25
Jun
Ot

The Ouya bandwagon was overloaded when it exploded onto Kickstarter. A $99 game console running Android with a wireless controller? It sounded too good to be true. People threw cash at the company, begging to have a developer unit bestowed upon them. Even then, as Ouya was rocketing toward its eventual $8.6 million haul, there were murmurs of concern. Could this really work? Would developers embrace this odd little device and free us from the hegemony of traditional consoles?

Ouya 1

Early reviews were not very favorable, but now the device has arrived. Is it any better now that you can buy it?

Ouya Specs

  • CPU/GPU: Nvidia Tegra 3 Quad-core 1.7GHz, 520MHz Nvidia GeForce ULP
  • RAM: 1 GB DDR3
  • USB: 1 USB 2.0, 1 microUSB
  • Video output: HDMI 1.4, 1080p or 720p resolution
  • Audio output: HDMI (ARC), 5.1 or 2.0 channel
  • Internal storage: 8 GB flash memory
  • Networking and Wireless: 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth LE 4.0
  • Size: 75×75×82 mm (3.0×3.0×3.2 in)
  • Weight: 300 g (11 oz)
  • Codecs: Hardware 1080p MPEG-4 AVC/h.264 40 Mbit/s High-Profile, VC1-AP, and DivX 5/6 video decode
  • OS: Android 4.1 (Jellybean) with custom Ouya UI

The Good

  • Attractive design
  • Compact and quiet
  • Easy paring of controllers
  • Huge modding potential
  • All games have free demos
  • Fast setup
  • UI lag seems fixed
  • Controller is improved from earlier version
  • Sideloading Android games can extend usability
  • Includes an HDMI cable

The Bad

  • Controller trackpad is awful
  • Android skin wastes a lot of space
  • Some common operations require diving into advanced settings
  • Game selection is still very poor
  • No Play Store
  • Many games have noticeable lag
  • Some Play Store ports are more expensive on Ouya
  • Sideloaded games often don't perform well, or work at all
  • 8GB of storage before USB expansion becomes necessary

Console Hardware

The Ouya, as you’re probably aware, is a small cube about 3 inches on a side. The bottom third is rounded off slightly and tapers down to a round, rubberized base. On the top is a large clicky power button. The entire device is plastic, but it actually looks and feels fairly nice, not that you’ll spend a lot of time fondling the console itself.

I have noticed that the Ouya gets extremely hot while in use. It’s so toasty that it becomes uncomfortable to touch just idling. The upshot, it’s completely silent. Most real consoles sound like a small aircraft taking off next to your TV. I have some concerns that this does not bode well for long-term durability, though.

Ouya 3

Around back are the ports where you’ll connect everything. There is the power adapter, a full USB port, microUSB, ethernet, and HDMI. Thankfully, the Ouya comes with an HDMI cable. I don’t know why that’s still a rarity, but it is. Everything seems to click into place very well and stays put. No complaints about that.

I think the Ouya folks did a killer job making this device look understated and kind of neat. I wouldn’t feel at all weird having it sit on my component stand.

The internal specs aren’t worth going into great detail on. You can check out the full spec list above for the point-by-point. I will say the Tegra 3 chip was an understandable decision when Ouya was conceived, but I suspect it’s going to hold the device back.

Ouya 2

Tegra 3 came with a lot of promises for near-console quality graphics. Some of the THD games do look good, but Tegra’s performance has never been all that competitive with other top chips. There are times the Ouya lags to an unacceptable degree in many games (more on that in the software section below). Some of the blame there has to fall on NVIDIA’s shoulders.

On the subject of RAM – 1GB should be enough for the Ouya. It doesn’t really multitask. Once you leave a game it closes. However, the 8GB of storage only leaves you with about 6GB of accessible space.

The Controller

I’ll start by saying I am fully cognizant that I’m talking about a $99 console. At $99 you can’t expect an amazing wireless controller. With my expectations tempered, I don’t hate the Ouya’s controller.

This is a fairly standard Bluetooth device with dual analog sticks. You can pair up to four controllers to the Ouya for multiplayer. It looks a little closer to an Xbox 360 controller than a PS3 unit. It smartly uses the staggered thumbsticks design, for example. However, the thumbsticks are a little troublesome for me. They are incredibly stiff and a bit jerky once you do get them moving. It feels off when compared to a DualShock 3 or 360 pad.

