OUYA: Why the over-hyped Android game console is a bad investment

It isn’t hard to understand why OUYA has raised an astonishing $2.5 million and growing via Kickstarter in the past 24 hours. What doesn’t sound great about a cheap gaming console with solid hardware and access to Android’s growing library of quality games, all of which sell for a fraction of the cost of traditional console games (if not for free)? The answer, my friends, can be found in that very question. While OUYA sounds like a great concept through the lens of its sleek and glossy pitch video, the over-hyped Android gaming console is a bad investment, and I will tell you why.

For starters, OUYA is still in the developmental stages, and while its list of hardware matches up with the best smartphones and tablets currently available, by the time production units start rolling out the console is sure to feel a bit dated. Yes, quad-core Tegra 3 processing, 1GB RAM, and 8GB of internal storage sound like a steal for $99, but at the rate that Android hardware has been advancing I reckon these specs won’t sound so enticing by the time the OUYA launches. So the company will either push out hardware that can’t keep pace with the next generation of software and games, forcing consumers to buy a new model within a year, or they will scramble to release a product featuring revamped and updated hardware.

We’ve all seen what happens when a company lets advancing technology dictate their release strategy. Remember Notion Ink? When they first unveiled plans for what would become their Adam tablet, the tech world held high hope for the device. It was meant to be the first truly powerful Android tablet, a savior ready to do battle with Apple’s iPad. But Notion Ink fell into a cycle of constantly attempting to update their hardware and software  to keep pace with current trends as development pushed forward, resulting in a prolonged wait for the Adam. When the slate finally launched, it was plagued with issues and offered a rather lackluster experience, sealing it’s fate and leaving many to wonder what could have been.

I am here to tell you that the OUYA is the next Notion Ink Adam. Or perhaps it is more like the next Google TV, which brings me to my next point. Android games are designed to be played on tablets and smartphones. Aside from a few high quality titles designed with HD and larger screens in mind, most apps and games just don’t look right when ported directly to a TV. Their control schemes are designed for touch interfaces, and (spoiler alert) your television does not have a touch interface. It’s hard to imagine OUYA’s controller solving this problem efficiently without something akin to the Wii U’s controller setup. I don’t see that coming as part of the $99 price tag.

I hear your rebuttal already. “But just wait until developers start creating games exclusively for OUYA!” Sorry, folks, but they won’t. They have little incentive to devote time, money, and energy to developing for such a fringe platform. Remember the days when no developer wanted to touch Android with a 10-foot stick? I’m not talking back in the days of the G1, either. Android had a major smartphone, the Motorola Droid, on a major network and still developers were wary of porting their top iOS games. New, original games were even harder to come by. In fact, many developers still carry some hesitation about creating content for the Android platform. So why would any of these developers, indie or otherwise, want to modify existing games, let alone create exclusive titles, for OUYA?

If you count yourself among the 20,000 plus that have already donated to OUYA, I feel sorry for you. If you haven’t, don’t waste your money. This startup is hoping to ride on the trendy coattails of Android, but they are going about it in entirely the wrong way. OUYA, at best, will live a Dreamcast-esque existence, vanishing from the gaming world almost as quickly as it appeared. But that is even being generous. OUYA is no Sega. OUYA is a wad of cash swirling around a toilet bowl waiting to be washed down the drain.

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  • JordanKroeger

    wow… brutal truth

  • Chris Rogers

    Its official. Phandroid has officially passed the point where it has no compelling arguments anymore. This is the worst editorial I’ve ever read. It fails to present any persuasive evidence beyond “I don’t like it here’s an very marginally related example.” I don’t even like the OUYA too much, but this article is trash.

    • King of the Zafferties

      Nothing is official when you announce it brother. I enjoyed this article and perspective. If you want to bring up he was wrong if the product is a success, then do it.

      • Chris Rogers

        By your last statement, I do not find it surprising that you enjoyed a stance lacking any real persuasive substance.

        • http://www.facebook.com/FunnySteps Daniel Martin

          I have a journalism degree and would be interested to see what you found wrong with his editorial….I thought it was well written and laid out exactly why he doesn’t like OUYA in a logical fashion, but judging by some of your comments I would guess you aren’t a very logical person…

          • http://www.geeksonhugs.com/ W. Anthony Tanas

            “I have a journalism degree” That’s a good start but meaningful credentials would say what you’ve done not what degree you earned. I’ll agree that this article is an excellent homework assignment for school.

          • Greg Rachman

            The problem, Mr. “I have a journalism degree,” is that although the article is logical and well-written, It is ridiculously closed-minded. If you are going to put up a controversial, flagrant opinion, at least put up a big caption under the title stating, “OPINION.”

