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Ouya: A New Kind of Video Game Console (kickstarter.com)
239 points by shawndumas on July 10, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 168 comments



It's funny, earlier I read the comments and they were mostly all about what a stupid idea this was, not a powerful enough system, can't force free, doomed to fail kind of stuff.

I pledged this morning thinking how unique games are really going to flourish. How the simple graphic games can come out to be awesome, I mean we all played the classics right? Those 8-bit marathon games that gave us hours of joy, then hours more when they remade those games on the new system with the same old graphics, barely a remake in fact just a future port. And, I've sat as a gamer and watched all my friends buy those classic games over and over again, same graphics, same sound, same awesome gameplay.

So now we have this chance to get a lesser powered system out to nearly everyone, people that can't afford to game but wouldn't mind the hours of time and boredom that is swept away by even the most casual of games. (heard of Zuma? Plants v zombies? etc.)

I remember this morning seeing all the negative comments. It's 1:55 PM my time now,and OUYA is at 938,733 dollars. Clearly minutes away from being fully funded, with another 29 days they'll go over their asking by three to five times (if any of the kickstarters I've watched grow like this act as a valid indicator, which they should). So I'm left wondering, how many people will be eating the words they said today? I don't think it'll be OUYA, or any of the people that have backed the project already, waiting for the day that this console fills in a niche that the big console makers never even considered needing filled. I for one can't wait.

As of finishing this post, the project is fully funded at $953,325.


As of 10:44 pm eastern time, it has increased to 1.8M. Sounds like people believe in this to me...


And now its about to hit the 3million mark. $2,935,681


Sounds like a great idea with lots of potential for spinoffs.

Basically any Android TV device with a dedicated appstore connected to your credit card has lots of potential. Its a continuations of the entertainment merge (radio, tv, video, games, etc, social web) and thats the correct general direction.

Being based on Android also opens up the possibilities for local variations. In Ireland for example, a great/cheap TV solution is SoarView (6 free-to-air terrestrial Irish TV channels) + FreeSat (UK free-to-air satellite channels) + Netflix (7 euro a month currently). That's not very common though because the hardware is crap and you need someone to come in and set it all up for you. You'll probably have 2 boxes & 3 remotes and need to press lots of buttons to get to everything. "Cable" companies wil spread out the cost, manage the hardware and get Irish & British TV into the same remote.

A box that can pleasantly handle it all and "ephemeralize" it (thus doing all the stuff we haven't thought of yet) would be excellent. Add in some gaming that appeals to wii people and some that appeals to facebook scrabble people and you've got a bomb.

Gaming is probably the best angle and any angle will do. Once you are shipping something that people connect to their tv, there are all sorts of things you can do. I'm glad to see experimentation going on here. I'm also glad to see that its getting to be in the reach of small companies.


In the FAQ, they define free to play as "every game will be free to play: what this means is that there will at least be a free demo, or you’ll be able to play the entirety of the game for free but may have access to additional items, upgrades, or other features that come at a cost."

I do believe that the first part is unequivocally not free to play... Xbox Live doesn't get to call itself free to play because it offers demos for almost every game. The 2nd part is certainly the freemium model that has been heavily used (and quite successful in my eyes).

But I think it is important to clarify that the system does not only feature free-to-play games, but there are paid games that offer demos. They do mention that by all games being "free" they mean that developers will be forced to include some playable content for the user, but I just do not agree with that wording, it could be much clearer.

Having said that, this looks cool :)


That FTP part really curbed my enthusiasm. I very much prefer paying some reasonable price for a game I liked, think is cool or just admire the developer than feeling compelled to "unlock" stuff. That's true even if I end up not playing it at all later. Unlocking/going pro/etc still has a scammy feeling to it.


Do you feel that way about demos?


I figure for $99 this is a fun experiment. If it sucks, I backed an interesting idea and I'm not out much money. If it doesn't suck, I have a neat new toy to play with.

At the very least, it might let me drop my XBox Live Gold subscription, which I only have so I can stream Netflix.


If you're looking for a new kind of video game console, and haven't already heard of it, then you need to know about the Open Pandora:

http://openpandora.org/

This device is, really, amazing.

I have two. I will tell you whats so amazing about this GAMES machine: it has everything you need to build games, already onboard.

Both of my machines are set up with their own on-board development environments - full C/C++ compiler, and so on.

I have been able to port a metric tarball-tons' worth of games - and other - applications with the device itself and nothing else.

You can use things like LOAD81 (http://github.com/antirez/load81/) on the Pandora http://repo.openpandora.org/?page=detail&app=LOAD81, and it really rocks.

You can put python (or rather, upgrade the existing python), ruby, haskell, &etc. on it. With great ease.

Also, you can play a hell of a lot of nice games, too. The free (in all meanings of the word) spirited community has constructed its own a-massing collection of titles:

http://repo.openpandora.org/

Emulators? There are very, very few emulators that are not already running on the Pandora; - I have 27 different 'retired architectures' software archives on one of my Pandoras.

New-school games? Well, they're out there, and happening. The Pandora may not have an Android App Stores' worth of apps, yet, but most everything thats in the existing repo, is quality. There are some true gems .. just check the public repo top-10 list at repo.openpandora.org, to see what I mean.

(EDIT: Actually, the Pandora can run Android just fine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHPxE9om3Hc)

Did I mention: 11 hours battery life, and it fits in my coat pocket? Oh, it has two nice little analog nubs, a workable keyboard, and a decent touchscreen.

The next generation Pandora might be an almighty beast worth looking at, but the Ouya, well .. it has some serious catching up to do.


http://www.gp2x.de/shop/product_info.php/products_id/223?osC...

Sort of neat, but...

That thing is $750, plus shipping. Every gaming system I can think of is cheaper than that, including decent desktop systems. Almost everything you describe can be achieved on a low end laptop, which has more utility, for half the price. Outside of "fitting in my pocket", I can't see any practical reason to own a gadget like that. Am I missing something?


It is only expensive now because its a startup. Once the economy of scale tips, with more users, it will get cheaper..


Comparing a 440 Euro handheld device (arguably targeted mostly towards people interested in emulating bootleg roms) to a $99 console is really comparing apples to oranges.


Why isn't Google making every single Google TV set top box like a mini-Android console? It's not like they would have to change a whole lot about it. Just make sure it has a high-end ARM chip, 2 controllers included, and they actually try to give incentives to developers to port their games for it, which should be a minimal amount of coding if they already have an Android game.


Good Question. I think the majority issue is: 1. Gaming in Android isn't that impressive yet. 2. They are def. working on it. But they don't want to make so many enemies (Sony) before they have a chance. For them, it is not a huge profitable item. Getting the Google TV into the living room is more important. But I can see Google TV eventually will become a console and OuYA will die out.


It doesn't need to die out. They can continue to make the hardware, and adopt the new software. Not sure about the whole free-games thing, though.


Interesting. I thought about this. I think they will have their own market and not open to the official android market so that they will the cut of profit that games generated.


>We get it – smartphones and tablets are getting all the new titles – they're "what's hot.” The console market is pushing developers away. We’ve seen a brain drain: some of the best, most creative gamemakers are focused on mobile and social games because those platforms are more developer-friendly. And the ones who remain focused on console games can’t be as creative as they’d like.

