Putman also expressed his doubts regarding the same, “Naturally, we hope it does well, because at the moment, this is the only way we can actually release console games.” and he also added that “While the hardware may be underpowered compared to an Xbox 360 or PS3, I fully expect better-than-late-PS2 visuals. And game-wise, the PS2 was no slouch.”
Carving a Niche
Both Sony and Microsoft provide advanced piece of hardware and this makes game developers excited to come up with newer expensive games. This is also possible in the case of Ouya when it opens up for independent smaller developers who are looking to establish and prove themselves. Ouya is looking to change the way we look at gaming and would be looked at with curiosity because it is new and exciting. It should be able to create a small space within the heavily crowded gaming market with established players like Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft dominating.
As Julie Uhrman puts it, “OUYA offers a very different value proposition to the gaming you can currently experience. It’s a box designed specifically for the television that leverages the screen, we support 3D gaming, HD, we support the controller, we added a touchpad to the controller. The kind of content you’ll see on OUYA, it’ll be inventive and creative and has never been on the television.”
It remains to be seen how OUYA cracks the market with reception for Nintendo’s WII U not very encouraging when it was released during the holiday season.