OUYA: A new kind of console;
With the stagnation of the console gaming industry over the last several years, I’m not surprised some people decided to get together and make a new console. PC game sales have grown by more than 200% over the last year, and Consoles are seeing drops in both hardware and software sales. I’m especially not surprised that in a situation where hardware is advanced enough that we have phones more powerful than a computer of less than a decade ago that a console based on mobile processing technology can offer everything that OUYA does.
After a few years of what seems to be re-skins of the same games coming from all developers, and with few exceptions all the AAA titles of the year being sequels to last years AAA titles, gaming is getting kind of boring.
Activision turned Call of Duty from an inspired FPS to a repetitive, uninspired and under-polished cash cow, EA looks to be doing the same thing with Battlefield and Medal of Honor, and Ubisoft has what the Assassins Creed series has become since Ezio took over for Altair. (Yes, I am a firm believer that the first game was the best. Mainly because it wasn’t a monetized franchise yet and got the care and attention it deserved from its developers in story, gameplay polish, narrative presentation, etc).
But I digress.
That is a rant for another time.
I cant help but feel that the designers of OUYA are in the same boat I am.
Sick of the repetition, sick of the price, sick of the lack of advances in gaming hardware and graphics, sick of the same crap being put in a new wrapper and shipped as a different kind of crap, and sick of the advertising budget for a game being bigger than the development budget.
However, among all the agreement I have with the project, I have some serious reservations.
The first one is price.
OUYA is marketed as being a $100 console, and when I look at the hardware in it, i’m not sure that’s possible initially, let alone sustainable indefinitely.
It is powered by a Tegra3 Quad Core processor, which means it’s right alongside or a little ahead of the PSVita in terms of power, which is impressive, but makes me question the cost per unit. Nvidia tech isnt cheap, and Tegra3 sure as hell isn’t for budget conscious consumers.
It has 8GB of internal flash memory, which isn’t cheap. If I’m not mistaken in December of last year 4GB of flash memory was roughly $20 through a Factory OEM supply channel. It cant have gone down much from there since.
And all of the other features and hardware I see on it also rings bells for me. The console looks like it costs $100 to build.
Granted, the iPhone 4S only costs apple a little over $200 to manufacture, so I may be wildly off.
I realize the most expensive part of a console is the hardware R&D and the Software Development, and because OUYA is using Android 4.0 they save money on software, but the hardware in the thing is still pretty expensive unless they are cutting corners we cant know about. Which I doubt.
The second reservation is actually the developers and hardware.
OUYA is powerful, but I don’t think it is powerful enough to compete with the mainstream consoles or even a low power Home Theater PC. Tegra3 is a fantastic architecture that was developed specifically by nvidia for mobile computing, but it doesn’t have the horsepower to duke it out with the PS3 or 360.
And I wonder if there will be enough developers(especially talented ones) who develop for OUYA.
That seems like a silly worry when android is open source and anyone can develop for it, but if OUYA isn’t careful that fact will be a hindrance. If anyone can make a game, the market becomes flooded with crap and its almost more trouble than its worth to find good product in the sea of bad.
What worries me is that nobody has ever tried this before(which is not a death sentence for the project on its own), especially for what seems like a loss on every console, and I just don’t see it working. Ill probably buy one as a Media Box, and casual gamers will probably find OUYA to be an amazing platform to play games on, but I really don’t see it getting anywhere out of the casual market.
And that is the point. Its an Indie console for Indie Devs, not a PS3/360 killer.
I wish them all the best of luck. It is a really cool project, and I hope it succeeds.
But its going to be an uphill battle all the way.
For me? At the end of the day, I will always go back to my computer.
Cell and a gimped 7800GTX(PS3), a gimped 3 core POWERPC processor and a gimped X1800(Xbox360), and Tegra 3(OUYA/Many high end tablets) cant compete with an i7-2600k @ 4.5GHz, a GTX480 @ 850MHz, 8Gigs of DDR3 1866, and an SSD, and until they can, I will be a PC gamer first and a console gamer second.
SQUARE ENIX TO BACK OUYA
Square Enix has announced it will release Final Fantasy III as a launch title for the Ouya console in March 2013. In a translated statement released by the gaming giant, Square Enix states they will also provide future content as well.
Ouya has been blowing up on Kickstarter amassing over $5.8 million with 8 days to go in its fundraising campaign. Also Ouya has partnered with the cloud gaming company OnLive meaning hundred’s of titles offered from that service will be available to Ouya owners upon launch. (As reported by our friends at FYFPS).
—Adam is an overall Technology enthusiast from Tucson, Arizona that goes by the name of philwrir here on Tumblr! From Networking, Programming, to Audio configuration and Sound performance, he can do it all. If you enjoyed his article, Follow him and share this post!