The Ouya console is a new open console scheduled to be released in June 2013. It got its funds to start the company from donations on the Kickstarter.com website and is the second highest funded project ever made on Kickstarter.com to date. It’s a retail console that will cost only $99 which makes it more affordable console than many others on the market. What makes it even more affordable is the fact that all of its games will be free to try; the developers will release a demo and then a optional full-time upgrade for purchase if you are so inclined. On their website, the developers state, “We don’t want you to buy the game unless you love it” which I think is a pretty reasonable mantra. This will be a great boost for parents who would like to buy their children a console at a reasonable price or even just anyone who would like to save a few bucks. Here are a few important facts about the Ouya console from their website.
The Ouya Company has also released a Software Developer Kit which means that anyone can create a game for the console. A few weeks ago, Ouya and Kill Screen hosted a 10 day “Games Jam” called CREATE where developers had 10 days to develop a game for the console. There were 166 entries, which you can view here: http://killscreendaily.com/create/entries.php . I think that the open development of games for the console could be a great thing for the gaming industry, hopefully boosting people’s knowledge of how to code a game and offering the consumer a wider variety of options. As a student studying Games Design and Development, I know that I personally will enjoy this feature. However, I must acknowledge that a problem may arise with the quality of games that are produced for this open system. With the freedom to create your own game, there is certainly the possibility that the console could get flooded with some terrible stuff. What might make wading through less than stellar games easier would be the inclusion of an option where you can view a category of the top publisher’s games or have the option to favorite publishers and make it easier to view their releases instead of bad quality games.
Below is a screenshot of the home page, which I actually think looks rather good (though it seems to have a Windows 8-esque look to it). Even just a quick look at their icon images has me interested in trying them. We also have another screenshot of the screen just before you go into the game. The “Similar Game” option could be very useful and open up casual gamers to a variety of different releases.
The console and controller specifications are:
Final thoughts: I think that the Ouya console has a lot of potential and I definitely think it will be worth keeping your eyes on it in the future.