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#1 Posted by thirty_four (8 posts) -

Greetings, So I did a simple corporate search on the California Secretary of State's website for the entity behind the Ouya, Boxer8, Inc. I'm afraid I can't link to it directly, but you can run your own search at http://kepler.sos.ca.gov/. Boxer 8 was apparently incorporated in California on March 29, 2012. Julie Uhrman is listed as the agent for service of process. Discuss.

#2 Posted by skyline7284 (508 posts) -

@thirty_four said:

Greetings, So I did a simple corporate search on the California Secretary of State's website for the entity behind the Ouya, Boxer8, Inc. I'm afraid I can't link to it directly, but you can run your own search at http://kepler.sos.ca.gov/. Boxer 8 was apparently incorporated in California on March 29, 2012. Julie Uhrman is listed as the agent for service of process. Discuss.

The company behind Ouya doesn't even have it's own website.... so yeah it's pretty shady.

#3 Posted by BraveToaster (12588 posts) -

"Discuss" is so not dinosaurs.

#4 Posted by CaLe (4056 posts) -

The woman in the video is too intimidating for me to argue with. I just have to take her word for it.

#5 Posted by Brodehouse (10138 posts) -

Yeah, you did it. What a champion you are.

Online
#6 Posted by believer258 (12212 posts) -

Discusss... what? The link you gave us? The one that you gave us right after saying you weren't going to link their website directly? The one that I'm not clicking on?

#7 Posted by SamStrife (1286 posts) -

This whole Ouya situation has wreaked of "scam/people who have no idea what they're actually doing" to me from the start. This doesn't surprise me.

#8 Posted by mtcantor (951 posts) -

For those who are interested, Ms. Uhrman has also been listed as a corporate contact for IGN Entertainment, Vivendi Universal games, Universal Studios, Fath Communications Inc., and American Greetings U.S. Greeting Card Division.

#9 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7100 posts) -

It's only existed since March and it has no website?! What a trustworthy-sounding group for me to throw assloads of money at!

#10 Posted by kumquat (128 posts) -

What could possibly go wrong!

#11 Posted by Scrawnto (2468 posts) -

Because you can't start work on a project without incorporating first? Is that what you're trying to imply? The people behind this thing could have been working on it for years to ascertain its viability before founding a company to start drumming up investments. That said, I'm still not contributing to the kickstarter, since I don't really want what they're selling.

#12 Posted by Mageman (349 posts) -

The forced conspiracy notions which you guys are trying really hard to brew are silly.

Didn't known names in the industry confirm their involvement in it ? I mean I doubt that they would risk their existing reputation and enterprise for some quick scam money.

#13 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@thirty_four said:

Greetings, So I did a simple corporate search on the California Secretary of State's website for the entity behind the Ouya, Boxer8, Inc. I'm afraid I can't link to it directly, but you can run your own search at http://kepler.sos.ca.gov/. Boxer 8 was apparently incorporated in California on March 29, 2012. Julie Uhrman is listed as the agent for service of process. Discuss.

I did a search on thirty_four and all I found was this post. Mr/Mrs/Ms/AirMarshal/King/Queen/SuperQueen thirty_four was incorporated on Giantbomb.com on July 13, 2012. I think this an alt of a person who lost in another discussion.

Discuss.

#14 Posted by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -
@Scrawnto said:

Because you can't start work on a project without incorporating first? Is that what you're trying to imply? The people behind this thing could have been working on it for years to ascertain its viability before founding a company to start drumming up investments. That said, I'm still not contributing to the kickstarter, since I don't really want what they're selling.

Yeah. What he said. All of it.
#15 Posted by alternate (2720 posts) -

Not uncommon to incorporate just before you are planning on taking money. Little need when you are just in the planning and R&D stage. The company that takes the funding and sells the product is likely to be separate from the one that holds the trademarks, IP, etc.

Online
#16 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@alternate said:

Not uncommon to incorporate just before you are planning on taking money. Little need when you are just in the planning and R&D stage. The company that takes the funding and sells the product is likely to be separate from the one that holds the trademarks, IP, etc.

Oh no, don't go making sense now. There goes the thread. :(

#17 Posted by skyline7284 (508 posts) -
#18 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -
@SeriouslyNow said:

@alternate said:

Not uncommon to incorporate just before you are planning on taking money. Little need when you are just in the planning and R&D stage. The company that takes the funding and sells the product is likely to be separate from the one that holds the trademarks, IP, etc.

Oh no, don't go making sense now. There goes the thread. :(

Common sense! It ruins everything!
Online
#19 Posted by mtcantor (951 posts) -

I think what's odd about this is that they have apparently done all this work, putting together a prototype, establishing industry contacts, setting up a service and signing developers, and no one ever heard about it until just now. The company just appears overnight with this product that looks 75% done, and starts raising millions.

