Some of the biggest news to hit the world of tech and gaming in the past few months has been that of the Ouya. For those of you that don’t already know, Ouya is an Android-based video game console designed for use on TV sets in the living room. The concept behind the idea is to take back the TV from the major players in the game industry (Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft) and give it back to the people who care about it the most – the gamers themselves. The console is completely open source and ready to be messed with, hacked, and more, right out of the box. Perhaps the biggest splash of all is that the console is going to retail for a measly $99.99, ready to go, with a wireless Bluetooth controller included.
Ouya started collecting money through Kickstarter last year and finally, beginning at the start of April, began shipping out units to Kickstarter project backers. People who preordered the device after the Kickstarter ended will be getting theirs shipped out starting in late April, according to the developers. Finally the console will be going on sale to the general public in the middle of June, including availability at major retail outlets, like Target, Gamestop, and Amazon. All of this sounds pretty great right? That’s exactly what a lot of the geekier kids in the gamer world are thinking. The Ouya store is going to stock apps specifically designed to be used on the Ouya, it’s powered by an overclocked, fan-cooled Tegra-3 out of the nVidia camp, and it comes with onboard HDMI output capability. This is going to be something great…and it could really make some changes to the video game market as we know it now.
I’m not here to tell you about the Ouya though, there’s already plenty of information on the internet about that – check out Ouya’s website, or any tech blog on the planet for more information, – I’m here to talk about the splash that’s just beginning to happen now. The splash that’s just around the bend. Get ready folks, and brace yourselves for impact, because Ouya is starting to hit people’s houses, and the big boys are biting back. Just this morning I woke up and read this article over at Forbes. I’m totally fine with reading negative reviews about a product, that’s fine…but this is just ridiculous. Ouya is being smashed and docked points for things like “not having a great selection” and “having a buggy interface” – things commonly associated with a beta product. Well guess what people, the Ouya hasn’t launched yet. Part of the whole Kickstarter and preorder campaign was that you would receive your order before it went on sale to the general public. The actual launch date for the console is months away in June – cut it a little slack.
The other half of my frustration comes from people who are expecting the Ouya to completely destroy the major consoles. These people need to relax too, it certainly has a chance of being something great, absolutely notable, and definitely something to throw in the history books and hook up to your TV to unwind with some gaming. But don’t expect the impossible. It’s obvious that the games on the Ouya won’t have the graphical prowess of the major consoles – and especially not their next-gen counterparts. Make sure you understand what I’m saying though – that doesn’t mean the games are going to be any less fun – graphics don’t always correlate to how fun a game is…in fact they almost never do.
In the end, I just hope people can relax a little, take a step back, and understand what to expect. If we don’t overhype this thing there’s going to be very little disappointment…and that means less fodder for the cannons of those working hard to see this thing fail. If it’s going to fail, let it fail in its own respect, don’t let major companies take it down without giving it a chance. Keep an open mind, and try things for yourself before you blindly follow the media’s impressions of something. See how it feels for you, because in the end, how you feel about something it all that really matters.
Did you order an Ouya for yourself? Are you thinking about it? Are you interested in it? Do you hate it? Let me know in the comments. I love hearing what other people think about the newest devices on the market. Hit me up on Twitter @CallChrisNowor shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org – I promise to get back to you.
Image Credit: Courtesy of Ouya.TV; Ouya Press Kit