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Ouya’s $99 Purist Future for Gaming

Courtesy: Ouya via Kickstarter

It seems like video game console developers are focused on everything except video games these days.  Ouya is out to change that. The latest revolution in gaming is taking place over on Ouya’s Kickstarter page and it’s a relatively simple movement. Develop a console for gamers, game developers, and hackers of all kinds without the barriers to entry of the mainstream consoles of today. Open the world up with a “games first” philosophy and the community will do the rest.

In about two days, the Ouya Kickstarter (pronounced like ‘booya’ without the ‘b’) has raised over $3 million for their project – proving that the gaming community is ready for some change. By gaming community, I’m not just referring to the people that play the games, but the people that build them, too. For years, bedroom developers have been shutout behind huge costs of development kits and licensing fees, but Ouya’s new model seeks to obliterate that wall.

Designed for developers

Ouya designer Yves Behar wanted to design a truly hack-able console that could be introduced into the gaming community where it could live, grow, and organically develop based on the people who use it. The physical build of the console is held together by regular screws (whattttttt?) and even comes with documentation on the interior circuitry. Everyone who purchases the Ouya also receives a development kit and debug console, and since modifying the familiar Android operating system doesn’t void the warranty, developers are free to build, tinker, and toil at their heart’s desire. The goal here is to embrace all kinds of developers so they can create as they wish and build an experience of greater depth, and games of greater variety.

The only catch for developers is that all games must start off as free-to-play but, can move towards a paid system via subscriptions, in-app purchases, and beyond. Ouya takes 30% of this revenue.

Designed for Gamers

Frustrated with the status quo of gaming today, the Ouya team wanted to welcome anyone and everyone who dreams of makings games and innovating the gaming world into their home – hence their “games first” philosophy.  Without the barriers to development of today’s consoles, developers will be able to create whatever they please and you, the gamer, will get access to a variety of free games to enjoy as you wish. More games mean a greater experience for the gamer, no matter what kind of game they enjoy- there’s bound to be something for everyone. The Kickstarter page also states that the system will support OnLive Video Game Streaming so gamers will get access to their library of titles as well.

Ouya’s designers were also sick of the “cheap” feel of gaming consoles so they built the Ouya controller to feel like a “high-end knife” with weighted balance and strong feel. The console will support up to four controllers so your friends can join in the fun too.

Courtesy: Joystiq

At $99, the full specs (at this time) are:

  • Quad-Core Tegra 3 Processor
  • 8GB of storage
  • Android 4.0 OS
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • WiFi
  • USB 2.0 & SD Card slots for developers
  • Built-in Twitch.tv,  VEVO music video service, XBMC steaming media app, TuneIn and iHeartRadio music services
Games mentioned so far include….
  • Hawken
  • Shadowrun Online
  • Final Fantasy 3
  • Gunblitz
  • Human Element Prequel – 5 episodes
  • Offensive Combat
  • Minecraft
  • Possible Namco-Bandai ports like…Pac Man!!!!!
Head on over to Ouya’s Kickstarter page and grab one for yourself!

What do you think? Would you buy one? What do you think is the future impact on TV gaming? Let us know in the comments.

Thanks for reading!

– Scott H.

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