Last July, I wrote an article about why I didn’t plan on kickstarting the upcoming OUYA game console. Time has passed, more news has been announced, and my tune has finally changed. The OUYA looks amazing and I finally want one.
First, my three points against the OUYA from back in July:
“It isn’t coming out anytime soon.”
Other than this obviously being not true, given that OUYA is well on schedule for its April release, the recent bevy of hardware start ups in OUYA’s ‘indie console’ category have made me far more interested in jumping in. Sure, that is probably a bunch of solid marketing making me believe I have a real need for an open source console. Yet, at the end of the day, I have longed for a solid system that could easily emulate games I’ve loved, expose me to new games, and perform other media features.
While a hacked Wii has served that purpose thus far, it hasn’t really done it as elegantly or as easily as I assume the OUYA will.
“A good lineup cannot be guaranteed.”
This was definitely true at the time and is still to an extent true now. However, I didn’t count on the popularity that the OUYA has since received. Given the sheer amount of interested indie developers, I think the OUYA could be a fun experience alone with the wide array of experimental gaming prototypes to play around with. But OUYA has gotten some big name support, as well. Square Enix will have their games on the system. We can definitely expect other major Android releases like Shadowgun. And just recently announced, Double Fine has pledged their support with a port of The Cave.
All in all, OUYA’s current list of planned titles is incredibly extensive, despite not being made up of exactly well-known games. Given the system’s open, easy to develop nature, that’s really to be expected.
“No Google Play.”
I still haven’t found many answers on this one, at least not official ones. But really, this question was a product of an entirely old fashioned way of looking at consoles.
We are used to the walled gardens of Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft by now. With the word console comes to mind, limitation should rarely be far behind in following. OUYA won’t be like that, though. Everything they’ve done since a successful Kickstarter has been built on an open system. This isn’t going to be the type of hardware that you break warranty on by utilizing to its fullest.
With that in mind, I have no doubt that if the apps I have come to love and use on Android don’t find their way to OUYA, the community will make it so. In the meantime, having a dedicated app store to games that are guaranteed to run on a controller probably is an awesome feature after all. I sure wish Google Play had a better curated games tab somewhere.
But what about now?
Well, I missed the pre-order window for the OUYA intentionally. Aside from being poor, I don’t yet have an HDMI-enabled television. (Yes, yes, I live in the stone ages.) I debated getting it anyway alongside and HDMI converter, but the cost just wouldn’t be worth it for me right now.
Still, I intend on getting one when it fully releases. The fact that major retailers will be selling the OUYA has me excited more than ever that this may be a rather important step in gaming – I don’t intend on missing that step. I believe the OUYA will replace my WD TV’s media functions, will surpass my expectations as a gaming machine, and will deliver a simple but effective piece of hardware.
Speaking of hardware, Engadget reported today that the OUYA will not only be able to take even more advantage of its Tegra 3 processor since it doesn’t have to worry about battery life. But if the system specs don’t impress, the OUYA team are happy to release completely backwards compatible systems yearly. Instead investing in a piece of hardware, buying an OUYA will mean investing in a service where software ownership is tied to your account like Steam.
All in all, if Playstation 4 and the new Xbox can’t compete directly with OUYA’s dedication to downloadable titles, account-based ownership, willingness to embrace being an open platform, or leave room to upgrade at a more even pace than this last console cycle, then they may launch behind this year’s true most exciting console.
If you are as excited as I am, the OUYA is available now for pre-order on Amazon.com.