Ouya Controller 1

Again, I know those aren't expensive controllers. I’m not trying to tell you the Ouya is supposed to be as good. These issues will affect how well you play games on the console, though, so it’s a relevant comparison.

The Ouya controller has four buttons on the right face, and they aren’t bad. The tactile feedback is reasonably good, but they’re slightly loose. I have nothing redeeming to say about the d-pad on the opposite side. This should be the easiest part of the design, but it’s mushy and has poor feedback.

On the top edge are two shoulder buttons and two triggers. The buttons are clicky and actually quite solid. The triggers feel tight, but there’s too much travel. They work well enough, but triggers are hard. Even the DualShock 3 has famously questionable triggers.

In the middle of the Ouya controller we find the connection/home button and trackpad. The button can be pressed to pull up menus in some apps, and double-pressed to go back to the Ouya’s main menu. The trackpad brings up a mouse cursor, which is essential for operating some settings and apps.

I’m torn on the subject of the trackpad. On one hand I’m thankful to have it because it makes fooling around with software easier, but it’s awkward and the sensitivity is terrible. The trackpad is only occasionally responsive to taps, and cursor control is always very shaky.

Ouya Controller 2

The overall device feels solid, but cheap. If you’ve ever used one of those budget Mad Catz knockoff controllers before, that’s basically what this one is like. The buttons work, though, and the controller is totally usable.

Part of the inexpensive vibe it gives off comes from the battery compartments. The silver sections of the controller come up, and a AA battery goes into each side. A rechargeable li-ion cell would have been better, but this far from the biggest issue we have to contend with.

The Ouya Software

The Ouya runs on Android 4.1.2, but you’d never know just looking at it. The UI has a stripped down, almost Windows Phone vibe. There are large sans serif headers, blocks of text, and offset grids of tiles. The gradient backgrounds could do with some work, though. They exhibit some banding, even in screenshots.

Oui1

We were told by Ouya that this is the final launch software. There might be a small firmware update right after launch, but this is pretty much it. You can’t get into the main interface until you create an Ouya account. Then you’re asked for billing information right up front (you can bypass this). All the games have free demos, but they really want you to be making impulse purchases from the start.

From the main menu you’ve got Play, Discover, Make, and Manage. The fact that Make gets its own top-level item should tell you this is still a developer-oriented time for Ouya.

The Play menu contains all the games you’ve gotten from the Ouya store. Discover is the actual Ouya store, but I’m not sure why Discover seemed more descriptive to the designers. Make is where you can get to the build information, all the software you’ve sideloaded, and the browser.

oui4 oui90

Manage is basically the portal to the Android bits. There are various network settings and notifications in the Ouya interface, but the Advanced sub-menu pulls up the stock Android settings. From here you can take a closer look at what’s going on with the console.

I feel like some of the information in the Advanced menu should be exposed in Ouya’s UI – it’s too barren as it is. Case in point, I had no idea I was almost out of storage until I ventured into the Advanced area and noticed my predicament. The Ouya also decided at one point to turn its audio all the way down, and the only way to fix it was to go into the Advanced menu and restore it in the Android system settings.

The software is responsive in most places, but I have noticed some hitches in loading the game list. This isn't a deal breaker, and it's vastly improved from older software builds. There is also no detectable controller lag, though I'm not sitting very far from the console.

Games, Or Lack Thereof

The Ouya runs Android, sure, but that says nothing about the gaming situation. There’s no Play Store on the Ouya. Instead, you get the Ouya store with a mix of indie games and Android ports. There are probably various ways to make this arrangement work, but Ouya hasn’t found one yet.

You might have a ton of game licenses on Google Play, but those are useless on Ouya. You'll have to re-buy games you may have already purchased on Google Play, unless you want to deal with sideloading them (more on that later). If you do resort to buying a game twice, be prepared to pay a little more – some of them are pricier on the Ouya. God of Blades is a great Android game, but it’s $4 on Ouya. Google Play sells it for $2.

oUI5

Most of the Ouya indie efforts are poor quality, boring, or just plain broken. A few of them look passable in screenshots, but blown up to 1080p they are blocky and unattractive. I think maybe a third of the Ouya store still consists of retro platformers and side-scrolling shooters. That is not what I want to play on a 40-inch TV screen.

og88

og99 og12

The few 3D games on the Ouya seem to range in performance from mostly good to outright sluggish. The frame rates might be fine one minute, but the next it’s noticeably lagging. This is probably part hardware and part app quality, but that’s no excuse. The Ouya people want to sell this device to regular human beings in Target and Best Buy, but the games just don’t run very well.

