How Ouya changed its controller, will change its console

While work on the next Ouya won't start in earnest until sometime next year, company founder Julie Uhrman told Polygon they're already looking at what to change in the guts of their system and even if they should tweak its sleek cube design. What is already in the works, though, are refinements to the Ouya's controller, a big sticking point with just about everyone who picked up the console this year. The company started by tweaking the software to reduce the latency and the lag people were experiencing, she said. Then they set to work on the controllers themselves, adding more textured thumbsticks, improved action buttons tweaked to ensure they won't stick when depressed and they even tightened the triggers. "The feel of the controller today is actually probably a lot better then in...


Ouya review

What we like What we like The Console The Ouya's basic industrial design is distinctive and feels solid. It doesn't look cheap, and the almost bronzed-grey color placed against bits piano finish is reasonably attractive. This assumes that your Ouya will be out where anyone can see it. The console is incredibly small in comparison to just about any dedicated gaming hardware we've ever seen, save for the now defunct OnLive dedicated player, and will fit just about anywhere you'd want to stash it. It seems well ventilated, and heat and reliability probably won't be an issue due to the comparatively low-power requirements of the Ouya's processor. Ease of Use When the Ouya is working as expected, the experience feels well-oiled and quick to navigate. The games we downloaded...


Big risks, tiny package: Ouya CEO on the console's future, from Oculus Rift to Minecraft

A little less than one year ago, Android-based console Ouya met its Kickstarter funding goal in eight hours and 14 minutes. Within a month, the project had well surpassed its $950,000 goal, netting more than $8.5 million. Now, CEO Julie Uhrman and her team at Ouya are already thinking about the future, including which countries will get their hands on Ouya next. Back in April, the company reported 10,000 developers worldwide had signed on to create content for the Ouya. A little over two months later, Uhrman said this number has jumped to nearly 17,000. More than 160 games are already playable on the console, dozens of them what the company calls "couch gaming" local multiplayer titles. "There are more coming every day, every week," Uhrman said in an interview with Polygon today....


The Kickstarter darling comes home: hands on with the Ouya

The hardware The hardware "They'll get a first look at Ouya, including the UI, the storefront and games," Ouya creator Julie Uhrman told Polygon earlier this week, discussing the early backers who will receive these first units. "They will be with us as we continue to evolve the software in Ouya leading up to our launch on June 4." Like most software platforms we use today, from phones to game consoles, the Ouya is designed to be updated. The hardware, however, is finished. "Our hardware is baked, it's complete, it's done," she said. "But the software will continue to evolve. It'll get better every single day, week, month and year. We'll get more games every single day." "Our hardware is baked, it's complete, it's done." The Ouya is an impressive box. The...


Watch Ouya running SNES and N64 emulated games

The Ouya console runs not only Android games, but games running on Android emulators, as shown by a number of videos posted by console owners on the system's official forums. Ouya players have taken to Ouya Boards to share gameplay videos of Nintendo 64 emulations, including footage of Super Mario 64, and games running through the SuperGNES Super Nintendo emulator like Street Fighter 2. There's even a video of the console running Facebook multiplayer shooter Offensive Combat. YouTube user "blackoutworm" posted the above video of Super Mario 64 running through the Mupen64plus N64 emulator, along with instructions for optimizing gameplay and the best way to remap controls for playing with a keyboard. More footage of Ouya running these emulators can be found at blackoutworm's YouTube...


Ouya announces new chairman to focus on 'relationships, strategy, and support'

Ouya, the company behind the $99 Kickstarter-funded Android gaming console, announced three new hires today, including the appointment of Roy Bahat, former president of IGN, as chairman of the board. Bahat joins CEO Julie Uhrman, also an IGN alumnus, who announced Bahat's position on Ouya's blog. "Roy believed in OUYA from day zero," she wrote, revealing that he was the company's first investor. Bahat's focus will be on "relationships, strategy, and support," he told GamesBeat. “Launching a console is not just one company executing on its own. It’s an ecosystem, and a very good excuse for a bunch of others to work together. In that group, the single most important constituency is developers.” Uhrman also revealed two additional hires. Steve Chamberlin, who "ran development for RIFT...

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The Economist: Kickstarter success comes from publishers' failure

Video games and related projects have been successful on Kickstarter because large publishers have become risk-averse, according to The Economist. Using Electronic Arts and Activision as examples, the article states that big publishers prefer relatively safe investments like sequels to popular games like Call of Duty, while simultaneously straining developers with long hours, short deadlines, and creative sandboxing. "The games industry doesn't retain developers very well," Aubrey Hesselgren, a U.K.-based developer, told the publication. "But it's pretty good at training up rebels." Games and related projects like the open source Ouya console account for five of Kickstarter’s 10 most funded projects, and Kickstarter backers are tech-savvy, in their mid–30s, and have "plenty of...


GameStop preps for next-generation consoles, cuts PS2 from thousands of stores

Though the next generation of gaming consoles is, for the most part, a far-off abstraction, GameStop has already begun its transformation to prepare for the deluge of hardware and software coming from Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft. The first step, explained chief marketing officer Ashley Sheetz, is to recognize the opportunities that the new hardware generation will bring about for the company. GameStop will likely have a year or two of console launches to determine those priorities — but the first launch, the Wii U, is coming up very soon. "Well, obviously, the Wii U is going to be the first in line, and we're excited about that launch," Sheetz said. "I think one of the things is, historically we had about five years between console launches, and now it's been seven plus years, so I...


Ouya may get Namco Bandai games, will support four controllers and Plex

The makers of Ouya, the Kickstarted $99 open console powered by Android, are in "active discussions" with Namco Bandai to bring the publisher's franchises to the system, according to the project's Kickstarter page. "Namco Bandai brings with it a rich history of iconic gaming franchises, from classics like Pac-Man and Galaga, to seminal franchises like Tekken and Ridge Racer," said vice president of marketing Carlson Choi, "and we're excited to explore how we can work with Ouya to bring some great titles to the forthcoming console." Today's project update also confirmed that Ouya will support four controllers, a veritable necessity for a home console. Ouya founder Julie Urhman noted, "What's the point of playing in the living room if the other folks on the couch can't join in?" And in...

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'Shadowrun Online' developer video demonstrates multi-layered world concept

The Kickstarter page for Shadowrun Online posted a new video today demonstrating the game's multi-layered world and announced a Reddit AMA with the team scheduled for tomorrow August 8th at 3:00 p.m. EST. The video below shows Shadowrun's "contextual gameplay," a system in which players interact with the in-game environment "layers" differently depending on their skills and abilities. Through their combined efforts a team can use individual experiences to shape strategies for overcoming challenges. "A Hacker may be interacting with access nodes, security devices and hostile drones in Augmented Reality, while a Street Samurai can perceive weaknesses in the enemy's armor or see the cover benefits granted by objects in the world. Mages can sense the life essence and magical abilities of...

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