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Can The Android-Powered Ouya Get In Sony And Microsoft's Way?

Are you looking at serious competition for The Big 3?

According to new leaks via The Verge, a mystery home console is in development, and it'll boast a "focus on free gaming."

Apparently, "Ouya" will operate on the Android platform and only run you $99. The interesting part is that it's easily "hackable" and in fact, it sounds like fiddling around with the hardware is encouraged. "Even the underlying hardware is 'built to be hacked'—every customer who buys a retail box will get a dev kit in the bargain, the site claims." The design has been put forth by Yves Béhar, who was responsible for the look of the One Laptop Per Child computer, and other industry vets are on board, including ex-IGN executive Julie Uhrman and former Xbox boss Ed Fries.

So what else can we expect from this thing? And will you want it sitting alongside your other game consoles? At only a hundred bucks, it could definitely pose a problem, especially if the new systems hit $500 or more. Then again, if you have little confidence in the technical capability of Ouya, and still believe the new PlayStation and Xbox will offer the pinnacle of interactive entertainment, you may not care.

Tags: next generation, next gen, next gen console, ouya

7/4/2012 10:00:33 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (29 posts)

BikerSaint
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 10:14:18 AM
Reply

Damn, that will certainly make a great candle holder if there's another major power outage here.

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Cpt_Geez
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 10:46:41 AM

@ bikersaint lol I was thinking the same thing.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 12:00:21 PM

HA.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 10:19:56 AM
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I doubt many big publishers will really get behind this thing if the security is poor. I don't really think it'll be competition to anything other than maybe the Gaikai and On Live stuff. I don't suspect we'll see any progressive big budgeted productions on something like this. Maybe it's just a conduit for playing your Android games on your TV, or something.

It seems to me that gaming is getting so big and so broad in offerings people will have to sort of isolate themselves into a discrete platform or two to be able to stay on top of it all. So many choices so many options with where things are going.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 7/4/2012 10:20:20 AM

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Neo_Aeon666
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 4:42:10 PM

Well look at Android. The store works well. Tons of apps and support and the security is... NONE if you want it to be.

This is going to be neat to play lots of minigames and have a totally free system. We always get tons of restriction from MS Sony and Ninty. Also all the PC game devs and well almost everyone is encouraging DRM and the likes.

Pretty nice to see a fully opened Android platform meant for games! :D Not saying I will only get this but I will probably add it to my arsenal :D

Last edited by Neo_Aeon666 on 7/4/2012 4:42:35 PM

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Highlander
Friday, July 06, 2012 @ 2:47:31 AM

Agreed. I also have to say that for $99, the hardware won't even match up to the current Vita. Plus if there is zero security, all that will happen is that the OS will fork a thousand times and splinter the user base destroying the platform as far as commercial software is concerned.

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Beamboom
Friday, July 06, 2012 @ 7:33:14 AM

"The OS will fork because there is zero security"?
That's the weirdest kind of explanation I've seen in a while. How do you explain the relation there, Highlander? :D

Android is one code base. There was once a case where one version was forked out to one specific set of hardware, but that's now back to one base again with Ice Cream Castle.

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Highlander
Friday, July 06, 2012 @ 9:18:59 PM

Android isn't a single code base and has alreadyforked a few times. Linux itself has forked more times than I've had hot dinners. If you put out an Android (aka Linux) device with no security. A device that inherently allows any and all users to load a custom OS and firmware, you are going to see a rapid proliferation of custom OS/Firmware setups for different purposes. This will happen because a) it's easy, b) the device almost encourages it, and c) users will want to individualize their devices and take them in whatever direction *they* fancy.

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Beamboom
Saturday, July 07, 2012 @ 3:47:01 AM

First of all, the level of security has *nothing* to do with forking. It's completely unrelated.

Secondly, a closed system can have *zero* security. There is no direct relation between being open and not being secure either.

Security has to do with software design and setup/configuration. Poor software design is *more* common in closed software than open. Far, far more.

Android has forked, but is now back to one main distribution.
Custom builds, in that you or your friends download and alter the source code and compile it and make your own version, is irrelevant to this discussion. Completely irrelevant. If you are of that skill level, you know what you are doing. That will not affect the market for commercial apps for that platform *at all*.