Og66

I have not seen any of the game finalists Ouya talked up earlier this year. There are, however, a handful of enjoyable titles in the store. Games like Ice Rage, Beast Boxing Turbo, and Chrono Blade are solid, but not even up to the standards of AAA Play Store titles, let alone any console in recent memory. The frame rate on Chrono Blade dips whenever there are too many enemies on the screen, for example. The 2006 version of Final Fantasy III is neat, but I'd prefer a new device not hang its hat on 7 year-old remakes of 20 year-old games.

Og1 Og2

Chrono Blade and Beast Boxing Turbo, probably the best-looking games

The Play Store ports sometimes show a glimmer of hope. The graphics and polish are better, but there simply aren’t very many of them. There’s no Dead Trigger, no Shadowgun, no Sonic, no Need for Speed, no Minecraft, and not even any Angry Birds games. I’m pretty sure there’s a toaster for sale in Japan that runs Angry Birds, so what gives with this?

Even in those instances I came across games that I legitimately enjoy on Android, there seems no point to even playing it on Ouya. For example, the only Tegra-optimized game I’ve spotted is Puddle. It’s a great experience on mobile with elaborate fluid physics and accelerometer controls, and it actually runs fairly well on the Ouya. You control Puddle by pressing the left and right shoulder buttons to tilt the game. That’s it. That’s the entire control scheme. It’s awkward and completely unnecessary to play Puddle on this device.

This is a pattern I fear is going to be repeated with most of the ports from Google Play. These experiences are designed for touchscreens, and not all of them work on a console. Even the games that could make sense – those that use dual-stick aiming – are conspicuously absent.

The most fun I had with the Ouya was playing Sonic II THD, which I sideloaded. It understood the controller, but the frame rates were noticeably lower than on other devices.

o1

Sideloaded Sonic II THD

The free demo system is one of the things Ouya is getting right. You can download anything in the store and try it out for free. This is usually a level or two, but some games simply have countdown timers. If you want the full game, it is obtained via an in-app purchase. It's a very clean system.

The games you download are dumped into the Play menu in alphabetical order, but recently played titles appear to then float to the top. Updates require manual action on your part, but this can happen in the background while you do other things. That’s much appreciated.

For the Ouya to be anywhere close to a viable product, the game library needs a serious overhaul. No one is going to be happy with a wasteland of retro indie platformers. It’s probably too much to hope for exclusive games to save the day, but at least porting the right Android games should be a priority.

og78

Be serious, does this look like something you want to play on a TV?

I'm not saying there are no good titles on the Ouya, but there are very few. With nearly 200 titles, there should be more. It comes down to this: I cannot think of a single gaming device that has launched with a poorer selection of games than the Ouya. Well, maybe the Virtual Boy, and we all know how that went.

Hackery And Sideloading

Perhaps the saving grace of the Ouya is the openness of the platform. I have no doubt Android tinkerers are going to snap this thing up. You can install your own apps, mess with settings, and even crack the thing open if you want.

However, if you plan on digging in with Ouya hackery, you have to be prepared for some hassles. It runs Android, but it doesn’t always behave like an Android device. Just getting the Ouya recognized by ADB on a computer is a challenge that requires modifying drivers files manually.

Oui2 oui45

Because of the relative lack of games in the Ouya store, I sideloaded a number of games to see how the Ouya handled them. Several titles worked (like Sonic II, seen up above), but just as many didn’t. Of those that started properly, many didn’t work with the Ouya controller, or crashed too frequently to be playable. Larger games that download resource data also need to be manually installed by copying asset backups to the right folder.

This all falls squarely into “at your own risk” territory. Ouya can’t really be blamed when a non-supported game doesn’t load properly. I’m only telling you this so you’re not suffering from the misapprehension this device is your gateway to playing all your games on a TV with a controller. It’s not.

The Ouya is cheap enough that I can see it becoming an active platform for modders. There will probably be ways to get Google Play onto the Ouya, maybe as part of a replacement ROM. That would make the device much more attractive, but don’t assume it’s going to happen quickly, or that the process will be painless.