I don't think it's a scam, but I do think its strange how all of this was apparently kept so secret and hidden, and I would feel a lot better about it if people I trusted actually got some hands on time with the thing. I think its silly that people are plunking down $100 to pre-order this thing when all they have to go on is this slickly produced video.

#20 Posted by thirty_four (8 posts) -

The points folks have made in this thread are fair. And to be clear, I really don't think this is a scam. That is, I don't think that the folks behind Ouya are deliberately misleading backers on Kickstarter in order to take their money and disappear. These folks are exceedingly talented at pitching an idea. But I don't think that they have the wherewithal to deliver on the promises they are making. I think they are amateurs who have managed to convince people that they are professionals. Why is Madden displayed on the dashboard in the Kickstarter video? Has EA signed on to publish games on a console produced by a company that has existed for three months? What is their manufacturing plan? I have been frustrated at the lack of scrutiny by the gaming press in this case. Considering that Ouya, or Boxer8, or whoever, are asking for money today, I think a certain level of skepticism is warranted. Thanks all for your thoughts.

#21 Posted by Mesklinite (816 posts) -

The reason I won't give 100$ for this is because the failure risk is ridiculous.

First of all, 5% of the cash goes to kickstarter/amazon. Then they have to make a controller and a console for less then 95. oooo right, there's shipping. Let's say 5$. We're down to 90.

I get it, they're making boxee or roku but for games. But man. This feels risky to invest in.

#22 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@mtcantor said:

I think what's odd about this is that they have apparently done all this work, putting together a prototype, establishing industry contacts, setting up a service and signing developers, and no one ever heard about it until just now. The company just appears overnight with this product that looks 75% done, and starts raising millions.

I don't think it's a scam, but I do think its strange how all of this was apparently kept so secret and hidden, and I would feel a lot better about it if people I trusted actually got some hands on time with the thing. I think its silly that people are plunking down $100 to pre-order this thing when all they have to go on is this slickly produced video.

Let me ask you this, before ASUS launched their eeePC line of Linux and then Android devices would you have guessed that not only would they launch such a line, but it would eclipse the market value of almost everything else they make? Further to this would you even know of the eeePC without press intervention?

If you answer no to either then you have your answer.

Press isn't always investigative. Sometimes, often in tech circles, it's just a reporting process. Companies who make products like OUYA often keep their product well under the radar until they are ready to announce. There's no point in showing your hand too early in a highly competitive market after all.

#23 Posted by mtcantor (951 posts) -

@SeriouslyNow said:

@mtcantor said:

I think what's odd about this is that they have apparently done all this work, putting together a prototype, establishing industry contacts, setting up a service and signing developers, and no one ever heard about it until just now. The company just appears overnight with this product that looks 75% done, and starts raising millions.

I don't think it's a scam, but I do think its strange how all of this was apparently kept so secret and hidden, and I would feel a lot better about it if people I trusted actually got some hands on time with the thing. I think its silly that people are plunking down $100 to pre-order this thing when all they have to go on is this slickly produced video.

Let me ask you this, before ASUS launched their eeePC line of Linux and then Android devices would you have guessed that not only would they launch such a line, but it would eclipse the market value of almost everything else they make? Further to this would you even know of the eeePC without press intervention?

If you answer no to either then you have your answer.

Press isn't always investigative. Sometimes, often in tech circles, it's just a reporting process. Companies who make products like OUYA often keep their product well under the radar until they are ready to announce. There's no point in showing your hand too early in a highly competitive market after all.

This is a silly argument. ASUS isn't some fly by night startup, and they didn't ask people to put money down for something that was only a concept/prototype.

#24 Posted by JoeyRavn (4985 posts) -

The creator of this topic, @thirty_four, has posted only once before in Giant Bomb. He apparently became a member on July 12th, 2012. Discuss.

#25 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@skyline7284 said:

I'm just going to leave this link here, and say that i completely agree with everything he says.

It's important to understand that a product like this scares a lot of people in the enthusiast press because it means that, successful or not, they will have to devote time, energy and money to cover it so some will express their business wariness in subtly biased ways to push people away from the idea, let alone the product. They may not even realise they are doing that in such a biased manner, but they are. See, things like Raspberry Pi, Arduino or even games can go under the radar and most press won't really care about group sourced funding for those projects (unless they have famous names running them, then they care like crazy because name dropping = hits) , but this represents another potential console market so it really upsets their plans in terms of budgets and schedules.

That's not say that some of what he says may not be correct, but it's definitely heavily biased and extremely poor reporting. Dissecting paragraphs of text as a means to 'decode' something is a key process in disinformation and it's almost always biased.

#26 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@mtcantor said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

@mtcantor said:

I think what's odd about this is that they have apparently done all this work, putting together a prototype, establishing industry contacts, setting up a service and signing developers, and no one ever heard about it until just now. The company just appears overnight with this product that looks 75% done, and starts raising millions.

