Another Kickstarter success story is the Ouya games console. This inexpensive, little open-source machine raised more than nine times the developer’s initial target bringing in close to $8.6 Million Dollars; also making it the second highest grossing project on the site. Backers who donated $95 will receive a free Ouya console that is projected to be delivered sometime in March, 2013.
People are getting so excited about Ouya because it is open source. That means games can be downloaded for free, developers will be given access to the console’s source code and money can be made through in-app purchases and subscription based models – so you only have to pay if you’re looking for vanity items or on-going content. Gamers will even be given easy access to the machines hardware where they can make modifications to their heart’s desire and all of this in a minute little package.
When it finally ships the Ouya will be no larger than a Rubik’s Cube, meaning you can easily sling it in a bag and take it wherever you go. It has space for up to four controllers and will output graphics at 1080p using a modified NVIDIA ULP GeForce GPU. The operating system is an Android 4.0, more commonly known as Ice Cream Sandwich.
This mixture of software and hardware is typically found in modern tablets and smartphones and for that reason you should expect graphics to be within the same ballpark. They certainly won’t be as powerful as the current generation of consoles. That said, if you take a look at the Wii, clever design and enjoyable gameplay will always overcome any graphical limitation. You’ve just got to decide whether you trust the developers to do so.
Perhaps one way to overcome its limitations is with the cloud gaming service OnLive which will be available from launch. For those of you familiar OnLive you’ll know it lets you stream AAA games on machines that don’t have the processing power to handle the demand.
The Ouya will also support the open-source media portal XBMC, and many people are expecting there to be support for TV and movie streaming services like Netflix. So whilst the Ouya is being touted as a gaming console it’s safe to say there will be a large number of media services that will make it a lot more versatile than just a games console.
With over 63, 400 backers we can assume the Ouya will find its self a little niche. For 70 odd pounds it’s a completely inexpensive games console that will double up as a media portal and web browser, streaming services like BBC iPlayer. And of course all the Android apps that are already available can be ported over.
All in all, it’s difficult to say whether the Ouya will be any good. The open source nature of the thing is certainly alluring, but then again, isn’t it just the innards of a mobile phone stuck into a box. I guess we’ll find out in time.
If you’re still not sold on the Ouya yet, and still have an Xbox 360 or PS3, then check out Grainger Games for all the lastest games. Take a look at this site where you can get computer games characters and logos onto t-shirts.