    • Stephen

      Article quality really has begun to take a hit here lately. With the new layout I thought this site was about to take a turn for the better. This site is starting to feel like gizmodo or androidandme.

      I mean, this guy really does ignore the very impressive price point of this thing. $99 for a very hackable android set-top box with a tergra 3 to boot sounds like an excellent way to test these waters to me. He mentions google tv but to me this feels like what google tv should have been. That is simply a box running android as customizable as you please that has tv ready connections. How much simpler and practical does it get? This new approach to the concept is a very solid one I say and at $99 any curious early adopter has little to hesitate about.

      And one more thing, when all else fails, this is the coolest and simplest emulator machine ever.

      Mr Krause, I respectfully disagree with your article.

      • http://www.facebook.com/chris.fitchette Chris Fitchette

        The system will fail miserably, the hardware is ridiculously weak for a home console. On top of that, any basic laptop can emulate games 100x more complex than this system will be able to do and is perfectly capable of being hooked up to a TV and controller.

        This article, while lacking a “great” argument, is totally correct.

        • blix247

          Its a pretty short sighted and cynical position. Especially considering all of the bluetooth compatible games already on the market:

          http://www.phonejoy.us/games/
          http://www.gametel.se/index.php/recommendedgames/androidgames

          Those existing games, plus emulators makes a hundred bucks a steal of a deal for this. He is right that the hardware will be dated by the time this launches, but to pronounce this is DOA and claim it will launch without games is unrealistic. 3.5 Million in 2 days has got to be some kind of a record for Kickstarter. It proves that there is demand for this console.

        • http://twitter.com/SuperSlickITGuy SuperSlickITGuy

          “the hardware is ridiculously weak”

          The hardware is not final. So what now?

      • Brian S.

        You should read my old posts from a few months ago about this site’s article quality. I agree.

  • RedPandaAlex

    Yeah, if what Ouya could do was take an existing platform and hook it up to a tv with a controller to make a better gaming experience, it would work. But it’s actually going to be creating a new platform. It’s not going to have the Google Play store, so developers would have to flock to a new distribution channel, and I don’t even know how many games out there support bluetooth controllers right now, so most would have to create a new control scheme.

    • https://plus.google.com/102290060063255149992 Alek Tritt

      it’s terribly easy to port the play store to any android device.

      • RedPandaAlex

        They have to work with Google to shit it with the Play Store, and I don’t know any comparable devices that have managed that, and if users have to install the Play Store themselves, that limits your audience to the corps group of hackery folks that probably funded the kickstarter in the first place.

        • http://www.wordtipping.com/ Eric Rhoads

          You could potentially side-load the Amazon App store. Amazon has been pursuing the gaming market aggressively.

  • http://twitter.com/etakarine Marco Cordeiro

    OMG either Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo are going around with their fat checks paying reporters to write this trash. In case you don’t realise any hardware when released is outdated already…..sad……

  • ScottColbert

    Yeah that Wii with it’s underwhelming specs, really bombed, didn’t it? What a crock of shit this piece was.

  • Hunter Wolf

    Sorry, but the controller dose have a touch interface already included and from the notes in the Kickstarter and the different pledge levels it would seem a second controller would be about $30.

    So there is nothing all that crazy that needs to be done in regards to controls when looking at ports.

    “We are designing the controller to be a love letter to console gaming.
    It will have everything you’ve learned to love: fast buttons, triggers,
    laser-precise analog sticks, a D-Pad – and it will have a touchpad for
    any games making the trek from mobile or tablet to the TV.”

    “Please add $30 if you want a second controller.”

  • Jeff Alberda

    Its sad but I have to agree. Plus I don’t find mobile style games that fun. The next gen Xbox will no doubt destroy this in terms of capabilities and then there is PC gaming. If I want to play and droid games I’ll do so on my phone or nexus 7

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Otos-Nede/100003153330031 Otos Nede

    One thing I think you overlooked is the fact that you’re getting a $99 very capable Android box hooked up to your TV… you can’t downplay that. The development crowd will turn that thing into anything they want it to be… I for one don’t care about the gaming aspect of it… I look at it as a $99 Android TV box playground.

    • http://twitter.com/havens1515 Randroid

      I agree. It is $99, which is relatively cheep for any hardware like it, and it comes with a controller if you decide to use it for games. (As it is supposed to be used)

      If you decide NOT to use it as designed, this thing has TONS of possibilities once the dev community gets to it. Might even be able to turn it into a $99 Nexus Q. The possibilities are endless.