I don't think it's a scam, but I do think its strange how all of this was apparently kept so secret and hidden, and I would feel a lot better about it if people I trusted actually got some hands on time with the thing. I think its silly that people are plunking down $100 to pre-order this thing when all they have to go on is this slickly produced video.

Let me ask you this, before ASUS launched their eeePC line of Linux and then Android devices would you have guessed that not only would they launch such a line, but it would eclipse the market value of almost everything else they make? Further to this would you even know of the eeePC without press intervention?

If you answer no to either then you have your answer.

Press isn't always investigative. Sometimes, often in tech circles, it's just a reporting process. Companies who make products like OUYA often keep their product well under the radar until they are ready to announce. There's no point in showing your hand too early in a highly competitive market after all.

This is a silly argument. ASUS isn't some fly by night startup, and they didn't ask people to put money down for something that was only a concept/prototype.

I'm not making that comparison at all. I'm illustrating how what we think we know about the tech world or business world is far less than what most of us know. People who assume too much about technology based on what's already happened have little vision for what can happen.

#27 Posted by thirty_four (8 posts) -

To those enterprising souls who sleuthed out that I've only been here for a day--that's true! But I'm not asking anyone for a hundred bucks.

#28 Posted by mandude (2666 posts) -
@thirty_four do you want a hundred bucks? At the very least it would let me complain about you.
#29 Edited by FLStyle (4925 posts) -

@thirty_four: What you are doing which a no-no on Giant Bomb is saying a few sentences and then saying "Discuss" at the end. That's not how things work here.

#30 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1611 posts) -

@SeriouslyNow said:

It's important to understand that a product like this scares a lot of people in the enthusiast press because it means that, successful or not, they will have to devote time, energy and money to cover it so some will express their business wariness in subtly biased ways to push people away from the idea, let alone the product. They may not even realise they are doing that in such a biased manner, but they are. See, things like Raspberry Pi, Arduino or even games can go under the radar and most press won't really care about group sourced funding for those projects (unless they have famous names running them, then they care like crazy because name dropping = hits) , but this represents another potential console market so it really upsets their plans in terms of budgets and schedules.

That's not say that some of what he says may not be correct, but it's definitely heavily biased and extremely poor reporting. Dissecting paragraphs of text as a means to 'decode' something is a key process in disinformation and it's almost always biased.

I think it's a stretch to claim Kuchera is shitting on it because he's consciously or subconsciously scared of having to write about it. My reading of that piece was that it was written as a result of his disappointment over how naively the press is reporting on it.

They're talking about building a platform that developers will explicitly need to support, which is really hard (see Windows Phone, Blackberry OS, WebOS, the Dreamcast, Mac OS classic, even the PSP). Reporters who have any industry context at all should be coming at the project with extreme scepticism, not unquestioning assumption of its success.

The Kickstarter description makes a lot of sweeping promises (or at the very least strong implications), and name-drops a lot of big-name developers who haven't said anything besides "that sounds neat." How many of the backers understand that just because Jenova Chen said he's "excited" about it, there's a remote chance he'll actually make a game for it?

Furthermore, the price seems impossibly aggressive. They're talking about building a machine that (I think?) has better specs than the Apple TV; ships with a custom-designed controller; is being built in an extremely small production run and without any supply chain; and has to be built and shipped for under $90 after Kickstarter and Amazon's fees. At the very least, they'll be selling it at cost, and getting at most 30% of the sales of mostly sub-$5 games (assuming people even buy this with the intention of paying for games). How are they going to make money?

#31 Posted by jozzy (2035 posts) -

@skyline7284 said:

I'm just going to leave this link here, and say that i completely agree with everything he says.

That was a great article, everyone should read this.

#32 Edited by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@GrantHeaslip said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

It's important to understand that a product like this scares a lot of people in the enthusiast press because it means that, successful or not, they will have to devote time, energy and money to cover it so some will express their business wariness in subtly biased ways to push people away from the idea, let alone the product. They may not even realise they are doing that in such a biased manner, but they are. See, things like Raspberry Pi, Arduino or even games can go under the radar and most press won't really care about group sourced funding for those projects (unless they have famous names running them, then they care like crazy because name dropping = hits) , but this represents another potential console market so it really upsets their plans in terms of budgets and schedules.

That's not say that some of what he says may not be correct, but it's definitely heavily biased and extremely poor reporting. Dissecting paragraphs of text as a means to 'decode' something is a key process in disinformation and it's almost always biased.

I think it's a stretch to claim Kuchera is shitting on it because he's consciously or subconsciously scared of having to write about it. My reading of that piece was that it was written as a result of his disappointment over how naively the press is reporting on it.

They're talking about building a platform that developers will explicitly need to support, which is really hard (see Windows Phone, Blackberry OS, WebOS, the Dreamcast, Mac OS classic, even the PSP). Reporters who have any industry context at all should be coming at the project with extreme scepticism, not unquestioning assumption of its success.

