With the Microsoft XBOX One officially announced, are Google TV and OUYA in trouble?

You can read more about the Xbox One over at our sister site XboxOneDaily.com for all the latest updates, news, rumors and information about Microsoft’s latest brain child. Don’t forget to visit XBOXForum.com to discuss all of today’s announcements with your gaming peers!

In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock the past 24 hours or so, Microsoft made a very major announcement today. It’s the XBOX One, a home entertainment console that’s supposed to change the way we consume our content like never before. With enhanced Kinect integration, great next-gen hardware, an impressive dashboard and deep TV integration, Microsoft is really raising the bar.

xbox-one-set

So now it’s all laid out onto the table. Microsoft has given folks who are interested in the likes of OUYA’s gaming console or the Google TV platform a very big reason to sit up and take notice. Microsoft has never been one to shy away from its desire to dominate the living room, with its current console — the Xbox 360 — getting new video and music features every day.

Xbox is no longer about gaming: it’s about entertainment as a whole. The Redmond company wants your dollars, your eyes, your ears and your attention more now than it ever has before. And to say there isn’t reason for any competitors to be sweating bullets would be just shy of a lie: millions of customers pay Microsoft $60 annually to be able to access these features through Xbox Live.

So should Google and its hardware partners be scared? Was there more to why El Goog decided not to make much noise about Google TV at its developers’ conference last week? Let’s explore.

Can OUYA survive?

While the big three kongs in console manufacturing — Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft — have no problem with market penetration based on sheer history, what the folks behind OUYA were able to pull off in grassroots fashion was nothing short of astounding. Here was a Tegra 3, Android-based gaming console that promised to be a formidable companion for anyone’s entertainment center.

Much to the chagrin of Kevin, who once argued that the OUYA was over-hyped and a bad investment, it has garnered huge interest to date, including a successful Kicktarter campaign that enticed over 63,000 people to pledge over $8.5 million in funds. The subsequent $15 million raised by the company earlier this year makes it feel all that much bigger. But what, exactly, was the driving force behind that huge following and backing?

ouya-console2

Some might argue the price, first and foremost. It’s true: if you tell someone they can have a gaming console for just over $100, their eyes will probably widen and they’ll immediately scamper abut to find their checkbooks. Indeed, OUYA gives folks a chance to experience console-quality gaming without much of an initial down payment. But is an attractive price tag enough to stave off the eventual tidal waves that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will bring?

Don’t get me wrong — Tegra 3 is a fantastic SoC, and it can produce some lovely results with the right developers, but the hardware going inside these new consoles will allow developers to do things they might not have ever imagined just 5 years ago. It’s why even with a sizable fanbase and a ridiculous amount of interest, the OUYA hasn’t gained the interest of many big publishing entities.

That’s not to say there aren’t any significant names getting behind it — we’ve already heard of some OUYA-exclusive titles that are being worked on by industry veterans responsible for some of the top games out there — but tough luck trying to sell the likes of EA and Activision on the idea of developing for it. You needn’t look any further than the situation the Wii U is currently suffering in trying to attract third-party support for its uninspiring performance capabilities.

Gunslugs OUYA hands-on

EA, Activision and many others simply aren’t committed to the console, one that is very capable and introduces some of the most unique gameplay elements you can find in the industry. The motives might be a bit different from one company to the next (here’s looking at you, EA) but if you can’t sell a publisher on a fanbase of multiple millions for a console by the established name Nintendo has made for itself, it’s going to be even tougher to get them behind OUYA in any meaningful capacity.

Perhaps that won’t matter, because that’s probably not who OUYA is after anyway. OUYA has always been synonymous with being open and friendly for small-time developers and studios, which is a crowd that is largely independent. The games console will give budding developers a chance to get their titles onto a platform for heightened exposure among the crowd who doesn’t need to play a new AAA game every week. We just can’t help but to question whether that crowd is big enough to keep OUYA from being overshadowed by what the Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 are promising to bring to the table.