Weird...I've this appeal many times before, but always with s/smartphone/console and s/console/pc.

The whole "Deep down, you know your best gaming memories happened in the living room" bit reminds me of "Don't reduce big screen movies to a household TV" and "Surf the Internet, swim in magazines" campaigns. Can you imagine if this was coming from a bigger name like Sony or Nintendo?

Sorry, just thinking out loud.


Well if I backed the $700 level and got a pre-release version of this thing, I'd have to sell a game at $5 to 140 people in order to make my money back on the hardware. Considering there are already (as I am writing this) > 15k backers I think it's fairly safe to assume that with the promised promotion that I could at least make that money back. If I don't get paid for all the time and effort I put into making the game... oh well. I like making games so it's not time wasted even if I don't ultimately get paid for it. Sounds like a cool hobby project at least.

And what if it does take off?

For a growing population of gamers there is no need for highly optimized hardware designed for crunching polygons and shaders. Not everyone wants to play CoD: Modern Hate Machine 5 Extreme. It would seem that this project is hedging its bets that this population of gamers is large enough to support building a specialized hardware platform for these types of games that they like. Seems pretty reasonable to me.

I think I side with @notch (https://twitter.com/notch/status/220971663003623427): it would be awesome if this console does well. I think having a low-barrier development platform with wide adoption and a captive audience would be great. As it stands I can't just make a game for XBLA -- I have to suffer in obscurity in the indie store or create a real corporation with funding and a history of decent games and pitch my idea. Neither option is very attractive. I can't even imagine what developing for the PS3 would be like (as I haven't done any, but I'd imagine it would not be very fun). So I hope this project does do well. I think it will open a lot of doors and create new markets. That isn't really a bad thing for anyone.


Feels like amateur hour.

I would honestly be shocked if they can ship a console with even those specs along with a controller and all the assorted bits and pieces you need, to an end user for $99 without eating some hidden costs themselves (which, if their budget is under a million, doesn't seem like something they're going to do). I'm not a manufacturing expert, so maybe I'm missing something enormous here, but given the history of console manufacturers taking a loss to sell bundled software, and the high list price of android devices, I don't see any evidence to support that their target price is remotely realistic.

Even worse, the hardware specs are just... short-sighted. 8GB of storage is not remotely enough for a console that has no physical storage medium for games - Microsoft gets away with selling a 4GB XBox 360 because customers can pop a DVD into the drive, but anyone who is actually downloading games off the internet is going to need way more space than 8GB. I've got individual games on my Android phone that are over a gigabyte, and that's ignoring the amount of space used by the android OS itself along with other data (like saved games) - many modern PC games have individual save files that are over 10 megs. That stuff adds up. If you force players to add/remove games from their system in order to fit into 8GB, they're going to spend a ton of time waiting on their internet connections (and you would expect a guy who worked on the OLPC to know that a lot of people out there don't have fast internet yet.) USB2 for external storage means that expansion options will be limited - loading game assets off USB2 would probably have pretty dire performance consequences.

There's also other assorted details that just make this feel lazy. The buttons on that controller mockup are only color-coded, which means it will be difficult (if not impossible) to clearly communicate to a color-blind player which button is associated with what action - even worse, they use all four colors, so it will probably affect people with every type of colorblindness. This is a mistake that none of the other console vendors have made: Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo all made sure that each of their buttons has a distinct shape or letter associated with it so that in-game text and UI can communicate clearly to anyone who plays.

Furthermore, they show various games in their mockup material - like Minecraft, and Triple Town, and Shadowgun - but apparently they haven't made deals with all of these developers to show up in the promotional material (let alone use the platform), which makes it seem like they really believe they're just going to ride the Android Market all the way to success. Can they even provide access to the official Android Market without meeting the requirements that Google imposes for shipping the Google Experience apps or whatever they're called?

I could also rant about the fact that they think a Tegra 3 and Cortex A9 is adequate for a game console, but honestly I'm not worried about that. People have done amazing things with low-spec hardware before, but it certainly doesn't help if the hardware is poor along with the other poor decisions on display here.


I would suggest that you "don't get it". There are a lot of different markets for gaming, not just insanely high end. For $100 these guys are offering everything on android on the big screen with a gamepad. Maybe you fail to realise how many people find this desirable but I would hope the $1million they raised in 8 hours might make you go back and reevaluate your assumptions. Maybe it doesn't work for you but to generalize that to the world seems to fail here.

The platform is comparable hardware wise to the current generation of consoles for a fraction of the cost with loads of games already and an incredible hacker spirit (isn't that what this place is supposed to be about... ) as the most open console (free dev kit, open the box and mod it doesn't necessarily void warranty, open source etc etc).

Maybe not everyone wants to pay a fortune for over priced over engineered locked down blackboxes. Maybe some people can derive fun from medium to low powered open platforms. I'd say give this thing a chance but it clearly doesn't need you and looks like it's going to succeed just fine regardless. :)

And isn't the spirit of HN to be looking for and cheering the next new thing, not crapping on it in favor of the old established thing?


I don't think you are responding to the grandparent's argument. He's not saying no one would buy it, but that it will be very hard to deliver on the promise of a $100 console. The weakness of the processor is the least of his worries.


"And isn't the spirit of HN to be looking for and cheering the next new thing, not crapping on it in favor of the old established thing?"

How does grandparent's remarks qualify as crapping on anything? You don't even respond to his points. HN is not for cheerleading.


I agree with Mindstab. "Amateur" or "Semi-pro" or whatever console gaming breaking-ground kickstarter campaign ( 3M$ after 2 days ) with some great game designers ( Brian Fargo being one of the most eminent ) appearing to follow a "post-iphone" gaming trend sounds very very not cheerleading to me. Lots of great game-development teams ( most of which being indie ) have joined iOS game development trend because it's a great platform but also because it seems to be a huge and very potential trend/market. I think that the WHOLE scene is looking forward to see the success of this platform. It could mean a huge game trending for Android. And it could also just mean that "amateur"-hour is powerful. I just hope they'll deliver. ( They say that their proto is "up-and-running", which is a very good sign ). But with 28 more days to go, and already 3M$ of cash, I think that they can easily ramp up to 5-10M$, which is "not too much" to create a game industry, but it's a lot to start. ( + I believe that kickstarter brings a LOT of marketing value to the project, meaning that they'll need less cash on Marketing to promote the gaming console, it's already famous, and the viral effect will surely make it boom even bigger )


When I read your post, I feel like I'm reading someone who is hoping for them to fail. It brings to mind this quote.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.


Yes. I had a critical initial reaction to OnLive (video games streamed from the cloud) because of latency; also, it has such lovely benefits for publishers that they'd wish it to be true... but when better networks and more local servers arrive, they will be placed to own it. They might even overtake "consoles". They just need to survive - which they can do, because for some use-cases, for some people, the present service is useful.

Similarly, the next generation of SoC GPUs (e.g. PowerVR G6200) has approximately the power of an xbox360's xenos GPU (which seems to have been enough for players, despite x10 better GPUs on PCs). When that arrives (next year), these guys will be there - they just need to survive. Another relevant quote:

  No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.


Relevant Paul Buchheit post, which always comes to mind whenever I see (or think) something really negative about anything ambitious: http://paulbuchheit.blogspot.com/2007/03/how-to-be-right-90-...


