March 17, 2013
OUYA: Time To Experience Something New
2013 is a transitional year for gamers. Later in the year we will be deciding whether to choose the next iteration of the Xbox or PlayStation family, or move our gaming endeavors elsewhere. As of now, the horizon is looking pretty bleak for the future of gaming as a whole, and many people have already jumped ship. These gamers are moving from the redundancy and utter lack of creativity that is coming from major players like Microsoft and Sony (with some exceptions, of course) and migrating toward more lucrative frontiers such as the PC gaming renaissance that is currently taking place, or the mobile gaming revolution that is happening on smartphones and tablets.
At this point, it’s anyone’s game as to what is going to be the next big gaming platform and it looks like OUYA has stepped onto the battlefield. What is OUYA, you ask?
OUYA is a new gaming console that is almost the size of a small box of chocolates, but packs about as much punch as Ali in his prime. The little box runs on Google’s Android 4.1 (Jellybean) operating system and boasts a developer-friendly and open source development kit. So basically, if a studio can develop an Android game, the only thing limiting them is their imagination.
The console will stream games over the Internet through their own Xbox Live/PlayStation Network type service, so no more going to the store and haggling with retailers that nickel and dime you.
I can see this console having a lot of opportunity, since it is not only awakening a crowd, but giving an entire console to a whole new sub-culture of gaming; the indie developers. This console gives light to the companies who couldn’t distribute major releases because of certain circumstances, even though they had more heart, talent and creativity than most of the major studios of today. As a result of not having the option of a major release, these studios are forced to cut deals with Sony and Microsoft to distribute their projects over the web in outlets like Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network.
I am referring to studios like ThatGameCompany, who cut such deals and proved that you can take a step or a risk because gamers are always interested in new experiences. This brings us such games as Journey.
Speaking of Journey, one of the head developers of the game and founder of ThatGameCompany, Kellee Santiago, is on the OUYA team; so if that’s not indication enough to be interested in this company, then I don’t know what is.
Well, here’s another indication; the OUYA has over 7,000 developers lined up, from the mainstream to the two guys in their mother’s basement.
The OUYA started out as the brainchild of Julie Uhrman and with a little luck, and a big Kickstarter campaign, this nifty little box came to be. Uhrman sensed the gaming industry was heading into limbo, and with good reason. The industry is in need of a change. The major studios have proved their worth and have lapsed into rehashing games from the developers and overpricing consoles by the hardware producers.
OUYA, on the other hand, only costs about $99 USD and puts the major developers in the same boat with the indie ones. Now the big boys will have to swim with sharks instead of relying on big names and advertising, since developers are required to offer free versions of their games and find their own ways to generate revenue with their product.
If the OUYA hasn’t made up some minds by now then I’m sure this will; OUYA will be releasing in June in the United States and will let the other console makers battle it out during the holiday season.
2013 is looking to be an interesting year for video games, and if you are on the fence about switching to that PS4 or new Xbox, give the OUYA a try.
It’s time to experience something new.
Image Credit: OUYA, Inc.