    • GlennStile

      couldnt agree more with this , its exactly why I bought in on the project, I would like to see it sooner and hopefully now they are over $3million they might be able to hasen development but even a year down the line a tegra 3 will still be a great little android TV box… oh and lets not forget EMULATORS !

      • http://www.geeksonhugs.com/ W. Anthony Tanas

        Good for you. I hope you guys do great.

    • Andy_in_Indy

      +1 on this. I can spend $40 on a Raspberry Pi and get a weaker system and no case. Or I can spend $99 and get a Tegra 3 based system to play with. If they make good games (not great: I don’t think it can match xBox 360 with those specs) to go with it, “BONUS!” Even without that, its a “no brainer”.

  • http://twitter.com/RahulRVerma Rahul R Verma

    Couldn’t agree more. If it was product currently available in the market, I would have bought that but wait one year… no please.

    • http://twitter.com/havens1515 Randroid

      One year?

      From the donation page:
      “Estimated Delivery: Sep 2012″

      • Andrij Kopytko

        Scroll down a little further to the rewards that come with actual consoles:
        “Estimated Delivery: Mar 2013″
        Not quite a year, but a significantly longer wait.

  • Clarke

    I remember the Notion Ink Adam… in fact, I bought one. I am now embarrassed by that purchase and it has made me rethink being an early adopter. I’ll avoid the OUYA.

  • Rootko

    Look, it’s rootable, so in the worst case scenario it will do whatever we want (Nexus Q for 1/3 price)…

    • http://profiles.google.com/kevinhaller24 Kevin Haller

      Not only that, but emulators alone would be worth it. Couple this with Plex Media Server and you have a set top box for $99.

  • Joshua Powers

    It’s not a fring platform, it’s powered by the same android on your phones, they’ll just need to tweak their game to account for a normal game controller, not rewrite it from scratch. And as far as tigra 3 being outdated by the time it releases is a bit exaggerated, while yes we’ll probably have tigra 3plus or 4 out by then it doesn’t mean tigra 3 is crap all of a sudden, that’s how game consoles work, they launch with good highend hardware which stays the same for a long cycle giving game developers a stable platform on which to develop and profit from for a good number of years.

  • ntegrit

    Good investment advice? Might have been, 2.5 million bucks ago… Frankly, it seems to me that an opinion piece like this, after twenty thousand of your kinsman have already invested $2.5 mil (the numbers are probably even higher now) is somewhat mean-spirited.

    • Wouter Van Goey

      Over 4 million $ raised by over 30,000 backers and we’re only 3 days in! I wonder what they’ll achieve in the 27,000 days to come..

  • Joshua Powers

    Any one wanna place bets on how long it’ll take hackers to get google play on this bad boy so we can side load our existing games and other apps like hulu and netflix?

    • nsauce7

      Day 1

  • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

    Did someone piss on your cereal this morning?

    I see OUYA as a little more than one of those “Android-on-a-stick” computers that sell for a similar pricetag, with the added bonus of being an actual console with actual games.

    Yes, it’s a fringe device, that will be rooted, and hacked on day one, with awesome apps built by other enthusiasts.

  • http://twitter.com/_iRada_ Narada

    Stupse, I’m sure people are going to argue that they can play games on their phone and tablet but be real, if you receive a call or get an email or text or whatever, then what? It’s nice to be able to game on these devices but not to such great lengths, not to mention what it’ll do to your battery =/

  • https://plus.google.com/102290060063255149992 Alek Tritt

    This is a site formed before there were even any android devices. You should be excited at the prospects that android makes possible instead of trying to garner page views.

  • youareme7

    Wow, I’m really disappointed in this article. What an extremely cycnical attitude about what is basically a $99 hackers dream. Even if they’re platform doesn’t succeed, the hardware alone will be worth the $99. If they end up bumping the specs before release, even better. Seriously, for being phandroid this article sure doesn’t have much imagination.

    • Dzhokhar

      By the time it comes out, the hardware might not be worth $99. The Nexus 7 has practically the same performance specs, a 7″ touch display, and a battery for only $200 right now and could very well cost half that by the time OUYA comes out.

      • http://twitter.com/psypher246 psypher246

        Can you hook up a Nexus 7 to a TV??? Errrr nope. Not even through USB, go look it up.