I think it is less "hoping for them to fail" and more (seemingly legitimate) concern.


There is this very amazing essay on Amateurs[1]

There's a name for people who work for the love of it: amateurs. The word now has such bad connotations that we forget its etymology, though it's staring us in the face. "Amateur" was originally rather a complimentary word. But the thing to be in the twentieth century was professional, which amateurs, by definition, are not.

That's why the business world was so surprised by one lesson from open source: that people working for love often surpass those working for money. Users don't switch from Explorer to Firefox because they want to hack the source. They switch because it's a better browser.

As in software, when professionals produce such crap, it's not surprising if amateurs can do better. Live by the channel, die by the channel: if you depend on an oligopoly, you sink into bad habits that are hard to overcome when you suddenly get competition. [4]

[1] http://paulgraham.com/opensource.html


>I would honestly be shocked if they can ship a console with even those specs along with a controller and all the assorted bits and pieces you need, to an end user for $99 without eating some hidden costs themselves

Google is selling the Nexus 7 right now for 200 dollars. This is essentially the same hardware but:

1) No screen, no batteries, no cellular radio

2) No need to squeeze it into the tiniest and lightest possible form factor

3) It doesn't come out until next year.

While I have no idea if they are actually competent, it is a reasonable goal. The controller apparently costs 30 dollars.

>Even worse, the hardware specs are just... short-sighted. 8GB of storage is not remotely enough for a console that has no physical storage medium for games

It's going to have an SSD slot. They omitted that in their description but that info is available in the other news articles. Not ideal but a perfectly okay spot to save on IMO.

>There's also other assorted details that just make this feel lazy... Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo all made sure that each of their buttons has a distinct shape or letter associated with it so that in-game text and UI can communicate clearly to anyone who plays.

Agreed. I hope they fix this before launch.

>I could also rant about the fact that they think a Tegra 3 and Cortex A9 is adequate for a game console, but honestly I'm not worried about that.

It's a good baseline. They can't go higher than this and sell it for 100 dollars.

The one hardware bit I am worried about is that they make no mention of accelerometer and gyroscope in the controller. The Nexus 7 and pretty much any recent cellphone and tablet being have them now. They make great low cost all in one chips for this they really need to squeeze that in there or they will be locked out of a huge amount of possible games.

In general, we've all seen a huge surge of awesome games and innovation on tablets and phones in recent years. I don't think it is due to just the form factor -- it is because anyone in their garage can publish a game for the platform. Bringing this ease of development into the formerly protected space of the console/tv gaming is the benefit of this console.


Even ignoring the hardware, there are problems with the software. And the software is the most important part of a game console.

It's a given that in the gaming world, people hate buying hardware. The only reason people buy hardware is to get to the software. As much as they like to deny it, Nintendo consoles are just boxes to get to Mario and Zelda, and Xboxes are boxes to get to Halo and COD.

I don't care how indie you think you are, nobody's going to buy a game console just to play Canabalt.

And if they truly are focusing strictly on free-to-play games, and that's not just bad marketing that means "every game must at least have a demo", that's going to repel a lot of developers that aren't interested in that particular business model - the ones actually interested in selling their games.

Not to mention that a lot of times, especially in the MMO world, free-to-play games tend to be the rejects of the gaming world. They're the ones who thought they could take down WoW with a subscription-based model, bled money for a few months, and then went FtP because no one would actually pay for their game.

It's a shame, because I think there's plenty of opportunity in the console world right now. Nintendo is too busy pushing 3D and hardware gimmicks to follow up on their earlier success, and the other two big players are too busy trying to replicate PC gaming. But in order to compete properly you absolutely need good software to do it.


I read it as "every game must have a demo". I think this a good strategy, a strong differentiator from iOS that fits the way people want to play games, ultimately resulting in more sales rather than forcing developers onto a DLC model.


It's an excellent strategy and part of why XBox Live Arcade has been a success for Microsoft (all XBLA/XBLIG titles are required to have downloadable trials that 'unlock' to the full game, usually without an additional download). It makes it painless to try out games before buying them.


How is creating a demo hard? A demo is merely a reduced version of the final game. The developer creates the whole game then strips out most of the levels and features for the demo, presto.


Most MMOs are free to play for the first month, right? The whole game doesn't have to be free-to-play, just some portion of it. It seems a time-limited demo would fall within those rules.


They're only selling 1000 devices at $95 -- it's quite possible that is a bit of a loss leader.

That being said, $95 doesn't seem like much of a stretch, especially if they're selling at cost, hoping to make their profit in the store. It's essentially a Nexus 7 minus the two most expensive components, the screen and battery. Remember the timeframe, too. By March 2013, the Tegra 3 will be a small fraction of the price it costs now.

I agree about the 8GB. 8GB with an SD card slot is about exactly right. 8GB without is going to be a huge problem for users.


I'd much rather see 4GB or even 2GB with some sort of expandability over a non-expandable 8GB. Capping the console at 8 subtly defines the scope of future games that it might run.


2GB of core memory is definitely not enough. My old Nexus One only had 512MB of base memory, and I was constantly shuffling apps to make room. Moving an app to SD only moves its assets, the app's core doesn't move.


Why doesn't android make apps runnable completely on SD card by default? When I was testing a samsung galaxy s2, I was constantly frustrated by the limited amount of space on the phone, and the fact many apps couldn't be transfered to the SD card.


Most SD card interfaces are really, really slow. Putting the core of the app in main flash and assets in flash makes sense in some scenarios. It's two bad we don't have three choices: all in main, split, or all on SD.


It's an anti-piracy measure.


I'm not sure why I'm getting downvoted.

Originally, official Android builds would not allow apps to be installed to removable media to prevent users from copying their purchased apps to multiple devices. More recently, Android has offered encrypted installs and server-side validation methods so that apps can be installed to removable media yet still tied to the device they were purchased on.

If I have stated anything factually incorrect, can someone speak up?


You're not necessarily wrong, but they could customize Android to remove that limitation.


It also supposed to be an open console with Free-to-Play games bundled...


"When I was testing a samsung galaxy s2"

I would not consider the S2 as being in any way definitive of "Android". The only Android devices that I would attach that label to are the ones with Nexus in the name. As far as running apps from the sdcard, neither the Nexus S, the Galaxy Nexus, nor the Nexus 7 even have an sdcard slot and the Nexus 7 and Galaxy Nexus have full access for apps to the entirety of internal memory, e.g., if you have a 32 GB device, you have access to whatever's left over of that 32 after the room set aside for the system so accessing the "sdcard" is a moot point despite there being a mount point for it for backward compatibility.


They're selling a further 5000 at $99


Small update, those 5k sold out too. Now they're selling additional 5k. Total of 10k at $99. And it's selling fast too.

No idea how they're gonna cope with all that. I'm waiting for an official update from them telling us what the plan is. But it seems worth my $99 to give it a shot and see what happens. The project just makes way too much sense not to give it a go.


This reward level wasn't available when originally posted.

I wonder what they're going to do if/when these 5000 sell out, which looks like it will happen soon. I would guess that the bulk of their kickstarter money will come from people at this level, so they'd reach $1M sooner by expanding this offer or adding a similar but slightly higher priced one.