The Kickstarter description makes a lot of sweeping promises (or at the very least strong implications), and name-drops a lot of big-name developers who haven't said anything besides "that sounds neat." How many of the backers understand that just because Jenova Chen said he's "excited" about it, there's a remote chance he'll actually make a game for it?

Furthermore, the price seems impossibly aggressive. They're talking about building a machine that (I think?) has better specs than the Apple TV; ships with a custom-designed controller; is being built in an extremely small production run and without any supply chain; and has to be built and shipped for under $90 after Kickstarter and Amazon's fees. At the very least, they'll be selling it at cost, and getting at most 30% of the sales of mostly sub-$5 games (assuming people even buy this with the intention of paying for games). How are they going to make money?

  1. It's not a stretch at all. The bias in his delivery is self evident.
  2. It's an Android device running Tegra 3. Almost every major Android game which supports Tegra 3 (and there are many) supports controllers. Android TV out can scale to any resolution with no need to scale the elements because it works as an overlay (much like PS3 and XBOX 360 scaling their games to 720p and 1080p when they are often rendered at lower resolutions) and all Tegra 3 targetted games render at 1280x720 or 1280x800. So, in fact, explicit support isn't hard at all. This is not a new OS or platform. Also, Dreamcast? Where did you pull that from? Dreamcast had no developer barriers at all. It was well supported by devs both from the development side (MS made the IDE and engaged a lot of the connectivity) and the platform which was reflected not only in the console but two Arcade platforms (NAOMI 1 and 2) which is why it got so many fantastic arcade 'ports'. Blackberry OS? Dude, that platform had more Apps than iOS for a while too. RIM were the leading US smartphone and appstore seller for quite a while before iOS really took flight. They even scared NOKIA in the US. If you're trying for guilt by association, you really need to get your act together and have some real base of knowledge to work from.
  3. The names dropped are on Video stating their support of the platform and they don't say "that sounds neat" at all. Brian Fargo quite clearly says that he's strongly behind platform and that it will empower Indie devs. You know, the dude who formed Interplay and, more recently, funded one of the most successful Kickstarters of all time for Wasteland 2 (a game coming to Android interestingly enough). Jenova Chen notwithstanding, you're trying to undersell developer support.
  4. The price? It's $100 for the for first 10,000 units. That's not what the unit will cost for everyone, everywhere. This is seeding the market. Companies do that. Often at a loss. How are they going to make money?? Dude, for real? You're a tech financial analyst now too? Is Kuchera? No. I see what you're saying, but come on, don't project utter failure by throwing together some irrational figures based on sticking your finger in the wind.
#33 Posted by skyline7284 (508 posts) -

@SeriouslyNow said:

@GrantHeaslip said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

It's important to understand that a product like this scares a lot of people in the enthusiast press because it means that, successful or not, they will have to devote time, energy and money to cover it so some will express their business wariness in subtly biased ways to push people away from the idea, let alone the product. They may not even realise they are doing that in such a biased manner, but they are. See, things like Raspberry Pi, Arduino or even games can go under the radar and most press won't really care about group sourced funding for those projects (unless they have famous names running them, then they care like crazy because name dropping = hits) , but this represents another potential console market so it really upsets their plans in terms of budgets and schedules.

That's not say that some of what he says may not be correct, but it's definitely heavily biased and extremely poor reporting. Dissecting paragraphs of text as a means to 'decode' something is a key process in disinformation and it's almost always biased.

I think it's a stretch to claim Kuchera is shitting on it because he's consciously or subconsciously scared of having to write about it. My reading of that piece was that it was written as a result of his disappointment over how naively the press is reporting on it.

They're talking about building a platform that developers will explicitly need to support, which is really hard (see Windows Phone, Blackberry OS, WebOS, the Dreamcast, Mac OS classic, even the PSP). Reporters who have any industry context at all should be coming at the project with extreme scepticism, not unquestioning assumption of its success.

The Kickstarter description makes a lot of sweeping promises (or at the very least strong implications), and name-drops a lot of big-name developers who haven't said anything besides "that sounds neat." How many of the backers understand that just because Jenova Chen said he's "excited" about it, there's a remote chance he'll actually make a game for it?

Furthermore, the price seems impossibly aggressive. They're talking about building a machine that (I think?) has better specs than the Apple TV; ships with a custom-designed controller; is being built in an extremely small production run and without any supply chain; and has to be built and shipped for under $90 after Kickstarter and Amazon's fees. At the very least, they'll be selling it at cost, and getting at most 30% of the sales of mostly sub-$5 games (assuming people even buy this with the intention of paying for games). How are they going to make money?