  • http://twitter.com/RichardGilboy Richard Gilboy

    I honestly think the author is riding the negative wave a tad too much. There are engine platforms that are really interested in this. Personally, I can’t wait to play an Unreal Engine FPS game on this. Be honest with yourself, the only games you actually play on 360 are Call of Duty games and other bullshit games. lol

  • Evan Murphy

    I’m sorry but I’d have to disagree. I’m currently writing you this comment with my 2 year old vibrant and it’s running ICS with jelly bean available for it right around the corner (Some newer models don’t even have ics yet and I’m a month away from jelly bean). My single core 1Ghz processor can run nearly every game I’ve come across with no problem so far. And the games that have slight lag, we’ll all I have to say is Chainfire 3D. So my point is If I can keep up with the best with my phone why can’t this system do the same. Especially with a little dev support from the community. And it looks to me that there’s more than enough support from devs with the amount of development packages being sold already. I could be wrong but only time will tell.

  • Treknologist

    Wow, here is an Android site with a negative editorial about OUYA and yet, Endgadget (which is notoriously known to be negative on Android stuff), has a rather positive view of things. http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/11/editorial-ouyas-success/

  • wtpanos

    Damn, that’s cold, but exactly what I was thinking

  • slsf617

    Wow seems like many people disagree with you Mr. Krause and I’m one of them as well. I feel like for $99 this thing has lots of potential. You are correct that android specs do evolve quickly but it has loads of potential because Tegra 3 can still run some really great games and in a worst case scenario you might just run emulators on this.

    To add a bit more if they can get OnLive to run on this even better. Nowadays I refuse to spend so much for a game console and then buy $60 dollar games on top of that. Then after you spend $60 for a new game there is $15 of Downloadable content that might already be found on the disk. Graphics might become an issue down the road if it’s running Tegra 3 but as a casual gamer I prefer good gameplay to amazing graphics anytime. Plus Tegra 3 graphics aren’t bad especially for $99

    • http://www.geeksonhugs.com/ W. Anthony Tanas

      Exactly and while the technology moves fast, it doesn’t move that fast. I recently got an HTC Droid Incredible (original) device as a tester (I’m a developer) and I was amazed at how beautifully it ran on such “old” hardware. A Tegra 3 is packed with potential for years to come.

  • GerStud101

    “So why would any of these developers, indie or otherwise, want to modify existing games, let alone create exclusive titles, for OUYA?”

    …money? This thing is making huge waves right now–if post-release sales match the amazing Kickstarter interest, these companies will have hundreds of thousands of potential customers holding an OUYA controller, with an initially limited selection of apps to play. The first slew of quality games that are available on the OUYA store will sell to every single gamer who owns one. Seems like a major opportunity.

    Sure, even games like Shadowgun don’t always stack up against their console big brothers, but thinking only of currently available games is shamefully closeminded. And lets not forget this thing is completely rootable and hackable. In other words, with a little tinkering (which doesnt void the warranty, btw), you could get this thing to do anything you want it to. Toss on some emulators, and you have an all in one classic game system capable of running anything from NES to PSX games. Sideload apps like Netflix and HBO Go and its a cheap STB solution. Plug in a USB mouse and keyboard, and you have a super cheap Android-based computer for browsing the web and even some simple productivity apps. All of these things combined in a $99 package? Sounds pretty darn sweet to me.

  • sygyzy

    Just curious if it’s just me or not, but does anyone else have issues with the font used in the stories? The title text, side bar text, even comments look normal but the text used for the actual stories look dithered, like a bad ocr scan from a print newspaper. It’s the same in Chrome and Firefox. At first I thought maybe I didn’t have the typeface in my system but surely I have one of the alternates.

    • youareme7

      i agree with you. the main body text is kinda hard to read.

  • JustTrollin69

    What was this about?

  • Oliver Petruzel

    Why not simply ship a GTV device with a dedicated bluetooth controller and be done? Perhaps throw in a new game-centric market app for GTV that only lists games which are pre-mapped for the dedicated controller and scalable to larger screens?

    That said, this is certainly an Android hacker’s dream device…

    • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

      that would be awesome….if it was being done. But it’s not so in order to get around this the OUYA was born(ish)

  • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

    while I do agree with this for the most part lets not forget that kickstarters that generate more money tend to improve the product more and change the specs before release. Look at pebble. the specs a bit different than what they originally announced because they got more money to play with. I’m not saying that this will 100% happen but it sounds like OUYA is willing to think about it

  • pahern

    One of your main arguments is that games would need to be custom designed as a traditional console controller can’t replicate touch screen functionality. I guess you missed the fact that this isn’t a traditional controller?

    “and it will have a touchpad for any games making the trek from mobile or tablet to the TV”

    Sorry but your point is not only invalid, it’s misinformed as well.

  • http://twitter.com/seanstuckless Sean Stuckless

    I’m guessing 3/4 of that money is going to patent lawyers… I mean Apple probably has a patent on “A device that resembles a cube”, and I’m sure MS has a patent on a “device that is used to play games”, etc.