> I'm not a manufacturing expert, so maybe I'm missing something enormous here, but given the history of console manufacturers taking a loss to sell bundled software, and the high list price of android devices, I don't see any evidence to support that their target price is remotely realistic.

The hardware bill of materials for a project like this is not very much. $99 is realistic for mass production. Maybe not for a small batch manufactured by first timers(?) but doable. List prices of Android devices are ridiculously high, especially outside the US.


Is it? The estimates going around of $10-$25 are for the chip only. You still need to SMT solder it to a board and connect power, storage, etc. The only currently immediately available Tegra ready-made board (tegra 2, which was cheaper) costs $110 at volume[1].

OUYA has to add plastic casing, power source, connectors, storage, wireless AND a wireless controller, and source manufacturing for many tens of thousands of those, QC and handling/shipment.

Those $2 million start to look short..

That said, I don't know shit and would love to be proven wrong :)

http://www.toradex.com/Products/Colibri/Modules/Colibri-T20


Are you including the wireless game controller in that? I would expect it to contribute a not-insignificant amount to the cost.


Specifically, somewhere around 30% of it. The Kickstarter levels say to add $30 (to $95 or $99) if you want an extra controller.


Clones of (Wireless) Wii controllers are less than $18[1] if you buy one, and that comes with the Numchuck and free shipping.

I'd be guessing they could get them for $10 if they were buying 10,000.

[1] http://www.dealextreme.com/p/remote-with-motionplus-silicone...


Plus you don't need the accelerometers that are needed in wii controllers.


What part of the wireless controller do you think is expensive? You can buy wired controllers for $5 (sure they're cheap build quality and are probably manufactured at massive bulk) and you can get 2.4 GHz wireless modules for $3 a piece (probably a lot less in bulk and bluetooth is likely just as cheap in bulk) so wireless isn't really the cost factor..


The wireless controller won't be that expensive compared to the rest of it. But this is all assuming large scale mass production. Doing a small batch of controllers like that would be very expensive.


Still, they'll have to pay for marketing costs and other money sinks. Doesn't seem like they're going to make a lot of money out of the hardware at this price point. So what's their business model? It's non-profit à la raspberry pi?

This page doesn't tell us a lot about this project, and yet it's already gathered $150k+ only a few hours in. Impressive.


Our business model is simple. It's identical to the mobile game model – nothing fancy or sneaky. We'll share revenue – you get 70 percent. We’re planning to make it as easy as possible for you. And OUYA is built on Android. It will also support most of the popular engines. Already Unity is a launch partner.


Without access to the rest of the market, I think people will be a little pissed.


> The buttons on that controller mockup are only color-coded, which means it will be difficult (if not impossible) to clearly communicate to a color-blind player

I wouldn't bet on that being a final controller, the video shows references to the buttons by letter, O, U, Y and A. (Can see them along the bottom of the screen while showing Canabalt)

The colors also appear to be the same as my old xbox-360 controller, but I don't keep up with consoles, so you may be right about that.


I imagine that the natural thing is to add a square, triangle, circle and cross to differentiate the buttons but that some mega-corp thinks they should own that idea ... another natural alternatife would be inset arrows, but then ...


I think it will succeed because cost is important, and they understand that android solves two difficult problems for any gaming platform - development of quality titles and distribution of these titles.

The specs are an important consideration, but they won't matter if the thing is too expensive to gain a large following.

Their largest problem will be their sales channel I suspect.

I hope they kick ass.


Totally agree, If OUYA flies or not, I will pay $99 just to get disruption into the gaming industry.


@Kevingadd - great points. :)

As a game developer (hobbyist), I see a number of problems with this platform.

1) It does not solve a real problem. There are many Android devices already I could hook up to a TV, and add in a bluetooth controller (my Asus Transformer is one of them). If I already own a device, why buy another? Also, couldn't Google's new $200 Nexus tablet do all this?

2) While I do play a fair amount of handheld games, it's usually on the go. If I am playing at home, I want to make use of that multi-gigawatt power supply I've got. I don't want my games bogged down by weak hardware.

3) I do not want to travel backwards. I feel many consoles are already too limited in their compute power, which is why I prefer the PC. A normal PC can do all of the things they suggest (even run android!).

4) Android has already displayed a fairly weak gaming market (at least relative to iOS) - I actually prefer Android, but ultimately its the games available that sell the console, and I do not see developers rushing to this. I'd rather fool around with a $25 Raspberry Pi.

I am all for their goal of getting an affordable console into the living room, but this feels too much like cashing in on something that already exists, rather than innovating.


The Nexus 7 has no HDMI output. So, no, it couldn't do all that.

Also, your point #1 reminds me of a Steve Jobs quote, regarding the Apple I (a kit computer):

"It was very clear to me that while there were a bunch of hardware hobbyists that could assemble their own computers, or at least take our board and add the transformers for the power supply and the case the keyboard and go get the rest of the stuff. For every one of those there were a thousand people that couldn't do that, but wanted to mess around with programming - software hobbyists. And so my dream for the Apple 2 was to sell the first real packaged computer."

Yes, you don't have any interest in this machine. And maybe I don't; I still run Linux on the desktop, after all. But there are apparently a lot of people who are voting with their wallets they they want this experience without having to jury-rig anything.


Good points all...there might be another way to rig a Nexus 7 (Wi-Di? I don't know...). People do vote with their wallets, but unfortunately on the "wrong" things sometimes (not that this is necessarily the case, but if you look at campaigns like YogVentures, it seems a bit foolish to give $500,000 to a team with little/no proven development experience). My only concern is that I feel many companies will be giving Kickstarter-funding a bad name when they can't live up to their promises.


"1) It does not solve a real problem."

I believe this is completely wrong-headed. This solves a huge problem. How many people have you seen play Android games on a TV, or even ever connected their Android device to the TV? And how many of those are more on the tech consumer rather than producer side?


To clarify, I mean that it does not solve a problem that cannot be easily remedied already. Buy/use a tablet with HDMI-out, hook up bluetooth controller. What part of this process requires a million dollars of funding, I am not certain. Also, I have no idea how they plan to sell the device so cheap (unless controllers are sold separate, but even still it is a stretch...). They would have to use tricky contracting deals to make up for the cost of the console, which is exactly what is wrong with modern consoles. Again, I like the idea of a new console, but I think they are just going about it the wrong way.


>I mean that it does not solve a problem that cannot be easily remedied already. Buy/use a tablet with HDMI-out, hook up bluetooth controller.

What problem does a console solve? Couldn't I just buy a computer and hook it up to my PC? Why would anyone buy a console?

How many Android games work great with a bluetooth controller? Which controller with what features? How likely are you to leave your tablet hooked up to the TV? Do tablets cost 100 dollars?

The obvious interest in the device shows it DOES solve a problem. I sure hope these guys knock it out of the park.


