$99 Ouya Android Console Hits Kickstarter

Ouya is an interesting Kickstarter project that aims to shake up the home-console business. Ouya’s $99 price is attractive to consumers, while its openness appeals in independent developers. The console and its controller were designed by Yves Behar, who has helped create a wide range of products ranging from fashion (Prada) to jewelry (Swarovski) to consumer electronics (Jawbone) to vibrators (Jimmyjane). The company hopes to raise $950,000 by August 8, 2012. Check out the video above for more info on Ouya and its goals. Below are the official specs:

  • Tegra3 quad-core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB of internal flash storage
  • HDMI connection to the TV, with support for up to 1080p HD
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth LE 4.0
  • USB 2.0 (one)
  • Wireless controller with standard controls (two analog sticks, d-pad, eight action buttons, a system button), a touchpad
  • Android 4.0

There have been a number of home videogame consoles that have tried to change the status quo. All of them failed to take significant money away from the established players. Will Ouya be any different? I’m not yet convinced. One factor that has some people believing that Ouya stands a chance is that the home-console business is on the verge of some major change. Mobile and social games have changed what many people play and the platforms many game creators target. Streaming (hello Gaikai!) will shake up the traditional gaming model in the near future. The conjecture is that Ouya will be able to take advantage of a market that’s in transition.

Also, I can’t help but think about the Pandora open-source handheld and if it would have fared better with a resource like Kickstarter….

Most importantly, I’d love to get your thoughts on Ouya. Do you think the company will reach its Kickstarter goal? Will it be able to attract a significant amount of developers? Should Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony be concerned about a people-powered console with a friendly price that appeals to independent developers? Lastly, are you interested in buying an Ouya console?


Author: RPadTV


28 thoughts on “$99 Ouya Android Console Hits Kickstarter”

  1. I donated this morning. If I was a children's brand I would be looking at this really seriously. Disney should seriously consider this. They numbers will come slowly but someone like Disney could actually dominate a market with something like this because of the fact that you can have a premium experience. The royalty rates will be way different than a disk based system. Hasbro, Leapfrong, Disney etc… could do well on this system if it survives.

      1. Solid point. But there's a lot of good stuff for kids out there that I don't NEED to buy this to get a good gaming experience for my kid. They've kinda gotta sell me on the system 1st, and that's an "added benefit" so to speak. And a major company like Disney's not going to go "all in" on an idea like this without also covering their bases elsewhere, which means that I probably won't NEED to buy this to get him those same experiences.

        Now, if I wasn't already a gamer, my opinion would probably be different as I'd be coming in from a different entry point of not already owning an XBOX 360, a PS3, a Wii, a, PS2, a DS, a PSP and a 3DS.

  2. Like Nightshade said; it's all about the games. Halo carried the Xbox to sucess. Mario (or rather, Miyamoto) carried Nintendo, and third-party developers allowed the PlayStation to shine. Ouya needs content and versatility in order to survive. Unfortunately, at this stage of the game, streaming games will limit them in what they can do. Downloading a game to a local hard drive and then playing it off of that would be a step in the right direction instead of streaming-only. I think that the ability to play off-line is important.

    "…wide range of products ranging from fashion (Prada) to jewelry (Swarovski) to consumer electronics (Jawbone) to vibrators (Jimmyjane)."

    Nice to know. Did you research that on your own?


      1. Yes, the market is changing. But not without some resistance. I think in this case developers want to change to a streaming model a lot more than the average gamer does, because there are certain advantages to the current market that gamers can enjoy – such as used game sales – that would likely go away in a streaming market. Once again, I'm cool with streaming if they offer me the opportunity to also buy a physical copy if I so choose, much like I can go pick up a CD OR download it on iTunes.

        Also Iceman makes a great point about streaming. I'm not sold that the national internet infrastructure can handle this kind of service yet, and there appears to be no motivation in Congress to get us up to first world country internet standards – which would have to be a prerequisite in my mind for these kinds of services to work the way we all would want them to. Also, that means that developers and publishers better have GREAT servers on their end. In no way do I want to be forced to rely on EA's notoriously bad servers in order to just play a game that I've paid for.

      2. The "average gamer" is very different than what it was for years ago. Mobile gaming, specifically iOS, and social gaming have reached a more diverse crowd. I don't think bandwidth is a concern with this particular product. At least, not nearly as much as traditional consoles.

      3. If it's all iOS and Android related product, bandwith may not be as big an issue, no. But I still worry about the direction the whole industry wants to go with regard to streaming, because the infrastructure's not there. But I don't see how they branch out from there with this product (or others like it) until that hurdle can be legitimately leaped.

        Admittedly, if this does come out and some older iOS and Android games end up on it, I might be convinced to give Infinity Blade another try for that price point. The touchscreen analog sticks are crap, and a real controller would do wonders for that game. But again, show me the games and THEN I'll consider it.

