Ouya Designer Wants To “Disrupt” The Console Generation Pattern

[drop2]Ouya’s Designer Yves Behar has, via Kotaku, confirmed that the flavour of the month Android-powered device in a box that plays games will be about the size of a phone in a box and play games – around about the size of a Rubik’s Cube.

More interestingly, he wishes to circumvent the traditional console lifespan and generation gaps.

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“For the last few generations, consoles have largely been competing on hardware specs – faster speeds, better graphics,” he said.

“We wanted to disrupt this pattern.”

“We will see how the community responds, but we believe we can foster more creative games and bring some of that magic back to the gaming industry by being more open, giving more control and giving easier access to developers.”

And on control, it looks like it will be a jack of all trades:

“The controller includes a touch pad,” he said, “that will enable many of the interactions we have become accustomed to on mobile,” suggesting that the device will be more than just the standard buttons and will mean it will directly cater for the majority of Android apps.

“I am excited to see what creative ways developers can utilize the new touch pad,” he added, although he’s clear it’s not a touch screen. “For mobile games that use traditional controls, we obviously want to utilize the tactility of the physical buttons we have on the Ouya controller.”

“But there are some games,” he said, “where swipes and other gestures will make the gaming experience more enjoyable. We also want to see how developers can be creative in utilizing the touchpad with new games on Ouya.”

And why would you buy one over building your own? “The whole experience has to be easier,” he added, “from purchasing the product, to opening the box, to playing a game… ease of use, as well as hackability and support from the community seems to us like a good incentive to buy.”

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24 Comments

  1. Now whilst I have shouted about much prefering Windows Phone / iOS over Andorid on mobile phones – I can only be excited for this project!
    With Android being “open” to any user willing to dabble – this console could be a very cheap way into gaming for both consumers and wannabe developers, hopefully supporting many more “indie” games and opening a huge library of games to play.
    With Chrome browser on it that automatically opens up all the good web based games which in turn could be a massive boost to free-to-play and micro-transactions. Hell – I’d buy this just to play Zombie Lane via Chrome :-)
    I am very much looking forward to the next Xbox and the PS4, but i’d be telling fibbs if I didn’t admit being perhaps more “interested” in the future of this device.

    • That’s exactly why I’m excited about this thing. I’m hoping that the OUYA will be the birthplace of many great indie titles.

      • The PC is a great birthplace for many current indie games, there’s no restrictions, anyone can develop for it and the tools are readily available, many of them for free. And there are many online outlets to sell them. Besides the limited appeal of another online store and a fixed hardware, I see at most some great PC indie games being considered to appear on Ouya if the device sells well.

        This is my highest concern with Ouya (even more than piracy). So far there are no actual games running on a working prototype to sell units on day one. Showing nice mock ups with a fictional store selling games is not going to solve it anytime soon.

  2. This box will certainly mix things up, and that’s always a good thing. But, the major reason why I prefer console gaming over pc gaming is opposed to the concepts mentioned here.
    I like games made for “known” hardware. I think buying PC games can be a minefield in the actual experience you get in return. If you don’t have the right graphics card, or spec machine, your gaming experience will be compromised, and sometimes, not possible.
    I like the fact that If I buy a console at the start of its lifespan, I can expect that for the next 7 years at least I will be getting an experience that will generally be fantastic, tested, and working. (unless it’s from Bethesda) All this for at least half the price of a PC that will last half as long. So give me known hardware thanks, and make it last!

    • The OUYA uses “known hardware”. It runs on a Tegra 3 SoC. You won’t be able to upgrade the hardware unless you do some major hardware hacking. Therefore anything that will be released for the OUYA will run on every OUYA out there. It’s basically a home console running on common mobile device hardware (cell phones / tablets).

      • Then, how are they supposed to disrupt the traditional console life-cycle pattern? Seems a bit contradictory to me to use the console makers approach to disrupt the very same approach. Personally, the more I think about Ouya, the more I see reasons for it failing. Maybe it will succeed despite all the problems (imminent rampant piracy the first), but that, only time will say.