Let me ask you this:
How many do you know with an Android device has rooted and altered their system, or installed an alternative distribution? Sony even hands out the boot loader keys to do it on their new phones. So tell me, how many? And those few you *may* know that did this: Did they succeed? Can they still run the commercial applications on their Android?
Of course they can. Either that, or they didn't know what they were doing, regretted it and flashed back to factory distro, and voila they are back where they started. Simple as that.

Linux has been out for a couple of decades now. So show me the software that doesn't run on all common distributions of Linux. I don't ask for a long list: Just point at two, maybe three commercial software solutions that only works on one or a few of the common distributions.

You won't find it, of course. Why? Because the kernel they are built around is the same. It's the packaging, the software setup and configuration that pads the core that makes the difference between the distributions.

It really, really frustrates me when people that doesn't really know the open source and platform technologies are making convoluted statements like you do here Highlander.
Mixing security with openness, thinking things have to be closed and locked to be secure. That is pure, good, oldfashioned *B*S*. If it wasn't for open and stable, *secure* platforms like Linux you would not even have had any Internet today to spread these misconceptions on!


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/7/2012 4:32:53 AM

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FatherSun
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 10:36:09 AM
Reply

Android as a gaming platform has a lot of growing up to do before it can compete with the big boys. I can see this device getting some attention because of price and the current popularity of Android. Not to mention the wide array of applications. The most interesting part is the ability to hack or mod. This will accelerate the growth process. The big 3 need not be concerned at this time. Not yet!

Last edited by FatherSun on 7/4/2012 10:38:00 AM

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Neo_Aeon666
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 4:44:29 PM

But MAN! Can't I wait to Mod :D I had so much fun flashing my Galaxy Nexus and Overclocking it :D lol Can't wait to toy with the.. OUYA (weird name though lol)

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 11:23:53 AM
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This is obviously not a competitor against high end consoles. Quite the contrary, it might be a great source of recruitment for the gaming industry as an entry level console, "your first console".

Whether or not it will get support by the big publishers depends entirely on the amount of users. If there are many enough, I guarantee you the big publishers will follow. And up until that happens the obvious advantage, aside from the low price, is the incredible amount of near-free applications and games that's already available for it even before it's launched.

Will be exciting to see what happens. And yeah - the openness of the Android system is in itself a huge attraction for anyone with a small computer geek inside. :)


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/4/2012 11:54:12 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 12:01:10 PM

I didn't say it was a competitor, I said it could be a threat. That's a very different thing. As gaming gets more and more casual, things like this should appeal to a huge demographic.

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FatherSun
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 12:50:03 PM

I would consider any competition a possible threat. They may be two different things but not that different.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 2:30:43 PM

Ben, we could of course now discuss if not any product that is considered a threat/competition also per definition must be a competitor, but that's irrelevant.
Point is, where you see a threat I see opportunity:

What I tried to say is that I think the chances are much higher that this device contributes to *expanding* the market - something that gains also MS and Sony - rather than being a threat... Or a competitor. ;)

Last edited by Beamboom on 7/4/2012 4:11:20 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 12:15:03 PM
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Sounds like a great intermediary for newbies that start their gaming as casuals, and a cool way for young budgetless persons to start a career in development on the homebrew scene. The offerings would be simple but wide. I don't see it stealing any market share from the big boys either.

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FatherSun
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 12:56:18 PM

Wouldn't the wealthy be considered "budgetless"? The rich do not need to budget (not as much anyway) while those with less income MUST budget.

But I get what you are saying.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 1:17:01 PM

I'd say they are budgetproof. But like a high school kid who likes to program and wouldn't get anything out of using his trust fund to hire others to make games could even get a leg up on his bona fides here.

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 1:22:03 PM
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I don't see a threat as it's all about the games first and hardware second. Even then I think we can all agree it would be hard for anything to be the type of consoles we have now. I mean look at Nintendo. They got money yet (despite admittedly not competing with Sony or MS) struggle to keep up in terms of hardware.

It's accessible and cheap that's all I see going for it.

It won't have a big budget CoD either... ;)

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CrusaderForever
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 2:36:37 PM
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This is for the casual gamer. Nintendo and M$ should be really scared of this since that is the way they are going. Sony doesn't have to worry. All Sony needs to do is stay the course they have laid out and continue to dominate from a highly quality content perspective.

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Excelsior1
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 4:07:55 PM
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No.

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Underdog15
Thursday, July 05, 2012 @ 2:27:47 PM

No, what?

