The Ouya has rewritten some of the basic principles of game console design and marketing.
But can it really compete with Nintendo’s, Microsoft’s and Sony’s offerings? Does it even need to compete?
Before we start speculating, let us look at the new console’s features.
A Lot of Games for a Little Price
The Ouya is not adhering to the pricing strategies that the current consoles are following. While the big hitters are charging developers and consumers wherever possible, the Ouya is designed to be open and affordable to its potential customers.
Every game on the Ouya will be freely playable to some degree. This could either be achieved through a playable demo, or the option to pay for additional content, levels and upgrades.
There are already hundreds of titles believed to be destined for the system. The Ouya is expected to be a haven for indie game developers, with its low-cost development cycle and online content delivery method.
The price of the Ouya is also considerably lower than other consoles on the market. While most consoles enter the market at around the $400-600 mark, the Ouya can be purchased for $99.99.
The Technology; Will Less be More?
When Nintendo released the Wii, it was a standard definition console, competing in a high definition market.
Technologically, the Wii was behind the times, but it was still wildly successful.
By offering a different style of gameplay, the Wii was able to profit amongst its more powerful competition. It seems that the Ouya has a similar philosophy.
The developers have clearly had to make some concessions with the Ouya’s hardware to match the low price point. The Ouya is not designed to compete with the technology of current generation’s consoles. The Ouya actually runs on Android and shares more in common with tablets and other portable devices than the dedicated gaming consoles.
It seems that the developers are hoping that consumers overlook the technological shortfalls and focus on the console’s accessibility, pricing and partially free to play games.
The system has a portable 1.7GHz Quad Core ARM Cortex-A9, 8GB of storage, 1GB of RAM and USB inputs. The console will allow users to connect to the internet via Wi-Fi or Ethernet. Additionally, the Ouya will be capable of running 1080p HD graphics through its HDMI port.
Coming to Stores Soon
So does the Ouya have a future in the gaming industry?
With its unusual pricing structure and online game delivery method the future is uncertain, but hopes are running high. There is little doubt that there will be plenty of titles released for the Ouya, as it is a low cost platform for indie developers, but will these downloadable games be enough to draw in the market?
The Ouya can be pre-ordered online for a June 2013 release. Pre-ordering is available through Amazon, Best Buy, Game Stop, Target, or directly through the company at http://shop.ouya.tv .
The $99 includes both the Ouya console and one controller. Extra controllers (the console can handle up to four players) are $49 each.
Do you think the games will suffer from quantity over quality? Will the Ouya succeed? Do you want one?
We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.