So, yo guys know about the Ouya? that thing that was mentioned on kickstarter about six months ago, causing hype on android fans all over the world, who went as far as calling it "the future of gaming"?
Well, after that initial... erhm, kick, little has been said about it (which sounds pretty much like the vast majority of kickstarter projects). Approximately a month after getting the dev kits, devs have put some impressions on it.With a couple months before it's release, things are starting to look slightly bad. On one side, indie developers are jumping out of excitement, thinking that this might be their shot. On the other, backers are expecting to play COD and GTA on it, and some already popular Indie games.
But wasn't giving new studios a wider exposure the point of this? I thought so, and I believe the Ouya creators did that as well. But the audience seems to differ.
From a technological standpoint, Ouya has very little to no chances against current generation consoles (360/PS3). No need to compare it to the next gen. That would be a complete slaughter. And while Ouya's price is it's main weapon on the incoming "console war", it may struggle to compete on that field.
Let me explain myself. Ouya's target, like it or not, are casual gamers. Specifically, those who, despite being casual, consider themselves hardcore gamers anyway. That's easy to spot, since casuals are already happy playing "insert here the fad title of the moment" on their iDevice/Android device when they feel like killing time. They certainly won't feel the urge to go out and spend $99 just to be able to play their game with a controller, but be unable to play it "on the go".
The target audience, as I stated before, is expecting "big studios" to work on this console, which is a fancier way to say they want "hardcore games" on Ouya. Sadly, those studios are right now concentrating on the "real" consoles and how they can use them to milk their already milked out franchises (notice I'm right now talking about Activision). Some even went to the point of dismissing the Wii U as a "next generation console". Ouya is not even on their sight.
So, does that means Ouya has nothing to offer? Well, no. Ouya has a lot to offer, it's just that people are expecting to receive things they most probably won't. And the people who expect those things are probably gamers who are looking the horizon, growing impatient at every hint their favorite company drops. And therein lies the problem, if you ask me.
Ouya it's not competing against Durango/Orbis/Wii U. Ouya it's there to complement them.
See, small studios often opt to go mobile, since they lack the means to pay for a full console SDK. And while Steam is a viable choice, it's not unknown that publishing a game on it's not an easy feat. On top of that, not every gamer knows how to get a powerful PC without paying a considerable amout of money, or how Steam's big picture mode can easily transform a PC into a console (which may be the reason why Valve is planning to release official steamboxes). Therefore, mobile seems to be the less troublesome choice when developing a game.
But Ouya may now be a major choice to those studios and their ideas. As long as Ouya figures how to be more accessible without becoming that wild jungle Google Play Store is, it can succeed.
While I'm not an early console adopter, I'll have an eye on it.
PS: I tried to do this as "featurey"as I could, because
I'm looking for a job in Polygon I figured it would stimulate my use of words.
EDIT: I feel the need of publicly posting an apology to all Android and Apple fans out there. The terminology I used was quite unacceptable, and I edited the article to remove it.
Today's morale? Watching flame wars on The Verge is funny and all, but can modify your behaviour slowly.