  • Robert Jakiel

    Wow talk about being butt hurt. You must have bought the Dreamcast. Be honest. Seriously though this is a great idea and when released will be a huge hit. This plus Google TV set tops with OnLive and possibly Gaikai only makes it that much more appealing. Having a homogenous environment to play games, watch TV and stream media. Plus the same environment on your tablet, phone, pmp, watch and Google Glass? Life will be good.

  • Chris H

    Kevin – you’ve got some cojones to write an article like this considering the general attitude of Phandroid followers. I’ve never come across a site where soo many people harass authors for spelling this and grammar that. While those aspects are important for any article, I am usually more interested in the content. I say good effort for writing this piece. My point of view does tend to fall in line with the rest of the comments here, but good effort expressing your thoughts to a harsh crowd.

  • nsauce7

    Phandroid aka the next bgr?

  • http://www.facebook.com/petr.l.plachy Petr Plachý

    Really poor editorial…it’s perfectly looking open Android box with cool controller for 99 USD..sounds good to me and pretty much everyone else too :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/Durchir Jeffrey Geer

    While, I agree it isn’t likely developers will develop games specifically for the platform (I’m interested in doing this, as a developer), I can see one major use that would make this worth it to me. It is a Tegra 3, which means it should support the tech nVidia showed at CES (I think) that allows you to stream games from your nVidia equipped computer (Have 2 GTX 570 in SLi ATM) to your Tegra 3 Android device. I said it when I saw the article on that, this allows me to be able to play my PC on my TV without dragging my PC out to the living room/bedroom. Hopefully it has bluetooth or USB and I will be able to even use a Keyboard and Mouse, instead of being limited to the controller. Plus if they can get OnLive support, if they don’t already, that would be a major plus.

    So, I in a sense agree that the the OUYA is a product for a rather niche market, but for myself at least, I count myself among that niche.

  • Andrew torres

    what this kickstarter needs is to surpass $3mil and gain a good chunk of change..probably blow past 10 or 15 mill. They are gonna need a heavy amount of cash to use Nvidia as a partner. I really think with that type of funding they can “MAYBE” get nvidia to future proof the console with a whole new processor instead of the Tegra 3. I am really interested in this thing. If they can make the UI dynamic and make this console run all of the apps on the store, this would be incredible. for this to run they are gonna have to future proof this thing and really compete with the big guys such as Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft. Emulation would be a GIGANTIC HIT for many…..old nes and super nes games, sega, dreamcast, PS1 maybe PS2….you can bet your ass that if this system even proves it can provide emulation, churn good titles, and operate our most favorite apps they are gonna have a hell of a battle with all major console manufacturers.

    • Fahad Rahman

      If I buy this thing its main use will be for emulators everything else is an afterthought an a bonus.

  • TwilightInZero

    I don’t get why every critic of OUYA, and even some proponents, act like this device will simply run pre-existing Android applications. It’s not going to do that; that would be dumb. Android games are made to run on phones, and with phone features like touch screens and accelerometers. This isn’t a mobile device, this is a console, with a controller, that hooks up to a TV. They’re completely different devices.

    • Dzhokhar

      I think that’s kind of the point of the article though. How many developers are really going to create new games for a console from an unproven startup that’s only managed to sell 20,000 units?

  • http://twitter.com/tr_slate Travis Slate

    Thats funny, I work for a mobile company and we are going to be making at least one game for it…So I dont buy this argument.

  • Christopher Robert

    I am just sitting back waiting for them to get sued for the direct copy of the miscrosoft axbox controller. I bet that alon will cost them more than $2.5 Million dollars… LOL. The idea is cool, but lets face it your phone or your tablet will be able to do this same thing, probably better in the near future (like less than 12 months). So why pony up the $99.00 for ANOTHER device when you already have one that can do it.

    • Christopher Robert

      In fact I have seen an Xbox controller plugged into a Motorolla Atrix while usiing the TV HD Doc and used to play a few games already. I just don’t think this device has any real worth at all.