      4. The price point gives this product a broader appeal. It will reach some of the consumers that I mentioned in my reply to Nightshade. The price points for mobile games have also changed things immensely. iOS has changed gaming's audience and economics.

      5. That does not invalidate my points. Also, I think you are giving this "new, broader market" way too much credit. You are saying that because the price point is so low and because the gaming market has expended, that I shouldn't dismiss this product out of hand.

        I'm telling you that regardless of price or market, in order for this thing to sell like hot cakes (or whatever), then it HAS to have good games AND it must have a convenient way for customers to play those games in the manner they (the customers) want… either offline or online.

        The reason for my second sentence is this: Moblie and casual gamers that have so expanded the definition of the word "gamer" as well as the market for video game purchases are gamers because it is convenient for them to be so. I do not see a lot of these people who play for a few minutes a day on their phone (or half the day on Facebook) strolling into a store or going on Amazon to purchase a stand-alone console, so they can purchase (or re-purchase) games that they could already play (or have purchased) on their phone and/or Facebook.

        These "fair-weather gamers" are not going to make the jump to a console even if it is priced at $99. Their argument will be: "Why would I shell out $100 for a machine that makes me buy games to play on it if I have that ability already in my pocket… or on my iPad? Plus, I can’t take Ouya out wherever I go." And as far as Facebook gamers go, they are not going to spend time on a console when they would rather be in front of a computer on Facebook. If they wanted to, they could get Steam and play games through that service instead of buying another piece of hardware and they wouldn’t even have to leave their favorite chair to do so. Plus, it has the added benefit of being cheaper than Ouya.

        I'm sorry, but I just don't see my sister, my mom, or the nice, crazy lady that makes out with her cats buying a console (regardless or price) since playing games on their phones is good enough for them. Don't get me wrong; I'm sure there will be some people that will make that jump, but I do not think it will be enough to make Ouya successful. The only way they will succeed is if they have great games and if they make it convenient for their customers to play those games, casual market be damned.


      6. Giving it too much credit? That's highly disputable. Many console developers and publisher are shrinking and losing money. Many mobile and social developers and publishers are growing and profiting. Just follow the money.

        Talking specifically about Ouya, it's quite remarkable that the company has raised more than $3.3-million in less than 48 hours. That number has already beaten the company's expectations, let alone what pundits were predicting. Obviously there are people that want this thing.

      7. Why do you assume it will be the same games or even types? It has a traditional controller as an input. Why wouldn't a developer make a game for the Ouya and PC? I haven't seen one person in favor of this device be so naive to think that AAA established console titles will appear but who is to say it can't or won't happen in the future?

        The insides of the Ouya including the OS are certainly more capable than what we have now in consoles. So who knows an indie dev could become the next Mojang using something like this.

  3. I hope that 1GB of RAM is gonna work for the games I would be playing on it, and if it's not, can I add extra? Plus, merely hearing that they are open to people tweaking and hacking the console for their own personal needs makes me want to buy one asap. This could be big, if they play their cards right.

    1. For the OS and the types of games I imagine it will run, the RAM should be fine. 1GB is pretty standard for Android tablets/phones at the moment. Off the top of my head, only certain variants of the Samsung Galaxy S III have 2GB of RAM and that's to protect against large software updates in the future.

  4. This is interesting. If they can get this to market in the very near short term then it could work. Hopefully they won't have to blow that kickstarter money on defending themselves from patent trolls.

    It's only a matter of time until Apple releases a bluetooth peripheral or licenses out a controller for their AppleTV or idevices. That would be a pretty big installed base. I also still stand by my belief that MS will also integrate their next xbox and Win8. So the market is def changing.

    I really see Sony as the odd man out this time.

    1. Well, then it's likely that there'll be an overall "quality of game" issue for me then. I generally prefer deeper experiences than throwing birds at pigs. If I'm on the go somewhere and want something to kill the time, then that's ok. But if I'm sitting in front of the TV, I want an epic. And I don't see how this product grows beyond that market without a better infrastructure. And if it can't grow beyond the limits of the mobile market, I don't see the value over a new gaming console that's likely to drop in the next year or so, when I can just get the same games on my phone as it is. You might argue that the point about kids games and such makes it more viable for families, but so many kids have their own phones these days that I'm not sure if that's true or not.

      Also, they mentioned $99 console. But I wouldn't be shocked if they ended up requiring a monthly package plan of some sort as well.

      1. Why would it require a monthly package? What's the business model there? Ouya didn't mention anything about a service.

        While there are plenty of casual games on mobile, there are also plenty of engrossing RPGs available for $4 or less. That's how a console like this can compete with traditional companies.

Comments are closed.