There was like 4 different questions in that article. lol :p

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Axe99
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 5:21:05 PM
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Like everyone's said, I can't see this being a huge threat - a few reasons:

1) It's focusing on FTP - going to be tough getting large studios to invest in a AAA-alike console experience that's FTP (or not FTP) on it. So it's not going to have the same type of games as the PS4/Xbox 8 (is that what they're calling it at the moment? I have issues with the counting system MS uses!) If FTP was going to kill consoles, then smartphones, tablets and PC would be well on the way to runnig over the top of them by now.

2) It's being designed to be moddable and hackable. This'll make online gaming a nightmare, with hacks, cheats and what-have-you.

3) It's going to sell for $100 - unless they're planning to stream stuff over the cloud, it's going to lack the grunt of the current-gen consoles, let alone next-gen. Eye candy isn't everything, but it's not nothing either.

3A) If they _do_ plan to stream stuff over the Cloud, and this is another Onlive, and they get some big-name games in there, then they could be onto something (and Google are pretty into Cloud provision of services, although not really games at this stage), but it doesn't sound like that.

I'm not sure it's for casuals though - a hackable, moddable console is likely to take a little bit of effort to get the most out of, and it'll be tough on that kind of open ecosystem to sort the good games from the trash (just look at Android/iOS). If I was a casual gamer, I don't see how I couldn't get the same experience from my phone/tablet (which cost a lot more, of course, but most people still have).

Will be interesting to see where it ends up - lots of wet fingers in there air in this post, take with a grain of damp salt :).

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Highlander
Friday, July 06, 2012 @ 2:48:14 AM

Why buy one of these things if you can have a Wii for similar?

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Beamboom
Friday, July 06, 2012 @ 7:35:28 AM

The price of the software might be one thing, Highlander. The diversity of the software is another.
The open system might for some be a third reason. Or the opportunity to use the same apps both on your smart phone and your console.

Man, I think you can hardly compare the two, actually.


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/6/2012 7:38:26 AM

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Highlander
Friday, July 06, 2012 @ 9:21:28 PM

The day that open source games reach the production quality of commercial software (and I mean broadly speaking, not one or two isolated examples), and generate revenue sufficient to make both a profit and finance more, is the day I will start believing. Until then, I will note that even on PC Linux and open source games are most definitely a minority interest, and a tiny niche market - despite the PC being the cheapest and most available Linux system around.

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Beamboom
Saturday, July 07, 2012 @ 3:58:28 AM

I don't talk about free software *at all*.

Surely you must be aware of the price difference between the Wii games and Android games, Highlander? That's the price difference I talk about.

It may mean nothing to you (I know it doesn't), but to many out there there is a *huge* difference between paying $4 or $40 for a game. It is for many the difference between getting a game or not.

And we as rich, fat, spoiled guys are in no position to tell them they only get shite for their money. It will even backfire at us, hard. One of the most sold games on PSN is indeed one of these despicable mobile phone games.

What many fail to fully realize is what power there is in numbers. If you as a developer sell 10.000 games for the Vita at $40 each, that's equal to selling 100.000 copies on Android at $4 each.

Now take into consideration that at the half of 2012 there were 400 million Android devices activated and it's 1 million activations per DAY(!!) now, and you realize why all developer eyes are on this platform right now.


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/7/2012 5:16:31 AM

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daus26
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 7:21:11 PM
Reply

Same question when OnLive was about to release, only this seems to be an even worse threat, competition, or however you want to put it.

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___________
Thursday, July 05, 2012 @ 5:01:35 AM
Reply

the big 3 dont have to worry about this it caters to a totally different market.
this is not going to give you the experience people expect from consoles these days, its going to give people the experience mobiles give you.
that is basically what this is, its a phone / tablet in a larger box!
its a great idea because there are SO many games out there that really are not done justice because so few devices support a controller there restricted to touch screen.
so id be cool to be able to play mobile games on your TV with a controller, but this certainly is not going to steal many customers away from the big 3.
just cant offer the same experience.

its a shame they dont charge a little more for it!
they would have allot more success with this if they charged maybe 200 for it, that way they can put some more powerful hardware in there and really offer games that mobiles just cant offer!
the smaller the gap between mobile and console technology!
at the moment this just is not powerful enough to threaten console manufactures.


Last edited by ___________ on 7/5/2012 5:03:04 AM

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