Google needs to respond, like, yesterday

Of course, Google’s interest doesn’t stop with OUYA. The Google TV platform has been slow to take off, and while the company has taken moderate strides to advance it as of late there hasn’t been much significant movement. We all assumed Google TV would have a bigger role at IO, with the company assuring developers that some news would be in tow.

That particular promise wasn’t broken — Google TV did, in fact, receive some attention — but it wasn’t what we expected. To be honest, I’m not sure what we were supposed to expect to begin with. Google has been getting by with a hodgepodge of partners committing to products, including the likes of LG with their Smart TVs, and ASUS with its latest set-top box (read the ASUS CUBE review). But as Logitech wouldn’t hesitate to tell anyone, the Google TV market isn’t quite moving at a breakneck pace right now.

ASUS-CUBE-2

Google wants to be on anything and everything for one reason — to drive search. It’s the company’s number one money maker when you factor in ads, and it’s the one thing that the company has always gotten right. The market for smart televisions is vastly different, though.

Microsoft has shown a certain ability to woo content providers, getting them to agree to deliver all the engaging content they can through a gaming console. Whether it be through the many video and music apps currently available on the Xbox 360 or through Microsoft’s vast on-demand movie and TV show collection, the company just seems better geared toward this stuff. It’s almost a completely 180-degree turn from where Google is, with a lot of content providers still hesitant to get in bed with the internet company.

Google has made key strides within the past year, offering up a huge collection of music, movies, and TV shows through the Google Play Store, but there’s still a ton of ground that needs to be made up before it can catch up to the likes of Microsoft.

The Xbox One is already threatening Google’s very domain, with the ability to integrate live TV with the console’s other functions. This essentially becomes your set-top box, your gaming console, your smart TV, your music playing device, and your movie player in one package. You can use Kinect commands to effortlessly switch between TV and gaming, or you can even go with a side-by-side approach with the ability to pull up Skype or Internet Explorer alongside your content using Snap Mode.

xbox one guide

If Google was waiting to see what Microsoft or any other major players in the set-top box entertainment space might bring before dropping its own megaton, now is the time to show us something… anything. The notion that Google might have been holding back on Google TV to see what others might be bringing could be seen as a bit of a stretch, especially when the company’s biggest competitor in mobile — Apple — continues to take decent steps with the Apple TV platform.

It’s also not Google’s modus operandi: as the existence of Google Glass confirms, Google is the one company who isn’t afraid to take chances, and as we see with Android we certainly know they’re not incapable of innovating. With that, we hope Google isn’t just sitting idly by while its other nemeses are making a major play for living rooms of entertainment lovers everywhere.

Uphill Battle

To be quite honest, Microsoft showed a lot in their brief unveil to get me more excited for the Xbox One than consoles like OUYA or any Google TV products to date combined. I’m not just talking from a games standpoint, either — I’m talking about entertainment as a whole. Microsoft already won me over in all facets of entertainment with what the Xbox 360 currently provides, and the Xbox One makes the gap even more wide for anyone who is looking to compete in the living room.

Some have given Google the benefit of the doubt until now, rationalizing by saying there just isn’t a big market for this sort of stuff. I beg to differ, and I am willing to bet my bottom dollar that Microsoft is going to prove naysayers wrong with the advent of the Xbox One once it launches later this year.

Like Android, Google’s strategy of providing a manufacturer-agnostic platform is noble and it helps OEMs like the aforementioned ASUS and LG provide their own smart TV experiences, but as it stands the platform is being outclassed at every turn and Google can’t hold off on picking up the pace much longer. Are you feeling a bit envious of would-be Xbox One owners after seeing what Microsoft is doing to transform the living room?

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  • http://twitter.com/darcmasta Joel Vasallo

    When I see Time Warner or Comcast give up their cable box…I’ll believe it. AppleTV couldn’t do it. GoogleTV couldn’t do it. Xbox One won’t be any different. If I wanted to watch the Price is Right all day ill go to my grandmother’s house.

    • http://www.phandroid.com Quentyn Kennemer

      Microsoft already has a partnership with at least one major cable provider, and with these companies making apps available on consoles every day I don’t think it’s all that wrong to suggest others could fall in line in due time.