  • Aztec713

    Kevin I just lost my respect for you. Saying you feel sorry for that donated, for what people have decided to do, good or bad choice you as an editor should know when you shouldn’t go about publicly insulting ur readers because i am sure some of us have donated and have been waiting for something like this. if you really don’t think devs will support that than that’s fine but to outright say that u know for sure that it won’t be supported is just outright stupid.
    ” “This has the potential to be the game developer’s console. It’s about time!” –Brian Fargo (founder of inXile)
    “Who wouldn’t want a beautiful piece of industrial design that sells for $99, plugs straight into your TV, and gives you access to a huge library of games?” –Jordan Mechner (creator of Prince of Persia, Karateka)
    “If OUYA delivers on the promise of being the first true open gaming platform that gives indie developers access to the living room gaming market, yes that is a great idea. We will follow the development of OUYA and see how it resonates with gamers. I could see all current Mojang games go on the platform if there’s a demand for it.” – Mojang (developer of Minecraft) ”
    Those are three major devs and regardless of how much more support it will get is already more than what you claimed. It is different and will have many people interested in it and what they can possibly do. just like the Nexus Q. I wouldn’t want that but devs are still going to mess with it and proof of it happening is on your site itself. but like Rootko said below ” it’s rootable, so in the worst case scenario it will do whatever we want (Nexus Q for 1/3 price)…”

  • Mike Culbertson

    Even if the only thing ever ported to this device is MAME, it would be well worth the $99.

  • http://www.facebook.com/keatonsh Keaton Hargreaves

    lol damn this dude is just filled with hate. pull your head out of your ass. maybe the OUYA wont work, but good on them for trying to make a cheap alternative to the big 3 in game consoles.

  • http://twitter.com/SpamStream lolwut

    That’s the risk with any gaming console; you can release it and new hardware will be available not too long after. This is a cool idea and will be a cool device; it could shift some paradigms. Give it a chance, particularly since you have zero basis/credentials for your argument.

  • http://hughisaacs2.googlepages.com/ Hugh Isaacs II

    You’ve overlooked one big part of this.

    Android has had native support for game controllers since Gingerbread.

    All developers have to do to support the OUYAs controller is utilize the built in gamepad APIs (which are supported by the Xperia Play and any Android device running Honeycomb or higher with a USB port, including Google TV boxes and Android tablets).

    This means that for many developers to support the OUYA, all it’d take is to upload their existing APKs.

    And for added emphasis, here’s a list of games that should already be compatible with the OUYAs game controls.

    Dungeon Defenders, Minecraft, King of Fighters Android, GTA III, Madden NFL 12, Tetris, Shadowgun, Zenonia, Zenonia 2, Zenonia 3, Zenonia 4, Asphalt 6: Adrenaline, Need for Speed: Shift, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus, No Gravity, Mass Effect Infiltrator, Dead Space, Max Payne Mobile, NOVA 2 all should work on the OUYA without any code changes.

    Even NESDroid, SNESDroid, and other emulators should work.

    And on the whole “not meant for big screens” argument, supporting big screens on Android isn’t as difficult as you make it sound, that’s a built in feature of the OS also and something that has been supported very early on.

  • http://www.geeknik.com/ geeknik

    It can be rooted. It can be hacked. It runs Android 4.0 but can also run any other OS that is compatible with the Tegra 3 chipset. $99 for something this cool is a steal and I’m glad to have wasted my money backing this project. Oh, and the Dreamcast still has games made for it, so what does that say about the failed console? =)

  • Michael Thompson

    Oh man, it’s the Pandora handheld all over again.
    So glad I canceled that pre-order back in the day.

    I have to agree. they should be looking into what’s NEXT to power this thing if possible.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.ford.7 Dominick Ford

    This makes complete sense. Cause it might come out in March of 2013 by then Tegra 3 will be ancient. I would rather have a snapdragon or Intel based system. By this tine next year we will have phones with 2Gb of ram by then. I’m glad someone is thinking.

  • Zenstrive

    The reason why developers want to go for OUYA? First: the all digital nature. Cue: Steam.
    Two: the freedom to be off the touchsceen interface design. Really, more actiony games with touch interfaces are…detrimental to mental health.
    Three: the hype.

  • BroodjeBami

    It looks like Kevin isnt going to discuss with you guys so Im going to do it.

    First of all let me say this: This article is an editorial and is his PERSONAL opinion. It looks like you guys all felt offended by this article and rather than saying ‘I disagree with you, Kevin’ everyone here is like ‘Omg Kevin, you’re a bad writer’ or ‘Kevin, I’ve lost my respect for you’. Seriously? So when I say ‘I think Bayern Munchen deserved to win against Chelsea’ all people in England will be like ‘You’re an idiot and need education’? Does that sound alright to you? Kevin posted his opinion, which may or may not have offended you, but it surely wasn’t on purpose, while your comments surely were trying to offend Kevin.

    Now second: I am NOT a phandroid fanboy. To be honest, Phandroid is about my 4th or 5th go-to Android site and I actually only read some of the news here, because other sites don’t cover all the news when it’s not that important. I just feel that you guys are being ridiculous by flaming his ass off on an editorial.

