So as of August 9th (yesterday as of this posting) the gaming console that is turning heads in the developer market, the Ouya, has attained its Kickstarter goal of 950,000 dollars by raising a total amount of … let’s see…
Ah yes the final amount was $8,596,475 JESUS TAP-DANCING CHRIST!
I’m sorry, I’ll collect myself.
So what is the Ouya console? Why was it up on Kickstarter? How in the name of hell do you even say the name? Why is the controller bigger then the console?
Well, regardless of what the developers originally intended, I have a strong suspicion that people will start pronouncing it more like “Oh yea!”, I mean the commercial writes itself on that one.
Sure it’s a bit juvenile but marketing is as marketing sells.
So what is it?
Well, it’s a video game console in development that underwent an entirely new initiative for game developers. You see the developers (according to their public statements) wanted to make a console that could compete with mobile devices. As they put it, a lot of young developers who are pioneering in innovative game design are exclusively porting their work to either mobile devices or the PC once they have a successful enough run on mobile platforms. Because these fine people didn’t want gaming on the television to die out, especially in an era where the quality of televisions is catapulting forward, they decided to make their own console.
Officially that’s the story. I’m sure though a large if not majority part of this whole idea was to screw over game publishers.
Which is fair because game publishers are evil.
I could easily go into a diatribe about why most if not all publishers have proven continually that they are the greatest evil in the industry. And if you don’t believe me just go look at the Jimquisition created by Jim Sterling, Editor-in-Chief of Destructoid. I’d point to a specific entry but considering you could go through his entire archive of videos and maybe find five that didn’t take a direct shot at publishers after a certain point.
Here’s one just in case you want a gimme though.
So, what makes this console different from all of the other money pits out there? Well for starters at launch the Ouya will only cost about 99 dollars US which is about as much as you pay for a busted second hand DS Lite at EBGames. It’ll be an HDMI output console with specifications that are competitive on the current market but since saying that last time ended in me having to completely rewrite my 3DS XL article I’m just going to list them directly from the Kickstarter page:
- Tegra3 quad-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 8GB of internal flash storage
- HDMI connection to the TV, with support for up to 1080p HD
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
- Bluetooth LE 4.0
- USB 2.0 (one)
- Wireless controller with standard controls (two analog sticks, d-pad, eight action buttons, a system button), a touchpad
- Android 4.0
- ETHERNET! (Announced by Muffi 7/18) –Courtesy of kickstarter.com
In addition, if you buy the console you’re given a little bonus called the developer package. You see a big problem with a lot of major consoles is getting access to the developer package and some publishing companies will nab young developers in long and convoluted contracts that give them (the publishers) complete rights to everything the developer creates just to help pay for things like the software to develop on a console in addition to advertising and distribution through physical and digital media.
Ouya however, openly hands that to ANYONE who buys their console, so all a young up and comer has to do is mount up and make a game. Oh, there is one little problem though the developer does have to make a trial or free-to-play iteration of their game on the network. Yes, because the entire system works on digital distribution they will ensure free or trial versions of all games on the network so that people can have a chance to try before they buy.
Oh, and the part I liked most was that the physical system can be upgraded. Doing so doesn’t void the warranty, they actually encourage it.
Plus the whole thing runs on the Android OS!
The project went on Kickstarter so that it could receive funding because… well let’s be honest, if you handed this sucker to a publisher there would be little to no chance that it would survive to a physical iteration retaining the same design ideals it had when the project began. Besides, unless someone donated money to you, they’d pretty much have a say in how your project was to come out.
So we have a console that will be cheaper than handhelds, competitive with the performance of current consoles, able to be modded with an open developer package. I can see this hurting some retailers but in reality all they have to do is release a points card in retailer outlets and hell, most game stores are selling DLC anyway. Might be in Gamestop’s best interest to get in on the ground floor.
Then again, I don’t credit Gamestop head office with a lot of intelligence. Integrity yes, not intelligence.
Personally, with this system I’d love to see an online version of renting games where if you rent a specific title enough over time you’ve bought the damn game. Might be worth it for people who only want to try a game but not own it.
Then again you’ll have people who just power through games and never buy them but you had that during the rental days anyway!
But yeah, I’m sure I’m missing some downside or some big positive to this console that I missed but hell, that’s what comments are for! Start discussing people!
So too does this work exist.