Conclusion: Nope

The Ouya is neat on paper. Stuff an Android device into a little cube, add a controller, and attach it to a TV. Sounds cool. However, the practical reality is that the device isn’t very good. The biggest issue is the game catalog – it’s bad in a variety of ways.

The Ouya is just different enough that many games can’t simply be added to the store as they exist on Google Play, but it shouldn’t be that much work. The fact that virtually none of the top Android games have migrated from Google Play in time for launch should be cause for concern.

Ouya 4

Even playing the high-end (sideloaded) Android games on Ouya isn’t the best experience. They look fine, but they’re still mobile games. The level of detail a Tegra 3 is capable of rendering is not sufficient to make anything work on a TV. Blowing it up to 40 or 50 inches doesn’t make it a console game. Everything I’ve seen on the Ouya still looks and feels like a phone game at best, and that’s the real problem.

I don’t know who the Ouya is for. Casual gamers will find it easier to just use a phone or tablet, and more serious ones will be put off by the poor selection and quality. People that really want to play good games on a larger screen will simply buy a current or next-gen game console. To turn this around, Ouya has to deliver everything it promised, and fast. The OnLive support obviously didn't work out, so maybe it's time to dig in and start prodding developers.

The Ouya is light years away from being any kind of viable game console, even though it has improved in some places like UI lag and the controller. I really wanted it to be better, but it's not competitive even at $99. Do not buy this unless you are primarily interested in modding it.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Bas

    Exactly what I would have expected from the Ouya.

  • Szondikapitány 2.0

    So its officially dead on arrival.

    • Lastb0isct

      Except it is sold out at all retail stores...

      • Szondikapitány 2.0

        All the 10 ouya?

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        There's a lot of hype/buzz, a lot of potential (though this gen one is too flawed for my liking - maybe a gen two), and a cheap price that wouldn't leave you totally disappointed even if it ends up collecting dust after a week.

      • http://www.modminecraft.com/ Nick Coad

        Given the trouble they had shipping the units out to backers, I'd suggest the "sold out" status is due more to a lack of supply than any kind of great demand.

  • http://kennydude.me/ Joe Simpson

    Driver files is typical of Android devices (and always has been, you can thank Window's driver system for that) but I agree on the rest of the review

    • RyanWhitwam

      It might happen elsewhere, but I've never plugged in another device that required me to edit an INF file.

  • sri_tech

    Tegra 3 is not good enough but again they cant afford latest processors because of low price.
    We should appreciate their effort though.
    I wonder whether they make any money at all by selling at $99.

    • ergu

      Their profits come from their cut on game sales.

    • Magnesus

      Probably not, they seem to have run out of money producing the kickstarter consoles and had to get investors to save themselves.

  • Marc

    Consider the posibility to connect to Nvidia cloud to play games in there... Forgot the official name of it ;)

    • Mobile_Dom

      The Grid

      -i feel like im in tron everytime i say that

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

    I am both shocked and surprised that a startup product built up entirely on speculative hype and "gamechanging" concepts isn't actually all that good in practice!

    But really, everyone backing the Ouya created hype that the device could never, ever hope to live up to. In doing so, I think the irony is that they've also ensured its doom. By giving Ouya such lofty expectations, disappointment is all but guaranteed for everyone but the most ardent of Ouya-fanboys. The console market is, and always has been, an incredibly difficult space to break into, and one that has never favored "niche" products - not since the NES came along, at least.

    I suspect we'll see Ouya around long enough for Ouya v2 with a Tegra 4 chip (or something else), but I doubt it'll go further than that, and I doubt that product will sell in any quantity. If anything, Ouya will go down in a foonote of tech history as one of the more notable examples of "startup fever" that ended in tears and broken promises.

    • silver_arrow

      Ouya 2.0 with a Tegra 4 that lets you stream your PC games on it like the Shield... now that I would buy

      • jm9843

        Kainy has already been submitted to the OUYA store which will let you do that on OUYA now.

      • Jarl

        you really think Ouya (the company) will still exist next year?
        i think not, they lost all credibility

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

          I think that depends on how tenacious and frugal the founders are. I'd be surprised if they have burned through the initial kickstarter money yet, and I'm sure there will be some sales despite the bad reviews. After all, this will probably sell really well in stores like Walmart.

          Assuming the people behind the project are dead set on continuing the effort (read: going down with the ship), then a second generation seems very plausible.

          • Randroid

            *bad review. Singular. From you guys.
            I've talked to plenty of people who backed it and love it. And I love it too.