      • RitishOemraw

        They either fall in line or get left behind.
        With youtube subscriptions I think they will wake up and see the oppertunity they have been missing….it will still take a while but they will take a new route one way or another….

      • Brian S.

        I hate it when Phandroid posts articles with things like “are Google TV and OUYA in trouble?”

        You know godamn well they’re not in trouble. Dafaq you posting that for? To stir the pot? Quentyn Kennemer.

        • Brian S.

          What were talking about here is really android as a whole vs Microsoft (or whoever) to be clear

    • Covert_Death

      it doesn’t replace a cable box…. its HDMI passthrough, meaning you still NEED your cable box

      • http://twitter.com/darcmasta Joel Vasallo

        Blah look at me looking like an ASSuming idiot…sorry all. Good point on that Covert. :)

    • BulletTooth_Tony

      Roku did it….

      • http://www.facebook.com/vanminh.nguyen.73 Văn Minh Nguyễn

        Microsoft Mediaroom you mean, they own 25% of the global market, Roku isn’t even close, and Microsoft Mediaroom has much more functionality, it’s a shame to see it go to Ericsson, though.

        • BulletTooth_Tony

          No. I mean Roku. Roku streams the entirety of Time Warner’s TWCTV IP channels… which the OP said they weren’t willing to do.

  • Dan

    Interesting, but I’m still not convinced. I’ll wait on the sidelines and see how this goes.

  • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

    Android is still king of cheap. Xbox One will probably retails for around $600-$700 unless Microsoft REALLY wants to get aggressive and sell them at a major loss. This new Kinect doesn’t look cheap.

    Can’t beat a $100 OUYA for casual games, or $100 ASUS Cube for smart TV functionality (of course, it’s obvious none of them compare to the experience the Xbox One brings to the table).

    • FidelityNy

      $500 one time fee, or $300 on the same payment plan that the Xbox 360′s have. It won’t be above $500, it’s common sense.

      • Mr ilheis

        I agree with this statement One-Hundred. ;-)

    • scoter man1

      They won’t charge the actual price to build the console though. They never do. They take a loss and rape you with the prices of games and accessories to make their money back.

  • BigCiX

    I’m buying this because of “A game series” not tv. If Ghost is released when the One is released then Microsoft has my pesos coming their way. If not my pesos will go towards a Nexus 5. Damn Christmas time is going to get expensive!!!!

    • enomele

      the ghosts presentation left me wondering what the hell engine they are using. it doesn’t look any better than BF3 on PC.

      • BigCiX

        It’ll be polished up by the time its released.

        • Covert_Death

          it was already “polished up” and glorified with CG, none of that was gameplay, it was all cinematic filters

  • Mix

    OUYA is dead before it even started. I’m a huge Android and Google fan but the games on OUYA look outdated and the more companies like Samsung create options to see your smartphone screen on a television monitor the less attractive OUYA becomes. I see very little value in OUYA even with the initial interest of the product.

  • Buttfucker iSheep are BUTTHURT

    From what I’ve read the X1 has more cons than pros, so no I don’t think OUYA and the mobile market its threatened.

    • http://www.phandroid.com Quentyn Kennemer

      What, exactly, are the cons? Not saying there aren’t any, but I question just how much impact they’d have on anyone looking to buy one. If it’s the used games protection and constant Kinect connection required, those hardly seem like anything to be on the fence about.

  • Ph4nthomWraith

    I am a cable cutter so streaming content across all my stuff is important. I am also a huge fan of what I can get from my Xbox and will be getting the One as soon as I can. However, I still will buy most of my content on Google Play, and Google TV, simply because I can access it more easily across all of my devices and TVs. If I was a die-hard Apple fanboy I’m sure I would buy everything through iTunes and AppleTV.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708741524 Robb Nunya

      Honestly, if MS got rid of the Gold Charge on XBOX live, I’d use it a lot more. I refuse to pay $60 a year to be able to pay Netflix $8 a month. It’s just a peeve of mine. It’s definitely not the amount, but since I don’t do a lot of multiplayer gaming on XBOX, I don’t see the reason when the Google TV is a much nicer interface that runs a LOT more apps (not as many games of course)

      • Ph4nthomWraith

        I agree. If you don’t have a use for the Xbox Live services, it’s just $60 that you can invest elsewhere, such as going to pay for part of a Google TV product. However, both my wife and I game online so we get our money’s worth out of the service.