    Now third: I actually think Kevin is right. It won’t be a success. His arguments are not the arguments I would say, though he is right about one thing. The hardware will be outdated when they release this thing.
    Tegra 3 has already been out for like 6 months now and it will be even more outdated when they release this thing (March 2013). Actually, by the time they release this, NVIDIA would have probably already released the Tegra 4. So yes, this thing will be outdated before you know it.
    A lot of you argue that this doesn’t matter, but it surely does. Yes, on a phone, or even a tablet, an outdated Tegra 3 processor doesn’t matter but a GAME CONSOLE lasts LONGER than a phone or tablet. Why? The market is like that right now, and it won’t change for a while. Microsoft and Sony will soon release a new Xbox and Playstation, and if OUYA wants to compete, they have to play the same game.

    This is not the most important thing though. The most important argument that Kevin hasn’t mentioned is Google TV. Yes, he does mention Google TV a few times but he doesn’t explain that Google TV WILL NOT let OUYA take the market with Android. Android is a Google product, Google TV is an Android product. Google WANTS to sell their product. Saw what happened with the Kindle Fire? Even though IF this WILL be a success, it won’t last for long. Google won’t let OUYA build their own ecosystem. Google would update Google TV and their hardware to directly compete with OUYA. And OUYA will lose the game. Why? Because Google can quickly push out updates (see Jelly Bean) to let OUYA look even more outdated, get more developer support because they have more money and contacts and expand availability even more because, again, they have more money and contacts.

    You can tell me that OUYA will be a success. But please don’t try to tell me that Google will lose this battle.

  • Del373

    I stopped reading a paragraph or two in. But from what I did read, it sounds like Kevin doesn’t really understand that this device isn’t really intended as an android device per se, but a home gaming console which uses android as it’s platform. Just like the xbox uses windows as it’s platform.

    Looking at it from the perspective that it was intended to be viewed from, it will most likely do very well.

  • Sean Cronin

    I understand that a lot of people disagree with this article. However the main point of contention seems to be the $99 price point and how that makes it a good buy because if the indie games suck, at least it could be a great emulator. The new Vizio GTV box can do most everything this thing can. It’s android, so of course it’s hackable, you can sideload emulators easily, AND it comes with onlive support so you can play actual modern games on it. I’m cautiously hopeful this thing shakes up the market, but frankly I don’t see it happening.

  • Mental_Moose

    Even if most of your points should turn out to be correct (which I do not think will happen), I would still have an open Android box for 99$ on which I can run emulators and probably quite a lot of Android games with controller support, native or not.
    It is also very likely that it will make a great media center.
    On top of that I can most likely find a lot more uses for it by hacking. Most of the fun I have with almost all my devices come from hacking and modding.
    This, for me, is worth the price of admission alone, even if every other plan they had where to fail, so I do not see how I have wasted my money?
    No offence mate, but to me it seems like the biggest problem here is your imagination.

  • corybantic

    The only way that I would consider buying one is if you are able to download the classic gaming system emu’s and if there was a way to expand the memory. If I’m able to dl my emulators and load up my game roms, I would buy this in a heartbeat,only then would it be worth it.

  • servo36

    i thought the controller was touch sensitive like a track pad…

  • Mike McWay

    I also find this to be a poor editorial despite agreeing that this device won’t last long. The author misses the point that gaming on Android has the potential to be HUGE!! But why would I buy a new box for my tv when I could just as easily dock my Nexus 7 (or the next awesome tablet or phone with better hardware) and connect a Bluetooth controller for the same experience.

  • Carl Rood

    Most of the responses seem to be along the lines of “It’s a $99 Android product that I can hack to my heart’s content.”. None of this, including the article even addresses what a game console is all about.

    A game console is about high end, graphics intensive games that take full advantage of the console’s hardware. The games are huge because they have a ton of graphics and lots of levels. They take up DVDs and Blu-Ray discs and play by just putting the disc into the player. They’re not about the small, downloadable games that are available.

    How long would it take to download something like the next version of Halo or Grand Theft Auto, even at broadband speeds?

    Console games are only getting bigger, with more realistic movement, skin tones, hair, etc. These are things that are more noticeable on a 40″ screen than on a 7″ one.

    • http://twitter.com/SuperSlickITGuy SuperSlickITGuy

      “A game console is about high end, graphics intensive games”

      No it’s not. Otherwise the Nintendo Wii wouldn’t have been such a major hit. Consoles are about playing fun games and right now casual is at the top of the list.

  • http://twitter.com/SuperSlickITGuy SuperSlickITGuy

    This article would make sense if the specs were set in stone. But they
    aren’t. So that leaves this article as nothing more than complete
    nonsense. As I write this they have earned more than X4 of what they
    originaly wanted. Odds are, the specs will go up.