          • Cherokee4Life

            AP review wasn't as bad as The Verge's

        • Odenberg

          Yes.

        • Daniel

          The console sold out everywhere. It also received $15million in extra funding from companies like nvidia.

      • Renaud Lepage

        Thus why I'm buying shield.

      • Odenberg

        Until Games Come Out That Run Stably On Tegra 5 At The Time Of Launch

    • fonix232

      I don't think anyone reasonable enough expected "gamechanging" features, or something even close to it. For 99$(or 99£, interesting exchange rate if I may say), it is a nefty little "console", but I would rather use it for example, media streaming via Samba mounts and XBMC (latter might not be the best choice though).

      Android as of now has no games at this scale and quality, but neither does iOS or Windows Phone (leaving even the new BBs at the end of the list). For now, this won't be the selected platform for developers, for various reasons. One is the fact that the two leader consoles of the market are taking a path that brings them closer to PCs: both the XBox One and the PS4 will use x86-64 based hardware, basically, a mini PC for your living room, with a "limited" (and sometimes exclusive) set of games and extra features. Seeing the outcome of the OUYA, I'd say Microsoft did it right to go into the multimedia direction with the One - this way one console can substitute both the DVR/Home Media Player, the gaming console, and for some, even their desktop computer, especially if it gets as interconnected with the Windows ecosystem as many expect it.

      The best thing the OUYA guys can do is to partner up with one of the game-streaming services, and give out real console-quality gaming. Then it has a small chance to overtake a not-too-large part of the market from the big consoles, especially if the quality is on par with them, yet being cheaper even on the long run.

    • PhineasJW

      I disagree here David.

      At $99 it has almost no barrier to purchase. If it not only played games but excelled at HTPC / XBMC / Roku-style media capabilities, it would be a hit across different demographics.

      The market is there. Someone just needs to execute on the vision.

      • Jeremy Janzen

        I would buy the thing if it ran XBMC and Netflix, but nope, it can't do that. I have no need for Android games on TV, but a polished media center experience for $100 would be great (as an Apple TV alternative)

        • ergu

          What do you mean it doesn't do XBMC and Netflix? I thought it did... are you saying it does them but it sucks at it, or are you saying that it does not do them at all? Because I have ready otherwise.

          • Jeremy Janzen

            You can sideload these... I read XBMC has terrible framerate. Netflix has a phone interface. Useless.

            Both of these should be available in the Ouya shop, and optimized and running great.

          • Haunter

            Here is a video of it running great.

            >http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QB-H4j9hfLE

            The thing literally launched today... with Dev units being released 2 months ago tops. For a device that relies on community dev support, it's a little early to say "Those should have already been there"...

          • thewafflehouse

            XBMC doesn't have a bad framerate....on everything. Some video files just refuse to actually play. It also is prone to crashing, and losing the network connection, which leads to frustration when in use. I have the Ouya in my bedroom as my backup XBMC device. My main XBMC device is my RaspPi running RaspBMC which works beautifully if not a bit slow at times.

          • Paul

            I hoped my Ouya would replace my XBMC in my bedroom, running on an Core2Duo Laptop. I wanted something a bit quieter and less power hungry. XBMC was my biggest draw to Ouya really, I mean I'll game now and then (but it's annoying to have to buy some of the games again on the Ouya store that I've already bought on the Play store) but XBMC would have been its primary focus, and XBMC support just isn't there yet (sigh). So until it is, I only boot and use my Ouya occasionally, when I find a few minutes to kill some zombies with trains.

          • jm9843

            If you read that "XBMC has terrible framerate", then it was probably for one of the builds that doesn't have hardware acceleration. The "libstagefright" builds play 1080p smoothly. And it IS going to be available in the OUYA shop once development on XBMC Gotham slows down as it's still under heavy development.

          • Cherokee4Life

            I was going to say XMBC runs amazing on my Ouya!

          • Paul

            What build?

          • Paul

            I've gotten the latest XBMC with libstagefright and it's still hit and miss whether it's usable. I updated just a week or so ago. They may have made improvements since then but I don't think I've ready anything groundbreaking. XBMC support still isn't there, it's hit and miss whether it'll play my video's.

          • Daniel

            They are working on Netflix support and XMBC is getting an Ouya optimized app. Also, plex is amazing.

          • Odenberg

            I Have Also Read That Tegra 3 Is Powerful And......