      • spicymeatball

        Microsoft needs to cut that old business practice if they want to take over the living room. PS3 doesn’t make you pay for network enabled capabilities. In this day and age of apps and ubiquitous internet access it’s really the equivalent of blackberry charging for mobile email access on their phones. Way past time to change.

  • RitishOemraw

    I don;t really care about the OUYA or the Xbox One until either one of those gets a zelda or metroid game……besides those I don’t spend much on ‘console’ games.

    But seeing as the OUYA is targeting a different crowd with a different tactic I think they won;t face direct competition and might just be here to stay….they’d be more worried if Google releases a nexusified GTV

    • scoter man1

      Those are Nintendo… so basically you’ll never care.

      • ari_free

        I never cared about Nintendo games…

      • RitishOemraw

        Or if the PS, OUYA, Xbox get a title/franchise that I like just as much as the Zelda franchise or, more ambitiously, as the metroid franchise.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708741524 Robb Nunya

      Can’t the OUYA run emulators?

      • RitishOemraw

        Probably…but it won’t ever be on par with current nintendo consoles and handhelds…..the dualscreen tech in DS/3DS uses proprietary tech as far as I know and as such will take quite some time before being able to be emulated.

        The wii/wiiU has the motion sensing controllers and all those peripherals (balance board and other stuff I don’t use)….but the gamepad of the wiiU….yeh…that will be tricky like the DS dual screen….especially when nintendo finally allows multiple gamepads to connect to a single wiiU

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708741524 Robb Nunya

          Well sure… but for a Metroid/Zelda fix, it’s sufficient. Well, sufficient for me. You may have higher standards. :D

  • scoter man1

    IMHO, OUYA never had a chance, so I guess you could say it didn’t hurt it. I feel like Google TV could still have a chance because it isn’t exactly the same thing. People like myself that don’t care about consoles would probably consider it.

    • ari_free

      All Ouya has to do is make its kickstarter fans happy. But I think girl gamers will go for it big time. My sister was never into games when she was a kid as the games at the time never appealed to her. But her 9 year old daughter now plays tons of games. No, don’t say Nintendo. That’s just for kids. I think there’s a lot of older girls who will want something more sophisticated but without the same old Call of Duty blow up everything in 3D stuff.

  • JMcGee

    In the end, there can be only One?

    Nah, open will win out in the end. It’s just a matter of time. If not this generation, then next.

  • http://profiles.google.com/jansen.jeff Jeff Jansen

    I really like Google TV’s video input capability, and I’m glad to finally see it in a higher profile device. I hope this makes the space more competitive and really gets some improvements going.

    • http://smartic.us bryanl

      If it does this, then I’d hope to get a Plex client and maybe a youtube. That would replace about 90% of what I do with a Google TV.

      • Luxferro

        There’s already plex for windows 8, so it’s pretty much already done, since the xbox one is part windows.

  • Crimsonshadow774

    You mean the X-Flop rip off HTC’s name?

  • Donanfer Montoya

    No one here has mentioned the possibility of the PlayStation 4 coming with Google TV built in to allow Sony the ability to compete if not top the XBOX One. Sony has already been a Google TV partner in the past with buddy boxes, TVs, and Bluray players so it can make sense that they have the capability to incorporate it into the PS4! Just a dream of mine I guess but wouldn’t it be cool?!!!

    • spicymeatball

      That would be very cool!

    • ari_free

      If anyone can do it for google TV it would be Sony. But Sony wants locked games and not the open development that a google/ouya box would offer.

  • alex

    red ring of death to unite them all!!!!

    • Alankrut Patel

      They removed the ring in this version :-P

      • http://www.facebook.com/vanminh.nguyen.73 Văn Minh Nguyễn

        Finally, that Red Ring was the Nr. 1 reason I didn’t own an Xbox 360, well that and being a PlayStation aficionado.

