Will OUYA be vaporware?

Posted Aug 02, 2012 at 8:34 pm in Threads > Opinions

From +ian firth:

“Because we’ve seen this before (the Phantom console). We have a manager of GameFly launching a hardware company. There has been no angel investment, only Kickstarter. They don’t even have a website. Everything that has been shown to the public so far is poorly done 3d renderings with bad textures applied in Photoshop (dig that brushed aluminum).

Let’s look at marketing. “Cracking open the last closed platform: the TV”. The TV has never been a closed platform, it’s simply an output device, it’s a monitor. Most people use a monitor over a TV these days as they consume content from many sources. For those using a large HDTV in the living room we are still capable of routing any form of entertainment to it, and have been for many years.

Now developers. Big developers create games for platforms with tens of millions of users, not 50,000. There isn’t money in free, or F2P games with a market that small. Rovio made more money from their ad version than purchased version because 50 million people downloaded it. 50 million people aren’t going to buy a Ouya.

It’s a niche product for a hobby market (like the Raspberry Pi). 50,000 people have backed it, but 1 million Android phones are activated every day. That’s the market content creators are interested in.

If Ouya does manage to make it through manufacturing, and FCC approval, electrical approvals, patents, etc. then yes, it may fly. If developers can then spend next to zero dollars to add controller support to their Android mobile games and offerings it may work. But right now, current phones do everything it can do, and 500 million people already have one.

I’ll stand by this until the day the shroud is removed, and they show something, anything, that makes me believe it actually exists.”

  • NamelessTed

    I don’t know that it will be vaporware. It seems like there have been several developers in contact with the people making the Ouya. They also did an AMA on Reddit and have been quite vocal. OnLive even announced supporting the device. Not being funded certainly isn’t an excuse for the product not releasing.

    However, I don’t think the Ouya will matter at all in the real world. It is going to be a tiny blip on the radar once it finally comes out. It is a super niche product with a super niche user. A developer would have to be absolutely insane to develop an Ouya exclusive game. I don’t see a single feature that the Ouya can offer that won’t be available on other devices that will be out by early next year, or are already available right now.

    I am personally looking forward for the device to actually exist and release. I am going to laugh when it gets disappointing reviews and everybody who pledged one on Kickstarter will plug it in, use it once or twice before getting bored, and then only use it to stream Netflix or Hulu (if they don’t already have a different device that does it).

  • Sever

    if you read carefully, the games arent completely free to play. when they say free to play, they mean its free to download a demo of the game before you buy.

    and also, game devs dont have to develop titles specific for OUYA for them to work. all they have to do is develop titles for android 4.0 that is compatible with tegra3 hardware, with support for controllers. the version available on google play will also work on OUYA as it will run the same basic code for the same chip. so now devs can make games for tens of millions of people, plus the extra 50,000 OUYA backers at the same time without having to recode it in any way aside from adding controller support.

    the OUYA is a niche device, but its not like its a dead end device. so long as it runs android, theres no reason why any game on google play that runs on the tegra3 chipset wont be able to run on OUYA in the future.

    one can argue that it will flop since its chipset wont be the latest and greatest at the time of release, but honestly, how many games do you see on google play that only run on high end android hardware? how many of them are ‘quad core only’ or ‘tegra only’? high end devices are also considered a niche market. most consumers generally run cheap/midrange android phones as theyre more cost effective than high end devices. plus most games are designed to run on many different generations of hardware, otherwise, developers would be severely reducing the volume of sales of their apps and games. so even in a few years time when we start seeing kepler cores in a mobile SoC, im sure that the games will still run on tegra3 as well as mali400 and adreno 220/225s.

    another thing to keep in mind is that not everyone pre orders their games and consoles. if you go into an ebgames or gamestop, people only pre order games when there are incentives for pre ordering the game. otherwise, they’ll just wait until the device is released before purchasing. i would imagine OUYA would be the same. not everyone will preorder it whilst its on kickstarter, but im sure more people will buy it once its released as a physical console rather than as a concept down on a piece of digital paper.

    so honestly, i dont think we can judge the performance of a console just based on the kickstarter backers. we cant really judge anything right now. all we know is theyre releasing a kickass android device for a very cheap price, which is good enough to get a lot of people on board.

  • http://clarklab.net Clark Wimberly
  • Zagrash

    After a LOT of waffling over the last week, I decided to back this. If it even delivers half of what it’s promising, it will be a bargain at $100. And if it doesn’t, I guess I’m out $100, but at least only $100 =)

  • Phil

    I sure hope not, I know at least a couple of people who have pre-ordered it.

  • Vitti

    I’d rather pay $400 more and get a tablet that I can travel with. You can do much more with it (and it has a screen). With bluetooth and HDMI it essentially acts as a game console anyway. I am sure nothing they do software-wise, won’t be able to be used on other Android devices.

    • mojeda

      You are comparing apples to oranges, OUYA and Tablets are nothing alike. OUYA wasn’t meant to be a travel buddy nor was it meant to do everything a tablet can do, as tablets weren’t meant to sit next to your TV and act as a console.

      This is a budget solution for a game console or media server that anyone can get, plug in and go.

      I’d much rather use OUYA hooked up to my TV instead of my tablet because then it’s standalone from the hardware in my hands and I can now either use my tablet as a remote or reading books/news or anything else while having a movie playing on my OUYA.

      • rsanchez1

        He’s not really comparing apples to oranges, since both will be running essentially the same software. The only boost you’re getting with the Ouya is the controller, but then I would’ve much preferred a portable controller peripheral for phones/tablets than an Android console.

        Also, seems like a waste to have a movie playing and not pay attention to it.

  • Ash

    I backed the Ouya, and the way I looked at is: For $100 even if the system only delivers on its media features, it’s more than competitively priced. If it delivers on its media and gaming features, than it’s certainly not a bad investment. If it delivers on none of the above I still have an open-source toy to play with that might be steeply priced vs. a $35 Rasberry Pi, but isn’t an awful loss by any means.

    If the thing never ever ships and vanishes into the ether then… lesson learned? lessons are valuable, right?

  • Fugu

    I bought in at $125 for the additional controller. I doubt it’ll make a huge difference in the games sector but I think the price is worth it just for the hardware. And most likely the hacking dev community will have bought into it to so I expect ROM ports and hacks to be fairly readily accessible. If anything it’ll end up a neat piece of hardware to fiddle with. I fully expect the hardware to ship.

  • aranea

    For me it is a more exciting option as a streaming device and a console where kids can play with instead of the expensive phone or tablet than a decided console. Right now it seems like a viable option too. Yes there is google tv box but this is cheaper than or on par with some options. With added bonus of games.

  • joe

    I made a pre-order, seems to me this is a bargain at $100. sure, it’s not going to be a mainstream console (not based on what i’ve seen so far) but I’m far more interested in hacking it anyway. seems to me it is sort of a halfway point between pc gaming and console gaming. has the openness and potential upgradeability of a pc, but the added benefit of not having to sit at a desk with a mouse and keyboard in order to play. I think they have a winner here!