      • ergu

        THIS. I will most likely (pending just a little more research into its MC capabilities) buy at least one of these purely to smart up a couple of my older TVs. If they ever get their gaming shit together, all the better.

      • RvLeshrac

        $100 for a mediocre product that barely achieves anything available on the current-gen vs. $300 for a next-gen console, or $200 for a used current-gen console, that does vastly more, either of which which has a much better game library and vastly superior performance.

        Oh, and the Ouya is going to end up suffering from the same heat problem as the OG 360: The surface-mount chips will start to desolder themselves from the board.

        • Haunter

          Where the hell are you getting $300 for a next-gen console? This thing is basically running N7 specs, which are twice as much brand new. Are you one of those people I keep hearing about that believed a $100 Android box was going to compete with PS3/360?!

          • RvLeshrac

            It wants to be a console. It must, therefore, compete in the console marketplace.

          • dgarra

            It competes with other devices that cost $100 and work on the TV. So Google TV boxes, Roku and Apple TV. Unless you plan on spending the additional $350 to get gaming on your Apple TV I don't see a gaming option on either of those other boxes. (Edit: I take that back, You Don't Know Jack and Angry Birds work on the Roku 3, among a few others).

            The hype on this thing seems to be from the XDA types, and I think it's nice to finally have Android hardware in a TV-ready format for a cheap price.

          • Haunter

            That's like saying Android PCs on a Stick have to compete with full blown desktops and laptops. It's it's own thing.

          • RvLeshrac

            Does the Ouya refer to itself as a Game Console? Then it competes with Game Consoles.

            And yes, Android devices "on a stick" DO compete with other products - other Android devices. They don't claim to be a desktop or notebook.

          • Haunter

            Android PC on a Stick does call itself a PC (Google it). So , by your logic, since the acronym PC is used, it is in direct competition with Sony VAIO, Alienware, MacBook, custom builds, and every other PC put there.

            Makes perfect sense.

          • RvLeshrac

            You just said it competes with a Mac, which is not a "PC", as you are attempting to use the term.

            Never mind that "PC" simply means "Personal Computer," and could apply to a smartphone or a wristwatch equally well.

          • Haunter

            A Mac is in fact a PC... but since you wish to trivialize it after it shoots a giant hole in your stance, we're going to go ahead and lump everything in to PCs. Feel better?

          • jurrabi

            You keep saying that. But I don't think anyone that bought it thought that. They keep telling you man: No body will expect a 100 bucks console (you like that word, don't you?) to compete in the same league of MS, Sony and Nintendo. Only some ridiculous blogs were tempted to call it killer...

        • Magnesus

          For $100 I could buy it for two good games. And I already have one there that I absolutely must have: BombSquad.

          • Guillermo Apellidofalso

            I think OUYA will be a hit for multiplayer couch gamming. It has goes to sale today, and you already have Hidden In the Plain Sight, Curves, Bombsquad, TowerFall, You Dont Know Jack, etc.

            Since it supports all kind of gamepads, I like it too much for playing with friends at punch distance xD

          • Randroid

            I have to agree here.
            First, a gaming and multimedia device for $100 is awesome, even if there are only a few good games. Second, BombSquad rocks! I haven't purchased it yet, but I played the hour that it allows you to demo it, and it was a ton of fun: and the game is only $5! Let's see a "real console" offer games at that price!

        • Ezzy77

          Which one of the current-gen consoles does "vastly more" than an Android device? They do games well, anything else is pretty much sub-par.

        • http://www.facebook.com/milty.mc Milty Mc

          And whats the cost of those next gen games. Unless your pirating, it can get very expensive hence the need for ouya.

          ouya and 10 games = $200
          xboxone and 10 games = $1500

      • Odenberg

        You Can Get A Second Hand Ps3 For 100 Bucks. Second Hand Ps3.... Ouya....Second Hand Ps3....Ouyya..... Second Hand PS3.

        • Bram

          You could probably get a second hand Ouya for 20 bucks. This is a retarded comparison.

      • Daniel

        Plex is outstanding on the Ouya...

    • Haunter

      > I doubt that product will sell in any quantity.

      Amazon is actually completely out of stock already.