I do hope they do well, but I am also a bit skeptical. Here is why: Android is one of many choices I could develop for. When I develop, I consider cost/benefit ratio (among many other factors). As it is, there is quite a bit of fragmentation across Android hardware. User experience is obviously a bit different with a joystick/TV than a phone or tablet. Even if this console does really well, its number of units will probably still be dwarfed by mobile phones and tablets. There are some games that work well in a console-esque context, some that work well for mobile, and there is a bit of overlap between the two. But generally speaking, making a game that takes advantage of the console would probably require special attention. The real problem is a chicken-and-egg scenario - people will not develop for the console unless it catches on, and the console won't catch on unless there are good games exclusively targeting it (the real motivation to buy the console won't be the TV-based experience, it will be because it has good games you can't play on any other device). This is why people buy iPhones - not because they are the best device out there (they are not), but because there is a huge ecosystem of apps for them, and the experience is consistent and predicatble. I am not really unfairly biased -- I have developed games and other applications on iOS, Android, XBox, Windows, and Mac natively, in addition to using Flash and HTML 5 for cross-platform development.

If they wanted to make a killer console, they have to make killer tools -- and their hands are kind of tied by Android. Android is a bit bloated, the emulator sucks, development can be occasionally slow and painful, and like many of the other platforms, there are several quirks. It is just not the friendliest thing I have developed for...although I don't blame the company for picking it as it is one of the few open platforms.


How many people have I seen carrying a TV on a train or in the airport or in a shop while someone else is trying stuff on?


> I would honestly be shocked if they can ship a console with even those specs along with a controller and all the assorted bits and pieces you need, to an end user for $99 without eating some hidden costs themselves

1. This is speculation

2. They didn't say anything about the final release price

> 8GB of storage is not remotely enough for a console that has no physical storage medium for games

I agree, this is a strange decision

> The buttons on that controller mockup are only color-coded

This is an interresting point, but the console could totally survive that.

> Furthermore, they show various games in their mockup material - like Minecraft, and Triple Town, and Shadowgun - but apparently they haven't made deals with all of these developers to show up in the promotional material (let alone use the platform), which makes it seem like they really believe they're just going to ride the Android Market all the way to success. Can they even provide access to the official Android Market without meeting the requirements that Google imposes for shipping the Google Experience apps or whatever they're called?

They say in their video "minecraft is gonna be on it" and they have a quote from somebody from mojang down in the quotations, so they're obviously in contact with them.

They have the developer of canabalt saying that he has a port of the game ready for the console.

So maybe they're just a little bit more serious than what you seem to think ?

This device could survive, and strive, with all the shortcomings you mentionned. The design could also evolve before release.


On the mojang point, that is simply not accurate. It's marketing spin. From the original Kotaku article about the console:

" There are some smoke and mirrors here. The Kickstarter video shows Minecraft on Ouya's system dashboard, which might be possible without further development given that Minecraft is available on Android. But Carl Manneh, who helps run Minecraft development studio Mojang told Kotaku that he and his colleagues "haven't seen it nor committed to anything." He added: "but we do like the idea!" Loving the idea and wanting it to succeed seems to be the status for a raft of top indies, including Canabalt creator Adam Saltsman and Wasteland creator Brian Fargo. "


http://cdn2.sbnation.com/entry_photo_images/4547820/ouya2_ga... this screenshot shows that possibly there are also letters on the buttons, not just colors


Side note: I believe Yves Behar/fuseproject only did the industrial design for the OLPC XO, not any of the hardware engineering. It seems ambiguous from this kickstarter who would actually be designing the internals.


The internals are completely commodity; they could outsource it anywhere.


"People have done amazing things with low-spec hardware before, but it certainly doesn't help if the hardware is poor along with the other poor decisions on display here."

I think that guys like Sony or Nintendo had so much more budgets/experience/talents to create super-optimized low-spec custom hardware and SDK going along allowing to create great piece of software with these specs.

I am quite sure that the SDKs that will go along the platform will be "as-good" as the stock SDK provided by Google. Meaning "good" but not in the same game with Sony/Nintendo's SDKs.


I load all my wii games from a usb ssd and it's 10x faster than any cd.

And i think it's usb1


USB1.0 and 1.1 could do 12 MBit/s at most, and pretty much died off with USB2 in 2000. I doubt that you have a USB1 SSD.


What the disk is capable of and what the Wii is capable of may be responsible for that difference.


I admire them for trying to bring a cheap platform for (indie) gaming and such, but I don't get some points:

They are claiming that "all the games will be free-to-play" and then in the FAQ they rectify it by saying that all games will have at least a "free-demo", which is not F2P, but nonetheless it means it will offer both kinds.

Now let's see what kind of games they might bring to this platform: most of the F2P games that are available are either MMORPGs or some kind of FPS (ruling out flash games, of course). You don't find these formats on consoles, and why? Keyboard and mouse, which is totally the opposite of what they are trying to offer. Even though there are a lot of FPS games on consoles, there is not a single one the F2P format.

The other kind of games (the non-F2P) will be mostly indie games, which is great. But still limited to the use of a controller! There are some amazing ones like Super Meat Boy and Bastion, but not many!


Why does the period in "Hackers welcome." link to https://twitter.com/YourAnonNews/?


Cheap attempt of controversy/publicity I would guess. Fits the presumptuous feeling I got from the kickstarter text quite well.


I don't want to be pessimistic, but given the hardware configuration, what kind of games this will be able to run ? I don't really feel like playing Angry Bird HD on my TV forever.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBl-goBrWno The Tegra3 quad-core processor doesn't perform awfully, and comes with 1Gb RAM... I'm not sure how much better you can get for $95 (lowest backing point to secure a console)!


I don't know about others but poor (relative to PC and console) game performance on mobile games is only acceptable to me because the machine fits in my pockets.

I don't sit in my living room to play iOS/Android games, the fact that the device is hooked to a bigger screen won't change that.

Also, they seem to be confusing two target audiences here. People that grew up with games as a central part of their lives are (in my experience) people that STILL play a lot of games and prefer to do so on consoles and a PC, while people who are into social and mobile games are mostly casual people that won't be bothered to sit in front of a big screen to play anyways.

I've felt like the console market was ready for some change for a while but envisioned it as a kind of Steam-console more than a big screen phone. That being said, I wish the best of luck to these guys, it's an ambitious and exciting project.


Did you watch the video? I'm not sure what resolution that is pushing, but it clearly beats the Wii hands down and looks to be roughly competitive with the XBox 360/PS3. If that's 1080p it may even have a slight edge on them. (But I'd guess 720p. For the most part on a TV console it's not really worth pushing twice the pixels for such a marginal image quality gain.)


Pushing 1080p off a mobile GPU on a console with 1Gb of RAM is cool and all but good luck doing anything else impressive besides... well pushing 1080p. This thing is closer to a phone than a real console.


The consoles are 7 years old. Mobile games are getting pretty close to their performance. All the new ARM GPU architectures coming out this year and next year will support OpenGL ES 3.0 (OpenGL 3.2 features) and OpenCL 1.1.

Next year's hardware should also be 4-5x faster in GPU performance than Tegra 3 (that includes Tegra 4, as well as other chips), and around 300 gigaflops each, which I think already surpasses the Xbox 360 and PS3, or it's around as powerful.

If Google and many of their partners would put these chips in $99 set top boxes/consoles, and let them play 3D Android games, it could disrupt the console market, simply by flooding the market with the help of multiple manufacturers, a low price, and a decent gaming platform, that could only grow bigger if it takes off, not unlike how Google dominates the smartphone market through the sheer number of Android devices released by many, many manufacturers.

I just hope Google is smart enough to recognize this and actually go for it, instead of focusing solely on their "smart TV" strategy with their Google TV boxes.


