OUYA said out to redefine console gaming, and they are well on their way. Here’s another way that the company plans to do things differently: yearly updates to hardware. CEO Julie Uhrman continues her PR tour as the first OUYA consoles are prepped to ship in March to early backers of the project, revealing that the console’s cycle will be based more on mobile strategy, not the traditionally long lifecycle of hardware like the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
We would have been more surprised if she had announced something the other way around. With hardware based on mobile technology, running an operating system meant for mobile devices, it would be a disservice to not provide customers with the option to purchase a refreshed console every year. After all, the first-generation is powered by the already outdated Tegra 3 platform. Gamers will be hungry for a Tegra 4 upgrade in no time.
Aside from the $99 price tag, OUYA will make it easy for customers to upgrade by linking their game library to the user, not the system. Games will be backwards compatible, meaning switching over to the latest hardware should be as easy as entering a few account credentials.
After reaching buyers who backed the project on Kickstarter, a first batch of general pre-orders will arrive in April. A second round of OUYA consoles is set to launch in June with availability both online and in stores such as Best Buy and Gamestop.