The Ouya game console made its retail debut today and is
available for purchase from
Best Buy Co., Inc.
). Or should I say, it
While the $99.99 console can still be snagged from Target or Best
Buy, the Ouya is out of stock at the two other retailers.
A shining example of the power of
, the Ouya absolutely took off last summer, attracting over $8.5
million from 63,416 backers in less than a month on the
crowd-funding site. Considering that the funding target set by Ouya
CEO Julie Uhrman and her partners was $950,000, it's fair to say
that the gaming community was pretty excited about the concept.
) Tegra 3 chipset makes translating mobile games to run on the
console easy and its
(GOOG) means that Android developers can readily publish their
apps. At launch, there are over 170 games available for download as
well as popular apps like iHeartRadio.
Another huge selling point for the Ouya is the software development
kit that's built into the system. Think of the Ouya as the
open-source console of the people.
Anyone who has access to the hardware can develop, test, and
release their game, so long as they make at least some aspect of it
available for free. This means that the potential for creativity is
almost unbounded and, better yet, every Ouya owner can sample these
works free of charge before committing to the full game. This is a
more-than-refreshing change from the usual: wasting $60 on an
infrequently played game and suffering from buyer's remorse.
If the Ouya can generate so much momentum all while retailing at a
fraction of the price of
Nintendo Co. Ltd.'s
(OTCMKTS:NTDOY) newest devices, it would seem that the current
kings of the console industry should be prepping themselves for
Ouya to wreak market-share havoc. This, however, is likely not the
When it comes down to it, the Ouya provides a niche population with
a pretty perfect answer to many of its gripes. For those who are
dissatisfied with big industry seeming to take over gaming, as
licensing fees and development costs rise and creativity is shirked
with each re-skinned sequel, turning to the Ouya is a no-brainer.
For a majority of the population, however, I'd bargain that the
big-name games and high production value will be pretty hard to
part with, even if the Ouya comes at a significantly reduced cost.
What the Ouya lacks in top-of-the-line hardware, it makes up for
with the ease with which games can be developed for it. Quality
games will certainly be available for the newest console, but the
lesser specs will create some limitations.
The hardcore gaming community is an outspoken one, which is why
something like the Ouya can fly off shelves at first. At best,
however, I see the Ouya entering the mainstream market as an
addendum to consumers' collection of major consoles like the Xbox
One, Wii U, and PS4, rather than as a replacement.
While the Ouya controller does feature a touchpad alongside other
traditional features, its wow factor is ultimately its open source
software, which really only appeals to developers.
For a new console to really take off, the revolution must be in the
way users game, not the way they create games. This is where the
Oculus Rift, a virtual-reality head-mounted display by Oculus VR,
could potentially make waves in the video game market, but with no
launch date set, that's a conversation for a later date.
For now, Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo need to keep an eye on one
another and let the Ouya operate on the peripherals of the
Why Facebook and AOL Think You Need a News Reader
Tech News: Samsung's New Tablets Cast a Wider and
Cheaper Net Than Apple Inc's
The Telecoms Are Innovating... and Everybody Hates Them