Next year's hardware should also be 4-5x faster in GPU performance than Tegra 3

Which makes it extra-stupid for Ouya to plan to ship a Tegra 3 console in 2013.


Ship early, ship often. Better to ship than wait for someone else to ship before you (like duke nukem forever)


They should be able to meet the same schedule with Tegra 4 or quad Krait (although at higher cost). So someone else may be shipping a box that's 4x the performance at the same time.


You might find it educational to compare the specs of the "real consoles" to your phones, and don't forget to account for the fact that the "real consoles" are running somewhat older CPUs and stuff so the GHz difference isn't necessarily reflected by straight-up division. Also the newer GPUs include quite a few newer tricks and capabilities that the current console gen don't have.

Remember, the XBox 360 is now coming up fast on seven years old. By the time this comes out, eight. It's a bit fuzzy when a phone/tablet gets released that completely beats the XBox 360/PS3 due to the inability to easily directly compare the stats, but if it hasn't already happened it'll certainly happen next year, no question.

Also, that video was of games, not just video. I mean, how much more concrete a proof do you need that games are possible than... games?


Totally agree. BTW, a Steam console would be a total killer provided the games come less expensive than PS3/Xbox games.


That and a lot of very good indie PC games come with controller support out of the box. For example, I bought Super Meat Boy on Steam, I'd be glad to play it on a Steam Box!


You mean like the Steam Box [1] Valve is working on? :)

[1] http://www.theverge.com/2012/3/2/2840932/exclusive-valve-ste...


Given the relative free-for-all mentality that seems to be going on at Valve (which is far from a bad thing imo!), I won't take a patent application as a definite sign that Valve (a software company) will be unveiling a console anytime soon.

I would buy it in a heartbeat though.


Sure but truly it doesn't stand a chance vs. the upcoming next gen. consoles if it doesn't come with a killer game.


The Nintendo Wii was pretty successful with its much weak graphics for half the price of the other consoles. Actually, it wasn't even half the price of Xbox360, but more like 75%.


Is a $100 console with $1-5 games really competing with what will be $400 consoles with $50-60 games?



I don't understand all the negativity in this thread. Sure, nit-pick it to death for this and that. But if this was executed correctly it would change the gaming world and collapse multiple console markets within the timeframe of one console generation.

I learned to program by making games... so this is exciting to see!


Why was the title changed from OUYA to Ouya? OUYA is the name.


I'm surprised they're not also pursuing media center features, either baked-in or through third parties. Netflix clearly wants to live on every box in the universe, and the open-ish stack lends itself well to Flex, XMBC, etc. It increases the value prop while the game library is still being built up (how many people bought a PS3 because it doubled as a Blu-Ray?)

Also: how the heck is Ouya pronounced? Feels a little awkward to say, like the first year of the Wii. It's important that people are able to talk (and brag!) about your product.


This is a good point. Also since it's running Android, I'd expect it to be fully compatible with the market place apps. Which means, I can run a webserver from this box if I care. Or more sanely, I could connect to my DLNA enabled media server and stream content from there (assuming this thing is going to have WiFi/Ethernet which I'm sure it will).


> Also: how the heck is Ouya pronounced?

From the FAQ:

OOO-yah. Apparently it doesn't have the most pleasant meaning in Swahili.


Anyone know what the meaning is? I'm curious to know. They don't say, Google Translate doesn't have a clue, and a quick Google didn't turn up anything...


I think its 4 symbols to use for button identification.


Kicktraq, which calculates estimates for how much a project will make extrapolating from the current rate. Are estimating that OUYA will reach $39m if they can keep this pace.

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/ouya/ouya-a-new-kind-of-vid...


Kind of curious as to why they'd use a linear extrapolation.


"if they can keep this pace" being the qualifying phrase, of course. This project has gone super-viral -- $2mil within its first day. Because word is spreading so quickly, its entire target market will have learned about it in, what, 4 days, tops? It's not like the insane growth will continue after that happens.


It's a shame they only collect stats once a day, it would look so much nicer if they collected data multiple times per day.


Now tending to $58 million.


a) "8GB of internal flash storage & USB 2.0 (one)" That does not sound like it would be too useful if you want to play more than 2 games (exaggerated).

b) Why would I invest into a project where "there are plenty of other people involved, but some of them would get fired if we tell you who they are"?


We're talking about Android games here running on an ARM processor. They are a lot smaller than a PC game. I've only seen a couple of games that approach the 500 MB mark on Android, and there may be a few bigger ones I haven't tried. But most 3D Games should only be a few hundred MB at most.


If I would buy such device I would want big games and emulators. You easily fill up 8GB with emulators.


It has a free ssd slot.


I love the idea and I have talked about the possibility of an ARM-based console for the past 2 years, but the Ouya is one of those cases where the execution doesn't seems right.

There's a lack of differentiation, it has no exclusives like big consoles have which can be critical to move units. The GTA series alone moved more PS2s than any other games in that console, and it had tons of great titles. By the time GTA3 made it to the Xbox the PS2 was getting the blockbuster San Andreas 8 months before any other platform did. In comparison most of the games on display for the Ouya are phone/tablet games. The anti-console crowd argues that people wont buy consoles anymore despite the fact that big consoles like the X360 have exclusive games not even available on PC. Simply put, why should I buy a Ouya if I can get the exact same games on my phone or tablet?

I don't really understand the whole "hackers can modify the hardware"-part, wasn't the fragmentation of the Android ecosystem due to multiple hardware variations the reason why many developers stick to iOS? Wouldn't homogeneous hardware like that of the Kindle Fire make more sense in this situation?

Since it's a console and not a handheld portable device I don't see why it couldn't have a HDD for storage instead of the paltry 8GB it has. It could easily pack 500GB in a 2.5 drive, leaving tons of space to store games, but with just 8GB less than 10 1GB games will use up all of the storage space, so users will have to delete those games and then redownload them every time they want to play, and waiting for a 1GB download is way slower than DVD loading times on consoles, let alone HDD times.


I get the impression that the Ouya's bread and butter will be coming from casual gaming. Hardcore gamers will always want to stick to a beefier console anyways.

Someone wanting to play Tetris, Canabalt or other low-time-investment game is probably plenty satisfied with something like the Ouya.


That's even worst: a casual's only reason to buy a console is to get the games that they cannot get on their phones and tablets

Why buy additional hardware like the ouya if it's the same exact same experience?


I read the Kickstarter page, then read the HN comments, and then went back and refreshed the Kickstarter page, and in perhaps twenty minutes, it had jumped almost a thousand pledges and over $100,000. That's... impressive.

EDIT: Another hour, another couple thousand pledges, another couple hundred thousand dollars, and it's funded. (And they bumped up the $99 pledge point from 5K to 10K.) That was fast.


I was really excited about this until I saw the specs; they seem singularly unremarkable.

1 gig of ram, and a say what, a T33 maybe?

Am I completely off the deep end here or is that like an order of magnitude less powerful (abit with more ram) than say, an xbox.

So its cheap. Big deal, so is the Pi and say, http://www.androidauthority.com/remember-the-74-android-pc-n...

I'm kind of dubious about the value proposition of something that wants to be a full blown console, but is basically just a slight lower spec'd version of my phone.

