OUYA is the console under spotlight now. It has become the fastest kickstarter project to reach the million dollar mark, raising a staggering sum of $8,596,475 in just 30 days!If you are wondering what exactly is this thing, OUYA (pronounced as ooh-yuh) is an upcoming gaming console for TV, running on Android. The product is still a prototype and is expected to be released in march 2013.
OUYA, as opposed to the design of popular gaming consoles in market like Wii, Xbox or Playstation, is in the form of a cube, with dimensions resembling that of a Rubic’s cube. The silver and black colored box possess a physical button on top, a HDMI port for connecting to the TV, an Ethernet port and a USB 2.0 port.
“What?! A console that will fit in my pocket? Where do i insert the game disk? And how in the earth would i play with this thing? You gotta be kidding me! “
No. The device don’t run games from disks like conventional consoles. As i mentioned before, this wonderbox runs on Android. You might be able to download games from OUYA app store, that is expected to be set up soon by the developers.
And to play with this thing, you’ve got a nice and sleek controller, which in its developers’ words, is a “Love letter to console gaming.” They further explains in their Kickstarter page, that “It will have everything you’ve learned to love: fast buttons, triggers, laser precise analog sticks, a D-Pad – and it will have a touchpad for any games making the trek from mobile or tablet to the TV.”
The hands behind the wonderful design of OUYA is that of famous designer Yves Behar, who designed OLPC (One-Laptop-Per-Child) laptops and jambox.
OUYA is no match for Xbox360 or PS3. Even though not a completely different platform, OUYA is much different from other consoles in the market. The aim of the project is to make console gaming available at absolutely low cost. The titles will be at least free to try. The hardware specs are:
- Tegra 3 quad-core processor
- 1 GB RAM
- 8 GB internal storage
- HDMI connection to the TV, with support for upto 1080p HD
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
- Bluetooth LE 4.0
- USB 2.0 (one)
- Wireless controller with standard controls (2 analog sticks, D-Pad, 8 action buttons, a system button, a touchpad)
- Android 4.0
OUYA is reported to be running on a customized version of Android 4.0. And will feature an exclusive OUYA store for apps and games.
Game developers are already excited about the device. Many developers have already made statements with optimistic anticipations. The fact that anyone can make a game for OUYA, Provided – every OUYA console is a dev kit and there is no need to purchase a license or an expensive SDK, might pull more and more developers into creating for OUYA ecosystem. OUYA allows any android developer to publish their app for it.
The only condition is that at least some gameplay has to be free. That includes free, free to play and free trial possibilities. The box is hacker friendly too. It is easy to root (Without voiding your warranty!) and everything could be opened up with standard screws. The developers’ of OUYA encourages hackers to create their own peripherals, which can be connected via USB or bluetooth.
The popular studio, Square Enix have already announced their flagship game ‘Final Fantasy III’ for OUYA. Also, Twitch TV app and access to OnLive video game streaming service will be included out of the box.
The Future is bright
The real charmer about the device is its price point. The console was available for $95 for early birds at kickstarter and then for $99. As the kickstarter campaign is over, you can pre-order it via their website for just $109.
One major thing that kept people away from consoles were the cost of its titles. But with OUYA introducing its low-cost console with all titles playable for free at some level or another, it certainly seems to be a ‘would-be-success’, especially in countries like India. If Boxer8, the developer of this wonderbox delivers what they promised, the future is bright for OUYA.