        • Alankrut Patel

          The systems built after 2008, could be 2009, have a chip inside which fixes the RROD issue. I waited till they manufactured those and now im more than satisfied with my current Xbox

  • Guest

    Ouya has never even tried to compete with Xbox or the PS3. It is targeted at people who love android.

    Also, just looking at the pricing, the ouya is clearly targeted at people looking for something that will be fun but not a large investment rather than something cutting edge like a new console.

  • portezbie

    It seems rather silly to compare them. The Ouya has never tried to compete with the major consoles. Thus the drastically lower price.

  • Craig S.

    Google TV is just too flaky from OEM to OEM… My Hisense Pulse keeps crashing/freezing every time i tap the Live TV button on the remote to the point where I have to reboot it every time and it shouldn’t be that way… I’m holding out for a XBOX Lite/Roku hybrid running Windows 8 RT at this point…

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      I absolutely hate Google TV on my LG television. It’s such a horrible experience, I honestly wish I opted for the version without :/

      • http://www.facebook.com/vanminh.nguyen.73 Văn Minh Nguyễn

        I went with Microsoft Mediaroom, but Microsoft is selling it, so I don’t think I want ”an Ericsson T.V.”, but from what I’ve seen at my friend’s house, Google T.V. is worse than what Ericsson can do to my platform.

  • Taylor Oberst

    I think Google may be trying to keep their focus on getting Google TV integrated into more TV’s and less on making a separate unit. If OUYA does pretty good in attracting simple gamers there could be a good chance in Google buying them out and turning it into a Google TV/OUYA device. I see Xbox and Playstation users as power gamers, people who want the latest and greatest graphics and online action. Android gamers are those who play on the web, and on their devices, which is the direction Google is recently taking with their new games API and social integration.

  • Cesar Ortiz

    Are there any other Android tv boxes that are good as the ASUS Cube? :P just curious…

    • spicymeatball

      I think Sony’s offering is better. More money but better. Cube has some missing io choices so it won’t work with my sound bar and tv setup.

  • Caffiend

    If Google could just leverage a way for consumers to “cut the cord” so to speak, they would own. Instead of basically being a skin for cable and satellite television, they should really blend the Boxee’s and TiVo’s and Roku’s of the world while keeping it Google. In my mind it’s a huge pipe dream, but Apple TV is coming close, Google TV could knock it out of the park here while keeping Mico$oft and Apple in check.

  • LiiIiikEaBau5

    Yeah everything Android will survive, becuase we are faithful! New Xbox will fail like Windows 8…this rubbish xbox reminds me this…
    http://welectronics.com/VCR/VC-A50.jpg

  • spicymeatball

    As long as there is a gold charge(paying for network apps and functions) for xbox it will remain a gaming console.

  • Jonathan Hayes

    this is one of the dumber submissions by phandroid.. ouya in trouble by x1? they’re two completely different types of devices. Ouya is in trouble by a million other devices.. Pretty much every tablet that is faster then ouya puts it at risk.. On top of increasingly powerful smartphones.. If Ouya was going to get beat down by any console, i’d say it would get beat down by either the Wii U, or the Ps4, or a combination of those.. X1 is more for people who want the extra media features, which Ouya doesn’t compete with.. On the gaming side, Ouya loses real quick. We got tegra 4 comin up.. -_- plus the current Ouya isn’t even as fast as current gen tablets.. Which is why it’s only $99. Still not worth it.. Older people are goin to buy the Ouya for their grand kids.. thats about it

  • ari_free

    It’s about the games, guys. People want real games with amazing graphics and not just phone games on their TV.

  • http://bit.ly/plusrichard Richard Soper

    Google TV should be worried. Ouya, not so much. Ouya offers something that no console does: AFFORDABLE GAMING! XBOX and PS4 cant touch the price range Ouya will

  • Joshua Peters

    Google has t.v’s?

  • jfelts

    The only thing I want to know is if the PS4 will have group friend chat like the Xbox 360 has. That will probably make my decision on which console I will get.

