Reading critics who go back and forth on whether or not the Ouya is just a gimmick console or actually is a good idea, it makes a person wonder if it’s worth keeping an eye out for. At first glance one may believe upfront that it is a definite success because it reached 904% of its funding goal. Breaking it down further, Ouya has reached $8,596,475 on Kickstarter. The initial goal was only $950,000.
However, is this just a come and go system that will collect dust? Really, it’s hard to say for sure. On one hand the console has some great ideas such as hackers welcome, free to play, and a low cost. On the other hand, those very features could be its own demise. Does this mean the games will be broken with hackers modding? Does free to play mean junky games? At only $99, will it only be made of cheap material, and easily breakable?
Here are a few reasons why it still may have success beyond the crowd funding campaign.
1. Big Name Support. At first, people were hesitant to jump on the Ouya bandwagon because no one was for sure what games would be on it. Square-Enix recently announced that Final Fantasy III would be a launch title for the Ouya. Mojang, the developer of Minecraft mentioned that if the Ouya takes off, they would look at putting Minecraft on it as well. Many game developers working on new projects are being questioned as to whether or not their next game will be on Ouya.
Could this just be initial excitement? Perhaps, but they’re off to a decent start.
OnLive will bring streaming games to the table, as it became an official supporter at the end of July 2012. With OnLive, the Ouya will have even more streaming games and demos.
Additionally VEVO music videos will be available on the console.
2. Built on Android. Being built on Android could perhaps lead to a lot of junky, buggy games that have little support. Some games could be thrown up on the Ouya, because it’s easier. In the end there could be a lot of terrible games on it, because there is really no middle man to filter it. At the same time, this could help game companies produce better content. Their funds can instead go toward making better games that are more fun, and reach a wider audience if they don’t have to go through lists and lists of fees and licenses. Putting Android games on the TV could bring new game artists to the market.
Moving beyond games, since the console is built on Android, anything that can be put on Android would be compatible with the Ouya. This means anything is really possible, looking down the long haul for the console.
3. Community Support. The beauty of Kickstarter is not just about receiving money, it’s about receiving a huge audience base before your project is even done. Ouya ended the campaign with 63,416 backers and over 134,000 Facebook likes. The snowball for awareness is well on its way. If the console can stand on its own two feet and provide enough quality, it could become a hot item once it hits store shelves. The support currently is from those who are either hardcore gamers who already read and stay current on new hardware, or follow Kickstarter campaigns.
4. Hardware. The design of the Ouya reminds me of a smaller Gamecube; the solid, square console taking up very little space in the living room. The Ouya will be easily opened up (opening it does not break your warranty) with regular screws and screwdriver to customize it to your developing and gaming needs. It will also be built with Wifi, Ethernet, Bluetooth, one USB drive, HDMI (supporting 1080p), a quad-core processor, 1gb of ram, and 8gb internet hard drive. Included will also be a wireless controller with a sleek design.
What would officially sell me on the whole concept of this new console, would be some kind of movie streaming support from someone. Really, any of the top movie providers such as Hulu, Amazon Prime, or Netflix would be just fine to be added to the mix to make it that more valuable. It would truly put icing on the cake for the already low $99 price tag, ($109 after $10 shipping).
Early Kickstarter backers also had the chance to pay a little extra for the Special Edition console which has a browned brushed metal finish instead of the regular silver.
Will the Ouya officially make it beyond a year or even six months of its release? How many bugs will there be and will it have good customer service beyond those bugs? This is a classic case of “only time will tell.” However, the Ouya is off to a great start. Additionally, it’s always a breath of fresh air to see a new console that’s beyond the big 3: Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft. I’m not saying this is a direct competitor, but anyone introducing something new to the table will make other companies only try to better themselves.