      For all the backlash I see about this little guy, it has tons of potential as an Android TV box running emulators, being used as a Steam box (which has been demoed as flawless), streaming media, using it for movie files and what not for those who don't have such capabilities built into their TVs... I mean, seriously.... what piece of tech is going to offer all of the above (and more) for $99? Anybody who thought this thing was going to remotely contend with things like the PS3/360/PS4/XB1 were fools from the beginning... but that doesn't make it useless in the least.

      • RvLeshrac

        As a set-top-box, it has promise. As a console? No.

        • Paul

          For me it's primary purpose is XBMC. 85% of the time that's what it'll be doing. But the 15% of the time I want to play games, I'm a very casual gamer I only have a PS2 and a WII, no Xbox360 or PS3 or anything, then it's perfect. I wouldn't drop $300 on a gaming system I'll use maybe an hour a month, but $100 on an Ouya that can be my XBMC interface and play all my media and then flip over and play the occasional game? Definitely. It's not targeting heavy gamers, it's targeting casual gamers. The graphics are 'decent' enough for my tastes, I'm not looking for stunning mind blowing graphics, and the best part is maybe games will focus less on graphics and more on gameplay, like puzzle games and even those 8bit retro style games, more than graphics. Tetris was the s.... and it wasn't heavy on graphics. Angry Birds and Candy Crush is amazingly popular and they're not big on graphics, etc.

        • ola_dunk_nordmann

          Remember when they said gaming on phones and tablets would never catch on? It will take sooo little to 'port' any game from android to ouya.
          It's pretty obvious that both XBone and PS4 is aiming at the box being both a settop box and a console. For those who use their box for hardcore gaming most of the time it's not the top choice, however for the casual gamers it might be just as good. I know my daughters would rather play subway surfer and cut the rope on the TV rather than all the top releases on the Xbox and PS

      • Daniel

        It also sold out at best buy, GameStop, and target.

    • gspida

      If they want to have more than 1 run all they have to do is allow Play Store. Forget their store. Forget their controller. Give me sixaxes controls, a ps3 controller, mx player, and any app from the play store of my choosing = instant winner.

      • Magnesus

        As a developer I would also prefer that (so I only need to deploy to Play Store), but they would lose any ability to earn money of the console. (By the way: my game for OUYA is The Lost Heroes - a demo for now with only a few levels).

      • didibus

        MadCatz MOJO to the rescue!

    • DavidEssex

      "and I doubt that product will sell in any quantity."
      It's sold out on Amazon. I got the last one at BestBuy today. Drove around to see it at other stores. They're all out. A 2nd, "greater than thou" attitude from an Android Police *cough* Writer.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

        I was talking about the next-gen unit, and yes, sales obviously are everything and Ouya will in no way have any other troubles than getting the initial batch of units out of the door and everyone will love them and buy tons of games. Give me a break. Ouya apologists would defend this thing if it caught on fire.

        • Randroid

          You're just upset because people aren't agreeing with you 100%. It's a good product, it has and will continue to sell well, and you're upset you didn't come up with it and make a ton of money from it.

          • http://www.modminecraft.com/ Nick Coad

            How many units has it sold, and where are you getting these figures?

          • Randroid

            It made $8.6 million from Kickstarter (see article above, in case you didn't really read it,) It sold out already on Amazon, and I've seen multiple comments stating that it sold out in local retail as well.

            (Also, what figures? Until now I hadn't listed actual figures...)

          • http://www.modminecraft.com/ Nick Coad

            You said it "sold well", but you can't possibly make that claim unless you know how many units it sold. The fact that it sold out can be read two ways: there was a low supply, or there was a high demand. Given their track record shipping to their backers I'm putting my money on low supply.

            Units sold before it was even produced don't count, as they're only an indicator of interest in the product originally described. The final product released is not what they originally described.

          • Randroid

            If you look on Google+, or Twitter, or anywhere else you will see tons of happy customers. Just because some tech bloggers don't like it because they're comparing it to more top of the line consoles does not mean that actual consumers do not like it.

          • http://www.modminecraft.com/ Nick Coad

            So then the best you can actually say is that you don't know what the actual sales figures are, and you're just assuming they're selling well.

    • Odenberg

      *Facepalm*

      That Blog Entry Revealed Nothing But Fanboy Praise (Cough Written By Adndroidpolice Staff/Fanboys Cough.... Who Said That!?)

    • Lee Comstock

      lol regardless of how niche the OUYA might end up becoming it's pretty dumb to think they're going to stop making them in a couple of years.