If you want to get me excited, stick 8 GB of ram on that thing and an intel based 3.2 Ghz cpu with a gpu that can run say, UT. That would effectively !!!! all over the state of the art for android devices AND consoles.

This? It'll be obsolete by the time it even exists.


No, it's not an order of magnitude less powerful. Tegra 3 games look almost console-like. And you can play a lot of older emulator games on this, too. Next year's ARM hardware should all but match the Xbox 360 hardware performance.


Are you sure of that?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenos_(graphics_chip) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenon_(processor)

The xbox 360 GPU has 48 shaders and the core cpu is a 3-core running at 3.2 GHz.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tegra#Tegra_3

The tegra 3 is a quad core 1.4-1.6 Ghz cpu with 8 shaders. 8.

That's not console level graphics. Don't get me wrong, it's better than most phones might have, but it's literally half as fast, and has 1/6th as many shaders.

That's a massive gap. I can't help but think the stuff that runs on this phone will just be meh, especially on high res displays.

Edit: And just to give you some idea how distant that is from 'state of the art', the geforce GTX 690 is running 3072 shaders and has 4 GB of on board ram.


Xbox will probably be refreshed next year, though.


Sure, but it will cost a few hundred dollars more. And many people might not want these just for games, but for media stuff, and they would find the $99 price a lot more attractive than $300-$400 for such tasks.


Not trying to denigrate the new device, just pointing out that comparisons are being made of a new device with a device which is near the end of its rather long refresh cycle. Of course that tends to favor the new device. I expect the xbox to jump ahead in performance by a significant amount after the refresh.


So it'll become a glorified Netflix player. Wonderful?

This sort of our point, it's not useful for anything it purports to be useful for...like gaming.


It already reached 200K! WOW! Looking forward to this one...


I want this to succeed and it's high time somebody tried something like this.

I see 2 problems though, firstly the price. It's simply too cheap and this is reflected in the hardware specs, if they wanted enthusiasts they really need to bump up the hardware. A console with a small SSD and a desktop class nVidia/ATI GPU would be way more exciting.

The other problem will be getting "killer apps" which is a huge part of console marketing, would the Xbox have been so successful without HALO? the wii without "wii sports"?

This is where having a more "open" console provides disadvantages because they are in a weak position to score exclusivity deals since MS , Sony or Nintendo could simply see which are the most popular titles on the platform and strike deals with the developers to port them over to their platforms.


>if they wanted enthusiasts they really need to bump up the hardware.

It looks like this thing is aimed squarely at indie game developers, and the type of people who play indie pc games. Indie gamers aren't really known for their craving for top of the line graphics.

Using android saves them a lot of time and putting it on an arm platform allows it to easily run all of the popular android games.

There isn't a commodity SOC that comes with a desktop class GPU, so I don't see anyway they could realistically do that--it would require a whole lot more than a million bucks to develop it.

>...most popular titles on the platform and strike deals with the developers to port them over to their platforms.

This would a lot of time. Since these games are written for android a port will probably be a complete rewrite (see minecraft for x-box), and take a year at least.

Why wait a year to play a game when you can get access for only $99?

Sure eventually console makers might make tools and processes to make it easier for indie developers to get android games onto their consoles, but that would be fantastic (and would accomplish the goals of this project anyway).


It looks like this thing is aimed squarely at indie game developers, and the type of people who play indie pc games. Indie gamers aren't really known for their craving for top of the line graphics.

I'm not sure there is much of a demographic of people who are "indie gamers" , most people who play indie games also play AAA games, so a console for Indie games only doesn't seem like it would have a huge target market.

Using android saves them a lot of time and putting it on an arm platform allows it to easily run all of the popular android games.

Android stuff is mainly Java, so I can't imagine that porting would be that huge a deal especially considering there are also ports of android for x86. You must also keep in mind that most android games are designed around touchscreens, so it's not like they are suddenly going to have a big library of games that are playable with a controller without significant redesign.

There isn't a commodity SOC that comes with a desktop class GPU, so I don't see anyway they could realistically do that--it would require a whole lot more than a million bucks to develop it.

Couldn't this be mostly done by using a motherboard from a laptop or similar? Since it's a console, space and weight are less of a factor than with a tablet etc.

This would a lot of time. Since these games are written for android a port will probably be a complete rewrite (see minecraft for x-box), and take a year at least.

This is basically a chicken/egg problem. Indie developers are unlikely to develop around a platform that does not already have significant user base. Most of the popular indie titles, supermeatboy , braid etc were developed around the 360 first because it already had a significant market.


>I'm not sure there is much of a demographic of people who are "indie gamers" , most people who play indie games also play AAA games, so a console for Indie games only doesn't seem like it would have a huge target market.

It looks like they are trying to take the PC indie game market and bring it to the TV. It doesn't matter if indie gamers also play AAA games, the point is (and what I was replying to) that people who play indie games, of whom there are many, are willing to overlook graphics for gameplay.

>that huge a deal especially considering there are also ports of android for x86

Almost anything resource intensive is done with the NDK which is in C/C++, if they used x86 almost no Android games would play out of the box.

>Couldn't this be mostly done by using a motherboard from a laptop or similar?

It could be done, yes. But at significantly more expense. Think about the price of a mobo, CPU, GPU and RAM. You can get an arm SOC with all the above included for less than $25--that's how they're able to sell these things for $99.

>Indie developers are unlikely to develop around a platform that does not already have significant user base.

That's why the $99 price tag is such a big deal, hopefully it will help them reach critical mass.

Additionally since it runs android, developers can develop for it as well as touchscreen android devices with almost no extra effort (for non touchscreen essential games).

>...developed around the 360 first because it already had a significant market.

X-box primarily attracted indie developers b/c they made it easier for them than any other console. But the PC has way more indie games than the X-box because it is even easier to develop for and distribute (even though there are way more console gamers than PC gamers).


I guess the point is , why would I buy one of these instead of or in addition to an xbox360. Just being slightly cheaper won't really do it.

Most indie games don't really sell very well and the ones that do will be ported, Indie games generally also have the advantage of being very easy to port, especially if you use SDL for the graphics.

Plus anybody who's into really obscure Indie games probably has a PC already. The advantage AAA consoles have is that they can provide high end PC level graphics for much less money than a high end PC because the are subsidesed.

They might have more luck making something for the casual gaming market and consentrate on making an innovating controller that works well for exiting android touch screen games but can be used at a distance from the screen.


>why would I buy one of these instead of or in addition to an xbox360

They've just passed $1,000,000 on kickstarter, so it looks like around 10k people have decided to buy one.

>The advantage AAA consoles have is that they can provide high end PC level graphics for much less money than a high end PC because the are subsidized.

That's not really true except for the first year they come out. After that PC hardware outpaces them, and the only advantage is that it's easier to use and it sits in your living room. Look at the Wii, it wasn't anywhere near PC level hardware even when it came out. In fact the next gen of consoles won't really be faster than top of the line PCs even when they debut.

The developer is arguing that the advantage consoles have is TV access (easy TV access). So she's looking to combine the TV access of a console with the ease of development of a PC. And it looks like there is a sizable number of people who agree with her.

Look at the sales so far. 10k units presold in a few hours, the X-box 360 only sold 300k units its first month in North America, and that was with a huge advertising campaign and an actual product on store shelves.

