The Viability Of The Ouya As A Next Generation Console

Can it really compete?

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As you may have seen, we posted our review of the Ouya console just a little over a week ago. We found the console to have some potential, but was very flawed for a variety of reasons. The Ouya was first pitched as a developer friendly alternative to the likes of the major consoles, as it couldn’t of course compare with the graphical capabilities of systems like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. However, Ouya chief executive Julie Uhrman said that their goal was to compete against the gaming giants of Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo anyways. After some time with the console, I thought I would discuss how I felt about the viability of the Ouya as a standalone console in this gaming market.

The short answer is that the Ouya honestly has not competed well with the big boys and likely never will. A standalone console that cannot match up technically with its competitors likely won’t stand much of a chance. A system like the Nintendo Wii did very well with less against the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, at least early in its lifespan, thanks to innovation and the Nintendo name. Just look at the Wii U now, which is partially struggling due to a lack of third party support, which has come because developers see the console as lacking technically compared to the others right now.

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The Ouya finds itself in an even tougher situation as it doesn’t have the financial backbone that say Nintendo does to try something new, but rather is kind of stuck where it is at. The ability to download a number of different mostly indie games is pretty cool, but most of the games are ones that you would just pass by and never even give a second look upon seeing the name or description. There are a few enticing titles from larger companies like Final Fantasy III and Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 and 2, but it is still hard to entice gamers when those games are still on other much more successful platforms.

Honestly, the market that the types of games found on the Ouya would be more suited to attract would be mobile games, but the attraction there is that you can do it on the go from your phone that is always at your side. Having to turn on a system and take up your TV with something that you could likely find a clone of at least on your phone is not going to attract too many customers. The inability so far to get any major exclusive titles, which will likely never happen due to budget constraints of a crowd-funded console, will always hold back the system from gaining a larger audience.

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All in all, the Ouya is more of a complementary experience for gamers that may also be looking for a media playback device. With the use of XBMC and other apps like Flixster, the Ouya is certainly a viable media player at a relatively cheap price, which could be a good complement to other consoles. But to actually see the system, in it’s current form at least, compete against the likes of the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Wii U, or even the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, is a pipe dream.

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2 Comments

  1. Scott
    March 31, 2014, 8:38 AM

    Try to find a compariable console for 100 dollars. Phone’s included. Content and Ouya management / project team is the problem. They are completely unaware of what the market wants and how to get there. Once they realized they don’t have the decission making skills to be a platform, they sold suit and are now trying to run SaS, which is fine. There probably 5 or 6 games on this 100 USD console that the big boys simply don’t compete at. It takes 20 seconds for me to throw my OUYA in a box and bring it to a friends to play Towerfall. PS4? not so much, plus it’s way too much of an investement to risk the moving process.

    I like OUYA, but it’s “team” pisses me off. Over 1 year now and the controller has never been officially “fixed” or even admitted to having a problem. When the PS3 did it right w/ bluetooth 7 years ago, it’s embarrasing that a company can’t figure out how to make a bluetooth controller work from more then 10 feet away w/ a few obsticals.

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  2. lohocla
    March 31, 2014, 6:24 PM

    I’ve had my OUYA since retail, since then I have amassed over 50+ games by now. All purchased, with the exception of free titles. Every one of those game, in its own right, is an impressive feat of development. I have only experienced slight controller issues, and that was the first few weeks. Those problems have vanished, so anyone still having something to say about that is most likely lying or hasn’t touched their unit in awhile. This is also confirmed by other active users to be a nonexistent issue. Next up i’m getting very sick of the mobile game argument. For one I can think of about 20 games right off the top of my head made for arcades, early 80’s up through now, that if someone saw just a screenshot, would think it was a modern day “mobile game.” I was playing one last night, name escapes me, your a bunny hopping on a pogo stick, you hop forward, vertically scrolling, while avoiding holes and the edge, try for the bonus squares on the way there, and make it to the end goal. That just irks me in all the wrong ways when the term mobile game is used. A game is a game is a game and there are plenty of great games on OUYA. Gaurodon and Maldita Castilla to name two of the best, relatively unknown Ouya titles.

    I also agree with Scott on being disappointed by the OUYA team. Rarely hear anything from them lately and it’s getting frustrating. One good thing is constant updates, results of which is the gorgeous UI and it’s a breeze to navigate. The rating system is a nice touch and a leaderboard forthcoming will really add something.

    It’s a great indie/retro box if your into that. Im not into next gen gaming so xbone and ps4 don’t interest me in the slightest. Indie and retro/retro-style are mostly what I play and OUYA fills that niche. If your like me then $99 is worth every penny. If playing “Generic Space Marine FPS part 10″ is your style then skip it, move on and get out of the OUYA threads.

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