  • Tim

    The only thing they have that Android doesn’t right now is a Blueray drive. It will be awesome when an Android tablet finally gets one. There a ocean of content that will never be in the cloud…

  • http://twitter.com/eliter1 eliter1

    Why do we keep comparing the OUYA to the big 3 mayor consoles? The OUYA is only $100 but you can’t compare the games that you can play on the big 3 with the games you can play on the OUYA. Console games cost tens and hundreds of millions of dollar to make and the best game you can play on the OUYA cannot compare to that. When I first got my iPhone and then my Galaxy Note I bought too many games that I played for 10-15 minutes and then never played again and I really hate playing games on my smartphone nowadays. If I want to play a portable game I use my 3DS XL. Yes, games are more expensive but they are “games” not just 10-15 minute time wasters, for the most part.

    Google TV on the other hand is in trouble. It promised a lot but I do not feel it was delivered what most of us thought or hoped it would be. If I had to give my money to someone it would be Microsoft.

  • emajem_666i

    Quentyn,
    This is a great article. You’ve been writing some really awesome pieces lately. Well thought out, lots of linka/sources, good logical reasoning, etc. Just wanted to commend you on this and let you know you’re doing an awesome job! Keep it up brother.

  • godrilla

    xbox one epic fail!

  • http://www.facebook.com/vanminh.nguyen.73 Văn Minh Nguyễn

    Microsoft HAD Microsoft Mediaroom, which already outsold Google T.V. and was more popular, but they sold it to Ericsson so they can ”fully concentrate on the Xbox”, if the Xbox One doesn’t feature D.V.R. which I can stream to either my Windows Phone or Windows P.C. I’ll become a Google-Fanboy and start using my Android phone again and purchase a Chromebook.

  • guest

    people at Microsoft “hmmm… that new HTC One phone really did well in both branding and quality. I got it! How about we call it Xbox One.”

  • thatcrazyone

    well this settled it for me, i will be waiting for the Xbox One for sure!

  • vawwyakr

    All I really need is an Android device that supports a TV tuner, Blu-Ray drive, and DVR functionality. Android already supports gamepads and wireless input. Maybe make a streamlined TV friendly launcher and you’re done. Make it and sell it. I’d buy two for sure (one for each TV to replace the Media Center PCs that are there now). It makes not sense why this shouldn’t be simple, cheap and a huge seller. I’m not sure what else we would need to make this a success and I am absolutely baffled as to why it hasn’t happened yet.

  • TadeoNYC

    The biggest danger to OUYA is OUYA. if they continue to ship backers defective controllers and trying to hide that from the public, they will face a huge vote of no confidence from both their backers and developers. Read their own forum for developers, people are upset that games they worked on for months are unplayable with the controllers some have received and those users may blame the game and not the controller.

  • Rauel Crespo

    I’m in all honestly, more bullish on the Ouya than I am on the Xbox One, which just looks like a giant invasion of privacy with needless DRM.

  • Wonderbird

    I LOVE my OUYA! Hook up a KillaWatt and do the math… An OUYA can easily pay for itself through electric bill savings simply by streaming at less than 10 WATT power draw. Add in XBMC as your home media center and things start to look even better. That is BEFORE loading a single game… The OUYA ALREADY HAS a browser FAR superior to the one on the PS3.
    What I am REALLY looking forward to is what hackers may start building with it BEYOND just games. Think of it as the “bic lighter” of computers… Want another computer? – just plug in another OUYA instead… I could easily see it as a way to give the kids an internet capable device without having to spend days babysitting the steaming pile of software masquerading as an operating system on most “desktops.”

  • Luke Brickner

    Im pretty sure Ouya and Microsoft really dont give a damn about one another. They appeal to completely different markets. Yes there all gamers, but I wouldn’t play a XBone if you gave it to me (straight to Ebay). Xbox vs Ouya is like Plane vs Car. If I want to cross the sea Ill take the Xbox, If I want a relaxing trip to the beach, Ill use an Ouya. this is the dumbest attempt at a console war Ive ever heard. Is Microsoft going to strap a screen to the top of that brick to fight the 3Ds? NO! SO STOP COMPARING APPLES AND ORANGES