They also don't need to beat x-box, I'd wager that almost anyone who would buy this will buy it in addition to X-box.

From the results, clearly there's a market here.

>Indie games generally also have the advantage of being very easy to port, especially if you use SDL for the graphics.

Why wait for the game to be ported when this thing is only $99.

>Just being slightly cheaper

It's half the price of the cheapest 360, and there's no xbox live subscription fee. The average game price will be much cheaper as well.

The other thing I think you're missing, is that most of the I know run out of games to play. If this thing is just provided 10% extra content over what they have now, they'd spend $99.


>I'm not sure there is much of a demographic of people who are "indie gamers" , most people who play indie games also play AAA games, so a console for Indie games only doesn't seem like it would have a huge target market.

I'm not so sure. I feel like one of those people; I really appreciate the indie aesthetic and I respect small teams that are able to make great games. I do play AAA games but only occasionally (buying about 1 per year).

The problem though is I already can play plenty of indie games on my xbox 360: Braid, Limbo, Spelunky, Super Meat Boy, to name a few.


I'm similar - I love indie games and therefore love the humble bundles, for examble.

I do play AAA games too, but I'm a PC gamer when it comes to AAA and don't own any consoles at all. I'd happily buy a console for great indie games and then play the rest on my PC (which I have anyway because I use it for plenty of things besides games, some of which are sometimes even intensive enough to require an expensive computer)


>> if they wanted enthusiasts they really need to bump up the hardware

Since when did game "enthusiast" become synonymous with people who prefer PC type games that require large amounts processing power?

Many of the console games that I would consider the best of all time, like Mario 3, Final Fantasy, Tetris, Street Fighter 2 and so on would easily run on the Ouya. Sure, 3D games are great, but there were plenty of deep, rich games that weren't just about slinging polygons at high frame rates.


"The entire first production run of consoles will have YOUR USERNAME and BACKER NUMBER ENGRAVED INTO IT"

Well, at $10,000 that's an expensive barrier but I hope they're carefully checking those usernames.


I find it interesting that when someone gets a chance to build a controller from scratch in 2012, it ends up looking essentially no different than one from 1997: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual_Analog_Controller

On a completely separate note, this might be a great reason to target android... if it works.


The human hands are notoriously hard to design for; controllers are a very hard to improve design, much like computer mice.


I wonder how comfortable it'd be if the controllers were split in the center and the resultant looked like dual nunchucks. You could join them by a cable and add motion detection too. Since the left and right hands are essentially now independent to move, the developers have a lot more creative freedom with movement controls.


Are you thinking about this? :)

http://i.imgur.com/lpDqH.jpg


Well not EXACTLY that, but close :D

Just imagine taking your normal 360 controller and split it along the center. Now add gyroscope/accelerometer and two tracking cameras/LEDs (just like the WiiMotes).


In spite of the pronunciation guide to the name of this console, I choose to pronounce it OOHHHHH YEEEEEAAAH in Macho Man Randy Savage's voice.

Cheap hardware, open platform, and a decent looking controller. I would buy one, and I know a dozen other people who will too. OOHHHHH YEEEEEAAAH!


I'm wondering how they try to solve the problem of getting a touch optimized game to work fine with a analog controller. I know that they said something about a touchscreen, but havn't shown some sort of concept for it.


This reminds me of one of the problems with the never-released Infinium Labs Phantom console -- making PC games designed with a 2ft UI playable at a distance of 10 feet in the living room.

This project's goals strike me as quite similar to the Phantom's, actually, but with mobile games instead of PC games. And inverse problems -- Infinium had the UI problem but their controls were pretty well figured out, while OUYA's UI situation seems fine but the controls may present a challenge.


In a way, I want to invest in this. Yet, something in the back of my mind tells me it would not be an investment, but a transfer of cash from me to them...with no product at the end of the bargain.


That's just how Kickstarter works. Everyone should understand that before putting down any money.


2 years from now, it's going to be interesting to see what percentage of projects actually delivered on their promises.

In this particular case, time to market is going to be super critical. They must get to market within the next 9 months or these hardware specifications will be laughable and Android 5+ will already be out there.


I wonder how hard it will be to write an Android app that's compatible with both the OUYA controller, and the Xperia Play keypad?


current android smartphones have similar specs and plug into TVs via mini-HDMI and can connect to PS3 controllers for example. But i still like the concept :)


Gaming on android is a sad, laggy affair. There's too much input and audio latency for it to be a serious gaming platform.


Will that not change with Jelly Bean and Project butter?


They're doing triple-buffering and vsync with Project Butter, which, if I recall correctly, increases input lag.


Hmm? I might not know excactly what you're referring to and so on, but...

I guess you increase input lag if you're doing vsync and double buffering and your drawing things can't keep up with the refresh rate (so framerate gets halved and that).

With vsync and triple buffering, compared to vsync off, you should only (potentially) miss out on stuff like "I could have drawn the bottom third of this new screen I've rendered one frame earlier".


Why not just wait for Google TV?


I don't think Google has even made Google TV open source yet, probably because it's still based on Honeycomb. Also, unfortunately, Google doesn't seem interested to want to promote their Google TV set top boxes as mini-consoles, other perhaps than mentioning it in the bullet list *run Play Store games.


The UI seems have a lot of similarity to the XBox 360 Metro UI, Windows 8 and Zune, even the fonts.

http://cdn2.sbnation.com/entry_photo_images/4547820/ouya2_ga...


Personally, I really like the new Xbox360 dashboard. Once I got the hang of it, I found it very easy to move around and get to what I want quickly. Using triggers for "tab" navigation makes a lot of sense.

If that's (partially, at least) what they're basing their UI off of, then I'm all for it.


Everything sounds fine, except being Android based.

Worst platform ever.

Also good luck getting most of the hardware like game developers do with java.


Android has an NDK that allows you to write native code in C\C++. Most of the resource intensive code for Android games is native.

That's why you can't play most of the games if you have an android phone with a MIPS processor (they're all compiled for ARM).


What else should it be based on? Linux? At least Android has games, and they can also leverage 400 million users, and a platform growing at 1 million new users per month. Why does this matter? Because even if game devs are not interested to make games specifically for Ouya, they will make them for Android, and then it should be very easy to just port them to Ouya.


heh.


The real mistake is Free to play...


But then the "free to play" part doesn't mean much.

From the FAQ:

"For gamers, every game will be free to play: what this means is that there will at least be a free demo"

So it's free to play in the way that a great number of games not generally considered free to play are free to play. Or in the way the XBLA is a free to play platform or something.


Oh look, AndroidTV.

Prediction: Sidelined by the AppleTV in 6 months.

EDIT: More detail: What do you think will happen when Apple comes out with an SDK for AppleTV, folks? I suppose the only thing missing is the controller. :-)


Apple is not going to let the AppleTV run iOS apps. If only because the mess of resolutions and aspect ratios you find in everyday TVs.

Thus without the iOS ecosystem Apple would be competing on specs and marketing. They could do it but they would be giving OUYA a run for its money.

Besides, 6 months is a long time in mobile land.


I sure wish the Apple TV would have apps, but Apple seems totally uninterested in it. So I'll look elsewhere, instead of hoping "this time they'll announce it."




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