  1. It's not a stretch at all. The bias in his delivery is self evident.
  2. It's an Android device running Tegra 3. Almost every major Android game which supports Tegra 3 (and there are many) supports controllers. Android TV out can scale to any resolution with no need to scale the elements because it works as an overlay (much like PS3 and XBOX 360 scaling their games to 720p and 1080p when they are often rendered at lower resolutions) and all Tegra 3 targetted games render at 1280x720 or 1280x800. So, in fact, explicit support isn't hard at all. This is not a new OS or platform. Also, Dreamcast? Where did you pull that from? Dreamcast had no developer barriers at all. It was well supported by devs both from the development side (MS made the IDE and engaged a lot of the connectivity) and the platform which was reflected not only in the console but two Arcade platforms (NAOMI 1 and 2) which is why it got so many fantastic arcade 'ports'. Blackberry OS? Dude, that platform had more Apps than iOS for a while too. RIM were the leading US smartphone and appstore seller for quite a while before iOS really took flight. They even scared NOKIA in the US. If you're trying for guilt by association, you really need to get your act together and have some real base of knowledge to work from.
  3. The names dropped are on Video stating their support of the platform and they don't say "that sounds neat" at all. Brian Fargo quite clearly says that he's strongly behind platform and that it will empower Indie devs. You know, the dude who formed Interplay and, more recently, funded one of the most successful Kickstarters of all time for Wasteland 2 (a game coming to Android interestingly enough). Jenova Chen notwithstanding, you're trying to undersell developer support.
  4. The price? It's $100 for the for first 10,000 units. That's not what the unit will cost for everyone, everywhere. This is seeding the market. Companies do that. Often at a loss. How are they going to make money?? Dude, for real? You're a tech financial analyst now too? Is Kuchera? No. I see what you're saying, but come on, don't project utter failure by throwing together some irrational figures based on sticking your finger in the wind.

It's also worth noting that they flat out lied when they told people that Minecraft would be coming to the device. To say that Minecraft is coming to the device, and then to have Notch almost immediately backpedal should tell you something.

"See, the problem with Minecraft for the Ouya is that it's android, and our android version of Minecraft isn't exactly that super great." - Notch

I feel like you're trying to defend your $100 purchase. Also Kuchera is a hell of a reporter, he used to work for Ars before he moved over to PAR. It's not like he's a nobody reporter.

#34 Edited by kindone (2843 posts) -

I love how the majority of the "THIS IS A SCAM" evidence is a bunch of assumptions and retrospection. Kickstarter was the home of a scam at one point, and when every single pitch is thrown out, people run to hills screaming "SCAM!"

Now, I am not saying it isn't one, but it's a little silly to be doing this sort of research after the whole thing has been funded. What, are you going to raise internet awareness to hunt down these people, or are you just trying to make something out of nothing?

It's a bit childish to me, especially when we don't need a million threads regarding this. I know we all want our time in the OP lime-light, but come on, choose a topic that hasn't been beaten to death. At least one that doesn't already have a slew of topics generated for this very thing.

EDIT/PS: Also, I want to be clear that this is in no-way directed at any single person, including the OP. As well that I would like to point out that the reason many of you are a little unnerved is because this is the first time it's really been publicized. I think people underestimate people in that they don't automatically post their entire lifes work on the internet as the days go by. It's obvious (if this isn't a scam) that the individuals responsible for this have kept it under wraps for reason of their own. They can be anything from fear of rip-offs, to literally just making that bomb entrance everyone adores.

I mean hell, don't you think this is free-press they probably wanted?

#36 Posted by kindone (2843 posts) -

@skyline7284: You, sir, are way overly interpreting a tweet. Notch descriptively said there is an android version, but the kinks are just not ironed out yet. Let's face it, people don't really play Minecraft on their phone to it's potential. At best, you have individuals who play around with the concept for a little while and most likely forget about it. The minority return to it for other reasons. We are talking about a console "like" experience here. On the surface, it's just a blown up Android, but what is really shining through is the accessibility it offers. Freedom for indie-developers to put themselves on the big-screen is a huge push these days, and OUYA pretty much promises that.

I think a lot of us are stuck on the big developers not necessarily being on board - when who the hell cares? Let the underdog's have a day in the spotlight and interest will spike in the market much like any other digital distributor. We don't need Minecraft, LIMBO, Super Meat Boy (etc), we need innovative new titles that actually matter. I think what I'm trying to get at is that the developers at OUYA need to make sure that their marketplace is clean and easy to view the "good" titles. No one wants a WiiWare or XBIG where you literally have to research to avoid the countless massager's and dating sims.

I guess that it's just really too early to say. It's a little bit foolish to turn down a potentially innovative platform merely because you don't understand the financial implications - which I'm sure 99.9% of us here don't. One thing Kickstarter does guarantee is that developers can look at the console and see that those that purchased the $90 option - are all potential paying customers. It's not as much of a risk as let's say, the N-GAGE or any other non-hyped product. They have an audience, and they will come.

#37 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@skyline7284 said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

@GrantHeaslip said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

It's important to understand that a product like this scares a lot of people in the enthusiast press because it means that, successful or not, they will have to devote time, energy and money to cover it so some will express their business wariness in subtly biased ways to push people away from the idea, let alone the product. They may not even realise they are doing that in such a biased manner, but they are. See, things like Raspberry Pi, Arduino or even games can go under the radar and most press won't really care about group sourced funding for those projects (unless they have famous names running them, then they care like crazy because name dropping = hits) , but this represents another potential console market so it really upsets their plans in terms of budgets and schedules.

