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.
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.
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 :)
At the very least, it might let me drop my XBox Live Gold subscription, which I only have so I can stream Netflix.
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:
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
How does grandparent's remarks qualify as crapping on anything? You don't even respond to his points. HN is not for cheerleading.
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.
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.
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. 
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 :)
I'd be guessing they could get them for $10 if they were buying 10,000.
This page doesn't tell us a lot about this project, and yet it's already gathered $150k+ only a few hours in. Impressive.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And i think it's usb1
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!
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.
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.
Which makes it extra-stupid for Ouya to plan to ship a Tegra 3 console in 2013.
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?
I would buy it in a heartbeat though.
And also all the emulator games up to and including PSX.
I learned to program by making games... so this is exciting to see!
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.
From the FAQ:
OOO-yah. Apparently it doesn't have the most pleasant meaning in Swahili.
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"?
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.
Someone wanting to play Tetris, Canabalt or other low-time-investment game is probably plenty satisfied with something like the Ouya.
Why buy additional hardware like the ouya if it's the same exact same experience?
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.
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.
The xbox 360 GPU has 48 shaders and the core cpu is a 3-core running at 3.2 GHz.
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.
This sort of our point, it's not useful for anything it purports to be useful for...like gaming.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 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.
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).
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.
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 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 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)
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.
Well, at $10,000 that's an expensive barrier but I hope they're carefully checking those usernames.
On a completely separate note, this might be a great reason to target android... if it works.
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).
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!
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 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 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".
If that's (partially, at least) what they're basing their UI off of, then I'm all for it.
Worst platform ever.
Also good luck getting most of the hardware like game developers do with java.
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).
"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.
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. :-)
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.