  3. Strictly for geeks, no way this is competition for the big boys.

    It’s basically a mobile phone that is no longer mobile. Why on earth would you want that?

    • How many PS Minis are played? How many Indie games via Live? How many web-based free to play games? This will be massive for all the independent developers (with the right marketing of course).
      This would connect to OnLive too. Likely to be cheap. It’s small and tidy. Would no doubt run Chrome – a decent browser, that’s your email / facebook / twitter sorted before we talk apps.
      This “could” be massive competition indeed, but then again it might now. Certainly can’t call it “no way” though, and geeks are cool – they pretty much invented anything you do with everything :-p

      • No it won’t.
        It’s running on open Android?
        Take a look at the piracy statistics on Android, especially hacked Androids.
        Those little independent developers are going to be taken advantage of by a horde of entitled assholes.

      • Way to generalize a whole ecosystem. People pirate games on every platform. Because there have been two major news stories about piracy on Android people think it’s like that for every app. The OUYA team has already mentioned that they will have security features in place. There’s a reason why other devs/publishers don’t pull their apps from the Play store. They are profitable. I’m sure the team behind Dead Trigger already covered their development costs. Before they dropped the price the statistics said there were 100k – 500k purchases and that’s not even considering in app purchases.

        Let’s wait and see how it turns out before we doom it.

      • I can already play minis, and web games, and Live games.

        So why on earth would I buy yet another bit of hardware which does something I can already do, and something I can already do on the move rather than stuck at home.

      • If the PSP could flop because piracy made developers not develop for it, Ouya can and will flop for the same reason.

        It doesn’t help that it’s audience is going to be tech-savvy.

    • They are not trying to compete with the big three.

  4. That’s what they’ll exactly do because they won’t be able to compete with current and next gen consoles.

    I think their project is stupid, but if they want to give it a go than go for it.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’ll be an Android phone with a controller right? and less telephoning. If an Android would have HDMI out you could basically do what they are doing with your phone+ a DS3.

    • Technically you are right but most phones don’t come with native HDMI support and the connectors usually cost as much as the OUYA itself but you might get some exclusive games too. Don’t call it stupid…

      • Connectors cost as much as the Ouya?

        I got a HDMI connector free with my Nokia N8, I doubt they cost that much…

      • The wireless one for tge HTC One X costs 70€ as far as I know.

      • That’s mind bogglingly expensive, and as big a rip-off as anything I’ve seen.

        Also- why is it wireless? I’ve a HDMI mini port on my phone which doesn’t take much space…

  5. I like the idea of it, but why would you play Android games that you can get on a phone, on a console on my tv?

    Unless it had some serious games like other consoles, I can’t see why anyone would want this?

    • First off, the games will play better thanks to the controller. Secondly, just because it runs on Android doesn’t mean that it’s intended to only play mobile games. It’s using Android because it’s open and developers already have experience with it. There is no reason for it to not get exclusive, more “console-like”, games. And thirdly, we don’t have to use your TV, we can use our own sets as well. :-P

      At least, that’s how I see it.

  6. I like the idea behind and maybe there’s room in the industry for such a system. If so, perhaps it’ll do what the iDevice market has done. It’s shaken the industry up a bit and made us think “oh, hey there… we can develop for you too? Excellent!”. If that’s the case, then bring it on. Especially as the bar looks to be set quite low and indie devs will love that. I just hope there’s a strong platform for them to be on (like Steam on the PC) where they are seen by as many eyes (and wallets) as possible.

  7. I wouldn’t touch this with my barge poll.

  8. this guy is in a fantasy world if he thinks he will get games as good as little big planet on there they cost loads of money.

  9. I’m quite looking forward to seeing what the Ouya delivers on. I want something that will handle the web browsing and media playback that my ps3 can’t do, and the cube design and the inclusion of the gamepad will allow it to fit better with my tv setup than a mini pc, and at a much cheaper price.
    I’ll also be quite interested in seeing what sort of modding options are possible.

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