Now this is how to do a Kickstarter. Today’s craze on Kickstarter is OUYA, a new game console for the TV — and it’s powered by Android. Oh, and it met its $950 thousand goal in less than 24 hours.
Now, before you go bashing it because it’s Android-powered, just give me a minute here. This project needs to happen. It’s what consoles need. Like I said last week, I still don’t agree that mobile is the future of gaming, and the people behind OUYA feel the same way. Julie Uhrman, the founder of OUYA, grew up gaming on a television, and some of her best memories of gaming happened in the living room.
Think about it. I grew up with consoles. There’s something about having four or more people huddled around a television, yelling when someone snipes someone else or takes the lead in a racing game. Mobile is making a gamer-on-the-go that’s disconnected from a genuine, intimate gaming experience. Yes, creative developers are making mobile and social games because it’s more affordable and developer-friendly. The current state of consoles aren’t as friendly as they should be, but OUYA plans to change that.
They want to hand the reigns over to the developer, and I’m all for that. They’re all about making games less expensive to make and buy. I know I’m tired of paying $60 for half-assed console games. The only condition is that some of the gameplay has to be free — whether it is a free demo with a full-game upgrade, in-game items, or subscription. What I love is that anyone can make a game, because every OUYA console is a dev kit. I have no idea how to develop a game, but I could sure as hell try if I wanted to. OUYA is an open design, and hackers are welcome here.
Gamers should be embracing this with open arms. Think about all of the possibilities. You can root the OUYA with no void to your warranty, you can create your own peripherals, connect via USB or Bluetooth; there’s literally no end to the creativity, and it’s all encouraged.
What else can you do? Watch Twitch.TV on your OUYA through 1080p. Move over honey, I’m gonna watch a League of Legends tournament on the 55-inch tv tonight; forget watching it on my PC. OUYA’s specs include a Tegra3 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, HDMI connection with 1080p support, wireless controllers, USB 2.0, and Android 4.0.
I could not be more on-board for this. You won’t have your big names of Halo and Call of Duty, but you’ll get creative developers with an open source console. We could see some big and unique games come to this. Just taking some of your favorite mobile games and bringing them to a television and living room setting will change the whole dynamic. Minecraft and Canabalt are two examples. But it’s so much more than that. Really good games could be made for cheap. The next big RPG or third-person shooter could be free with some cheap payment options. And all of this on a $99 console.
The OUYA is exactly what gaming needs. Mobile isn’t the future of gaming; a cheap, open-source console with free-to-play games that’s easy and inexpensive to develop for and is hacker friendly is the future. And the reality is, it looks like it’s going to happen. In my honest opinion, I think there’s a shift in the gaming world coming, and it doesn’t go by Xbox 720 or PS4 or iPhone 5s — it goes by the name of OUYA. It may not take over, but it’ll sure as hell live side-by-side with the big boys.