That's not say that some of what he says may not be correct, but it's definitely heavily biased and extremely poor reporting. Dissecting paragraphs of text as a means to 'decode' something is a key process in disinformation and it's almost always biased.

I think it's a stretch to claim Kuchera is shitting on it because he's consciously or subconsciously scared of having to write about it. My reading of that piece was that it was written as a result of his disappointment over how naively the press is reporting on it.

They're talking about building a platform that developers will explicitly need to support, which is really hard (see Windows Phone, Blackberry OS, WebOS, the Dreamcast, Mac OS classic, even the PSP). Reporters who have any industry context at all should be coming at the project with extreme scepticism, not unquestioning assumption of its success.

The Kickstarter description makes a lot of sweeping promises (or at the very least strong implications), and name-drops a lot of big-name developers who haven't said anything besides "that sounds neat." How many of the backers understand that just because Jenova Chen said he's "excited" about it, there's a remote chance he'll actually make a game for it?

Furthermore, the price seems impossibly aggressive. They're talking about building a machine that (I think?) has better specs than the Apple TV; ships with a custom-designed controller; is being built in an extremely small production run and without any supply chain; and has to be built and shipped for under $90 after Kickstarter and Amazon's fees. At the very least, they'll be selling it at cost, and getting at most 30% of the sales of mostly sub-$5 games (assuming people even buy this with the intention of paying for games). How are they going to make money?

  1. It's not a stretch at all. The bias in his delivery is self evident.
  2. It's an Android device running Tegra 3. Almost every major Android game which supports Tegra 3 (and there are many) supports controllers. Android TV out can scale to any resolution with no need to scale the elements because it works as an overlay (much like PS3 and XBOX 360 scaling their games to 720p and 1080p when they are often rendered at lower resolutions) and all Tegra 3 targetted games render at 1280x720 or 1280x800. So, in fact, explicit support isn't hard at all. This is not a new OS or platform. Also, Dreamcast? Where did you pull that from? Dreamcast had no developer barriers at all. It was well supported by devs both from the development side (MS made the IDE and engaged a lot of the connectivity) and the platform which was reflected not only in the console but two Arcade platforms (NAOMI 1 and 2) which is why it got so many fantastic arcade 'ports'. Blackberry OS? Dude, that platform had more Apps than iOS for a while too. RIM were the leading US smartphone and appstore seller for quite a while before iOS really took flight. They even scared NOKIA in the US. If you're trying for guilt by association, you really need to get your act together and have some real base of knowledge to work from.
  3. The names dropped are on Video stating their support of the platform and they don't say "that sounds neat" at all. Brian Fargo quite clearly says that he's strongly behind platform and that it will empower Indie devs. You know, the dude who formed Interplay and, more recently, funded one of the most successful Kickstarters of all time for Wasteland 2 (a game coming to Android interestingly enough). Jenova Chen notwithstanding, you're trying to undersell developer support.
  4. The price? It's $100 for the for first 10,000 units. That's not what the unit will cost for everyone, everywhere. This is seeding the market. Companies do that. Often at a loss. How are they going to make money?? Dude, for real? You're a tech financial analyst now too? Is Kuchera? No. I see what you're saying, but come on, don't project utter failure by throwing together some irrational figures based on sticking your finger in the wind.

It's also worth noting that they flat out lied when they told people that Minecraft would be coming to the device. To say that Minecraft is coming to the device, and then to have Notch almost immediately backpedal should tell you something.

"See, the problem with Minecraft for the Ouya is that it's android, and our android version of Minecraft isn't exactly that super great." - Notch

I feel like you're trying to defend your $100 purchase. Also Kuchera is a hell of a reporter, he used to work for Ars before he moved over to PAR. It's not like he's a nobody reporter.

Notch is just being honest about Minecraft for Android. It's awful. And he knows it. That's not saying that OUYA is the problem, but that Minecraft for Android needs to be improved before it will be up to console scratch. They didn't lie. It's already out for Android and it already has controller support. It's just not smooth or particularly well optimised on Android, so he has to be upfront because he put his name out there with supporting OUYA. Nobody lied.

I'm not defending anything. I know Android well enough to know this will be a fine platform for what it is intended to be; a cheaper indie focused console. What I am doing is dealing with ignorance and lack of context when I face it by responding with informed opinion and proper context in kind.

As to Kuchera's credentials, I didn't question them. What I said is that I read bias in his summation and that's because I did. I also said that he's not a financial analyst and that was in context to the last statement I replied to, not to Kuchera's statements specifically, but it also applies there too.

#38 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1611 posts) -

@SeriouslyNow said:

It's not a stretch at all. The bias in his delivery is self evident.