    I’m an iOS guy (which is odd because I fraking hate Apple but iOS kicks
    butt!) and as it stands I miss out on some of the Droid offerings. With
    this unit…not anymore. It doesn’t have to be balls to wall the
    best. It just has to run all the current droid software well.

    “I feel sorry for you.”

    Same to you pal.

  • thegodemperor

    I think you ignore the potential of game developer STUDENTS developing on it. And those students could make waves that make the Ouya popular for indie developers. You’re making some vast assumptions here.

    Sure it’s not like you can say it will be a success, but you can’t say it will be a waste of money either.

    This comes off as one big logical fallacy argument I see time and time again on the internet : argument from ignorance. At worst, it sounds like a hipster.

  • warcaster

    You’re so missing the point of OUYA, it’s not even funny. I’ll be here to call you out on it when OUYA turns into an amazing success, or at least forces Google to make such Google TV boxes, too.

  • http://www.geeksonhugs.com/ W. Anthony Tanas

    Do you guys really struggle so hard to come up with an angle to write about? There are obviously too many websites with wannabe writers trying to come up with content. I get the same feeling reading this that I get more and more reading on these sites. Just pure hot air.

    In this case we have a group of people bravely innovating and this yahoo just sits on the sidelines nay saying with absolutely no insight and no discernable argument. I don’t feel sorry for the investors but I do feel sorry for the author. My advice for him and the others struggling in the saturated mobile hot air market is this: just focus on reporting and save the opinion pieces when you have a rational and lucid argument to make.

  • http://www.geeksonhugs.com/ W. Anthony Tanas

    (duplicate sorry)

  • apLundell

    This “out of date hardware” argument can be applied to all consoles.

    When the XBOX 360 came out, was it equivalent to a top of the line
    gaming PC? No. It was already falling behind the day it hit shelves.
    (And it’s fallen a lot further behind in the years since then!)

    Despite what the advertisements sometimes say, being state of the art
    has never been the point of a set-top game console. The point is to
    have a fixed target that can be developed to. Now I’m not talking about
    exclusive titles, but I AM talking about a machine that will be in
    every major developer’s “Test machine collection”.

    The “no touch-screen controls” argument sounds persuasive, but it’s not
    really. It’s the easiest thing in the world to convert an app from an
    on-screen d-pad to an actual d-pad. No one would argue that there aren’t a LOT of Android games that would benefit from having their onscreen dpad replaced with a hardware dpad! And Android developers ALREADY have
    to deal with multiple control schemes if they want to accommodate
    phones with physical keyboards, and all those phones with wonky
    multi-touch.

    I’m not saying that OUYA will have an easy path to walk, quite the contrary. There’s a good chance they’ll fail completely. But the arguments made in this editorial are nonsense. They betray a lack of understanding of this project, consoles in general, and the android development community.

  • Edward Young Jr

    I bought it, and think it is a great deal. For a hundred bucks you get an open box, and bluetooth controller with touchpad to play around with. I’m also excited to see what indie and amateur developers will do with it. I never expected this thing to replace my PS3 (LOL), and they never advertised it to be.
    Another thing I don’t even think you can get a phone with this kind of hardware, an external wireless controller, and HDMI Adapter under $100 bucks without a contract.

  • cooleagle666

    Whether OUYA fails or not, I think the biggest thing to take from this is that people want a change. While I will agree with a little bit of both sides of the issue, I hope that the biggest part taken from all of this is change. The idea that the people will have a choice in the matter and be able to make what they think is fun is great. I have not met one gamer that is super excited about another CoD or other games that have almost the same exact engine coming out. People want change, and they want to be able to have a say in that change. I understand that the major gaming companies only make what is working,
    but taking a small leap to a fresh new idea won’t kill the consoles
    either. So while I am not comfortable in backing the project, I do have high hopes in it and the possibility to change the top 3 consoles into maybe taking a step back and rethinking what the consumer wants.

  • Luigi90210

    underpowered?
    the first xbox 360 had 256mb of ram and a 3.2ghz xenon processor with multithreading(this is a single core processor just FYI), and the newest xbox 360 have 512 mb of ram with the same cpu/gpu just they use less energy

    seeing as this is a quadcore processor(even though running at 1ghz im sure people will overclock it to 1.8ghz+) with 1gb of ram(lacking here but im sure they will change it) i think it will hold its own, will it compete with the xbox or ps3 HELL NO, i think this is more designed to compete with the wiiu more than the xbox 360 or ps3

  • Zenstrive

    Put emulators in it, it will be the console for all ages (up to PS1 games anyway)