You have to admire anyone willing to butt heads with the big boys of technology. That is exactly what a new innovative gaming platform is trying to do, and they want to do it with your money using the crowd-funding source Kickstarter. Ouya sounds crazy, but maybe in a good way.
Ouya is offering a low-cost gaming platform that is completely transparent. It seems a little unorthodox, but if you think about it, not really. Once upon a time, a programmer had an idea to develop an operating system that would give people something to build on. Part of the problem with the big boys is they like monopolize. This programmer saw that happening with Microsoft and decided to try to level the playing field by creating the Linux kernel.
Startup company Ouya has the same basic thought process. They are launching a game console that is open-source. Unlike Xbox or Wii, this console lets you do the developing. The goal is to give players a way to make their own games just like Linux users create applications and programs. As it turns out, that Linux kernel is the grandfather of the technology behind Ouya.
The idea is to open the door on gaming so it is not such a high-priced secret anymore. Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony have revolutionized consoles but refuse to let anyone play in their sandbox. Gamers use products designed for that platform with no hands-on developing. It is not just the idea that big companies have kept the door closed on these systems; they are also more and more mobile. The drawback of mobile is those tiny screens.
Julie Uhrman, head of Ouya, states they want a console that works with a television. Ouya is looking to attach a gaming system to all the high-res TVs out there. This not only improves the view, but it also changes the price on the unit, and besides, Uhrman says she just likes it that way.
Many other consoles work with televisions. Companies like Apple and Microsoft know as high definition technology improves more people will want to use it for gaming. It takes too long for the key players in the industry to develop products, however; look at AppleTV. It is time-consuming shutting all those doors.
Ouya doesn’t have that problem. They are not bothering with security. Uhrman says go-ahead walk-in, look around, grab a cup of coffee and build your own game. Making Ouya an open source platform saves time and money.
Ouya works on an Android-based system just like smartphones and tablet computers. Independent game developers are getting a gift that adds up to a simplistic and cost-effective way to improve existing games, as well as make new ones.
The first generation of Ouya will have a Tetra 3 quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB of storage, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Ethernet, as well as a few USB ports. The TV connection is HDMI to support up to 1080 HD. The wireless handset comes with analog sticks, d-pads and action buttons.
Large corporations spend billions planning and developing a new game system. Ouya is doing it for just a few million. Financing is always a problem with startups. Ouya had the additional challenge of not being sure the original concept would have consumer backing. The company went to crowd funding platform Kickstarter to find out if people were willing to prove their interest by donating to the project.
Uhrman noted in an interview for Venture Beat, the reception was nothing less than amazing. Just one day after putting up feelers on Kickstarter, Ouya had their answer in the form of $1,425,000 dollars of support. This is not Fortune 500 companies providing funding, it is the little people sitting around playing the games.
Ouya is coming out sometime around March of 2013 and estimated to cost a slick 100 dollars. It may not have all the pretty lines and fancy bells that systems like Xbox and Wii have, but for less money, consumers will do without them. What it does have is an open development platform, and that is exciting. You will find games you can play for free, or for almost no money. You can tinker and build all you want without sweating the licensing issues. Ouya is a little bit crazy, but in a good way.