Your definition of "self evident" seems to be a lot looser than most.

It's an Android device running Tegra 3. Almost every major Android game which supports Tegra 3 (and there are many) supports controllers. Android TV out can scale to any resolution with no need to scale the elements because it works as an overlay (much like PS3 and XBOX 360 scaling their games to 720p and 1080p when they are often rendered at lower resolutions) and all Tegra 3 targetted games render at 1280x720 or 1280x800. So, in fact, explicit support isn't hard at all. This is not a new OS or platform. Also, Dreamcast? Where did you pull that from? Dreamcast had no developer barriers at all. It was well supported by devs both from the development side (MS made the IDE and engaged a lot of the connectivity) and the platform which was reflected not only in the console but two Arcade platforms (NAOMI 1 and 2) which is why it got so many fantastic arcade 'ports'. Blackberry OS? Dude, that platform had more Apps than iOS for a while too. RIM were the leading US smartphone and appstore seller for quite a while before iOS really took flight. They even scared NOKIA in the US. If you're trying for guilt by association, you really need to get your act together and have some real base of knowledge to work from.

I'm not talking about developer-friendliness -- as far as I know, all of the platforms I listed are well-engineered -- I'm talking about the challenge of cultivating and maintaining a platform that has enough momentum to sustain itself. The Ouya is Android, but it's a totally different interface than Android developers are working with now. If this thing gets 1% of the Android market (which is not a given), is it really going to be worth developers' time to retool their games for it? Redoing the controls, packaging the game to work with their spin of Android, supporting Ouya customers, and updating a branch of the main game is surely a non-trivial amount of work. And for that matter, how many touch-centric games will really make sense with a traditional controller?

I don't know the full story of the Dreamcast, but my impression is that they just didn't move enough hardware to keep third-party developers interested in investing in it as a fourth major platform. It may or may not have been a joy to work with, but if publishers weren't seeing a future in it financially, it didn't really matter. I mentioned Blackberry OS not because it's never been successful, but because it's probably in fourth place in developer mindshare and sinking. Even worse, developers know an almost-entirely new platform is about to come out, meaning they have to convince developers it's worth supporting.

The names dropped are on Video stating their support of the platform and they don't say "that sounds neat" at all. Brian Fargo quite clearly says that he's strongly behind platform and that it will empower Indie devs. You know, the dude who formed Interplay and, more recently, funded one of the most successful Kickstarters of all time for Wasteland 2 (a game coming to Android interestingly enough). Jenova Chen notwithstanding, you're trying to undersell developer support.

But the point remains that nobody quoted on that page is actually committing to anything. Usually when platform owners include quotes in marketing material, it's a given that the names are actually investing in their platform. Imagine if Nintendo or Sony brought a developer onstage or dropped a quote from them in a press release, but the developer had basically just said "that sounds neat" on Twitter.

The price? It's $100 for the for first 10,000 units. That's not what the unit will cost for everyone, everywhere. This is seeding the market. Companies do that. Often at a loss. How are they going to make money?? Dude, for real? You're a tech financial analyst now too? Is Kuchera? No. I see what you're saying, but come on, don't project utter failure by throwing together some irrational figures based on sticking your finger in the wind.

It doesn't take a financial analyst to say that engineering, fabricating, and shipping a game console and custom controller (shipping twice: from China to the them, and from them to customers) for $90 without any economies of scale sounds too good to be true. And your assumption that the price will be higher later just confirms how little we know -- they haven't said a word about their pricing plans post-launch. And I'm hard-pressed to think of another example of a platform owner "seeding the market" then raising the price afterwards. Their choice of $99 seems deliberate -- marketing-wise, it is a bit of a magic number.

#39 Posted by thirty_four (8 posts) -

@ck1nd: By no means am I interested in anyone hunting down the people involved here. I hope no one read my post that way. My intention with this post was indeed to raise awareness about one of the many questions surrounding this project--namely, how established is this company and how far along are they in the development and manufacturing process. In my opinion, the fact that the company has only existed for three months is a relevant piece of information.

Kickstarter funders have 27 days to drop their pledges. Now is the time to ask these questions. I have generally been frustrated by the lack of skepticism in the gaming press regarding this product. Apparently around the same time I posted this, Ben Kuchera posted his terrific piece on Penny Arcade. I expect other publications to follow suit, and hopefully we can have a thorough vetting of this company and its product before millions of dollars are given to Ouya by the very people that the gaming press serves. Millions of dollars, by the way, that could instead be directed at other worthy gaming projects.

#40 Edited by kindone (2843 posts) -

@thirty_four: I apologize for coming across as a witch-hunter, with you being the witch. I guess this whole matter has me flustered because I am thoroughly excited about it - and we all know that goes. Again, I wasn't targeting you at all, you at least have some form of backing to support your claim and reason for posting. There are many here, and scattered everywhere else, that seem to think a couple lines of text is enough to incite an intellectual debate.

