OS: Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
System-on-Chip: Nvidia Tegra 3
CPU: 1.7 GHz Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A9
Mem: 1 Gb SDRAM
Graphics: Nvidia ULP Geforce
Right now this is less powerful than some smartphones but that isn’t really the point. In the last six years there have been crazy advances in mobile GPU tech. When you watch some of the benchmarks such as Epic Citadel you get a sense that things are a moving very quickly past Angry Birds. In the next 3 -4 years it is fair to say that what we consider to be a “tablet game” is going to be much more sophisticated than current examples.
It is $99.00 USD and this might be a perfect price point. I think going lower would communicate to people that this thing is a piece of shit and all the games for it suck. It needs to be expensive enough to justify its existence, but cheap enough that every single fucking person in the world should have one of these for Christmas.
Right now it seems that most major studios and publishers are only starting to consider OUYA. It seems the likelihood is that there are going to be a lot of AAA game spin-offs and prequels. This would be stuff like Dead Space (mobile). In terms of ports, there are obviously many options for older games. A lot are being updated and re-released such as Carmageddon and Baldur’s Gate.
As for exclusives, Broken Age and Human Element are the two more high profile ones right now. This is already a totally different situation than The Phantom or any other vapor console. It’s really all about games, and this thing has already garnered interest from major developers. None of them would go near this thing if they didn’t think they could turn a profit so if this works out, you’re going to see many more devs become interested.
Independent game development is an emerging trend that started in earnest at the start of the seventh hardware generation. This is only going to grow over time and not everyone is going to be able to have a game on the major consoles. Not simply because of quality control, but because there are only so many games that can be released per quarter. However, digital distribution has changed that a lot. There are going to be more games coming out and at a quicker pace. I am not talking about shovelware, I’m talking about smaller games that take about a year or two to make.
The hobbyist can buy a rooted developer OUYA for about $1200 USD. This is not a lot of money, and in comparison to the cost of dev kits for other consoles it is laughably inexpensive. Professionals can buy the exact same thing, at the same price and churn out a game for $2.99. You get 400 sales and you’ve made your money back. Obviously it is more complex than that, but you get the point.
The significant thing here is that self-publishing a successful game on a console is out of reach for many but they can do it straightforwardly on the OUYA. What will happen when a generation of novice developers have access to the OUYA marketplace?
Over the next five years, if the OUYA is even a modest success, we can expect hardware revisions. Nvidia are going to keep designing Tegra tech and it is going to get better and faster. This isn’t about closing the gap between big consoles, it is about enabling independent devs to push increasingly more polys and textures on small scale hardware.
Android is also growing. It is almost ubiquitous at this point, and has arguably toppled iOS’ reign of terror. Although Android is still very much a cellphone platform, that doesn’t mean anything for the future of the OS. It is clear that Android has broader uses especially for tablets that lack 3/4G receivers. This means there may be an update down the line that adds a significant amount of functionality that has little if anything to do with phones.
Will there be a stand-alone Android OS and a separate Android phone OS? Probably.
It may seem like the OUYA has no chance against the big 3 consoles but I don’t think it is even competing for the same dollars. You can get plenty of Angry Birds and Plants VS Zombies on PS4, WiiU and XboxONE to be sure. But if devs start making games specifically for the OUYA, even just timed exclusives, than that can be a huge amount of leverage for the tiny console.
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