EDIT: Also, your lack of post count and default avatar generally get's people here (like me) on some instant high-horse. We are use to that combination consisting of trolls and it turns our vision red... :P

#41 Posted by Little_Socrates (5718 posts) -

@skyline7284 said:

I'm just going to leave this link here, and say that i completely agree with everything he says.

This is the story that I was going to post. I'm not saying Kuchera's necessarily predicting the future, but this is what my thought process would have been had I sat down and actually thought much about Ouya. As it stands, though, I don't have much interest in a fourth platform. I'd rather have a reduction first.

#42 Posted by mtcantor (951 posts) -

This will all end in tears.

#43 Posted by Brendan (8173 posts) -

Yo guys, we don't know very much about the business world, discuss.

#44 Posted by cmblasko (1354 posts) -

@SoothsayerGB said:

@CaLe said:

The woman in the video is too intimidating for me to argue with. I just have to take her word for it.

Thats a woman?!

Why not add something to the discussion instead of taking childish, unnecessary potshots?

@thirty_four said:

@ck1nd: I expect other publications to follow suit, and hopefully we can have a thorough vetting of this company and its product before millions of dollars are given to Ouya by the very people that the gaming press serves. Millions of dollars, by the way, that could instead be directed at other worthy gaming projects.

I don't appreciate this mentality that those who are backing this project need direction in how to spend their money. The astonishing response this Kickstarter has received is indication that a lot of people DO feel that this is a worthy gaming project.

#45 Posted by TheHumanDove (2523 posts) -

Can someone post the link to the intimidating woman? I want to be intimidated plz

#46 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

It's such a dumb idea that it might as well be a scam because it's going to flop hard.

#47 Posted by kindone (2843 posts) -

@cmblasko said:

@thirty_four said:

@ck1nd: I expect other publications to follow suit, and hopefully we can have a thorough vetting of this company and its product before millions of dollars are given to Ouya by the very people that the gaming press serves. Millions of dollars, by the way, that could instead be directed at other worthy gaming projects.

I don't appreciate this mentality that those who are backing this project need direction in how to spend their money. The astonishing response this Kickstarter has received is indication that a lot of people DO feel that this is a worthy gaming project.

I'd have to agree with this response. The sheer fact that this amount of people are interested in the product is more than enough power to get this little product on it's feet. The potential for indie developers to have this cheap platform has a proven audience (via the Kickstarter backers) - which is more than enough to green light a lot of cool products. I can easily see the fear in such a product, but unless you have chipped in your own cash, it's a little unprecedented.

I, for one, cannot wait to see the product reach my entertainment system. I am currently working on a project myself with a couple of buddies and this type of freedom really makes what we want to do, possible. Another point I've wanted to make is the idea that this platform will be pretty much made for indie development. It's not necessarily powerful enough for blockbuster hit's that we see on the Xbox360, PC, and PS3 - but a land of it's own. Instead we will be served with a slew of indie developed titles (hopefully organized well to avoid the obvious amateurs and scammers) that really stand out amongst each other. That isn't, and wouldn't be really possible on our current generation consoles. Your normal everyday 360/PS3 owner typically keeps in the news (if at all) about the big boys, and rarely the underdogs. To have a console specifically catering to that type of audience is something that will be monumental in the future of the indie industry.

#48 Posted by thirty_four (8 posts) -

@cmblasko: I think more information about any product is always a positive for gamers. Isn't that the primary function of the gaming press? Perhaps I am being presumptive, but I assume that one of the main reasons you come to Giant Bomb is to learn more about products that you might be interested in purchasing down the road.

For a company that is asking for a hundred dollars from customers today, Boxer8 has precious little in the way of information about its product, its manufacturing plan, etc. Some of the information they have provided has been either vague or misleading. Backers have been left to fill in the gaps with their own imagination, and I think some people are getting carried away. Note that two of the most requested games on the platform are Assassin's Creed and Skyrim. That indicates that at least some of these backers have a fundamental misunderstanding about what is possible with this product.

I don't know whether you are a backer are not. If so, you may be going in with your eyes wide open--aware of all of the risks. If so, I sincerely hope that it works out for you.

#49 Posted by Karkarov (3293 posts) -

@FLStyle said:

@thirty_four: What you are doing which a no-no on Giant Bomb is saying a few sentences and then saying "Discuss" at the end. That's not how things work here.

No offense but that obviously IS how it works on Giant Bomb. We are up to page 3 and this thread is on the front page as being active ;p.

#50 Posted by Tackchevy (266 posts) -

Shady is just an inherent part of Kickstarter. If they were established, they'd get money from a bank like everyone else. They're people with an idea that got crowdsourced; we're lucky that they're even incorporated at all and have some kind of cohesive presentation. They may or may not even be able to do anything like they're talking about. Electronics manufacturing and distribution isn't something that just anyone can do. We'll see. I'll follow with a medium high to high-ish level of interest.