  • PhineasJW

    I was hoping to make this my XBMC HTPC. At $99 and silent it has great potential for that.

    However, the current state of Ouya is that multichannel audio passthrough is not working. Ouya is aware of it and will have a potential update at some point in the future.

    Also, XBMC Android is in an almost pre-alpha state. HW acceleration is mostly working, but it's unstable in many cases.

    Overall, if you're interested in hooking up an Ouya to a DTS receiver and playing movies ... it's not there yet.

    • James

      When was the last time you checked up on this? I *think* I remember reading about 2 weeks ago this had been fixed. But I can't remember which update it was.

    • Lastb0isct

      Yes...this has been fixed in the latest alpha build of XBMC.

    • Magnesus

      It is not silent. But I think the fan is unnecessary, you could just turn it off and nothing would change. I plan on trying than in mine OUYA.

    • smeddy

      Question, what would stop you simply hooking up a cheap Android tablet or an old Windows laptop for the same effect? (with a remote or joypad or wireless keyboard for controls).

      I'm being lazy by simply running my Windows 7 laptop for movies/TV, and then using my phone (via Unified Remotes) to control XBMC.

      When XBMC becomes more stable on Android I'll reconsider my options, but heck even an old Galaxy SII via HDMI out does the job fine (other than for 3GB movie files etc).

      • PhineasJW

        Right, an old laptop is a better option at this point.

        Actually, the absolute best option at the moment is the Intel NUC -- an Apple TV sized box that sports an i3 or i5 and is a real computer.

        Had I known about it in February, I would have bought it instead of the Ouya.

        Now, with my Ouya on the way, and a Haswell refresh imminent for the Intel NUC, I'm going to see how far the Ouya gets, and maybe buy the Intel HW in the fall.

  • ProductFRED

    The more and more time they spent not releasing it, the less and less I was impressed by it:

    - Outdated specs translates to noticeable lag
    - Double purchases, with more expensive Ouya counterparts
    - Small catalog of games
    - Just-ok controller
    - Little to no marketing = little to no developer input

    They had a pretty good idea for a cheap console, but even at $99, it was not well executed. Had they said, "we need some more time to update the hardware and software" (maybe to Tegra 4), and then launched a huge marketing campaign, maybe they would have attracted more attention. But the fact that they didn't even want to pay the entrance fee to showcase their device at E3 shows that they skimped heavily on it. I would have paid $125-150 for an upgraded experience. The games are cheaper than full-blown console games, so it would have paid off over time as a casual gaming device/emulator system/media center.

    • Kenny O

      I think the E3 stunt was more about trying to market through creating a scene vs just not wanting to pay an entry fee......other than that I agree with all of your points.

      • Magnesus

        I think they didn't have money then, they secured $15M in investments too late and the kickstarter money were probably not enough to even do the kickstarter consoles.

  • Kenny O

    I believed the hype. Completely disappointed with the Ouya, but I have only myself to blame. I am just hoping that someone is able to create a custom Rom to make it somewhat usable, otherwise I bought a $99 paperweight.

  • Alex Baruch

    Any idea how XBMC runs on the Ouya? Is it a better alternative than RaspberryPi for strictly running XBMC as a media player from external storage?

    http://www.xbmchub.com/blog/2013/06/02/how-to-install-xbmc-to-the-ouya-gaming-console/

  • vwbeetlvr

    Thank goodness I cancelled the Amazon pre-order I made the day they were available last week.

  • Mastermind26

    Ouch!

    I am glad I never took a bite.
    This ALMOST feels like a bait 'n switch. It was demonstrated that games played smoothly and we've been hyped of ALL the titles to be had at launch.

    I'm waiting for the modders to redeem this device before I decide to shell out ANY $$$ for it.

  • Himmat Singh

    You say no point in playing Puddle on this device, but Puddle was originally a console/PC game before it came to Android. Simplicity of controls shouldn't be a factor here.

  • Himmat Singh

    Regarding performance, is it REALLY surprising? This thing runs on Android AND a Tegra 3 chip. If you have a Tegra 3 device, you will know that game performances are not good, and they often lag. But having said that, it should be better here since it's a dedicated gaming console. Maybe the 1080p output is killing it.

    • Kashmieer

      I am using Asus Nexus 7 and i really dont have any problem with Tegra 3. Why do people complain about Tegra 3 too much?

      • Himmat Singh

        It really depends if you have something to compare and benchmark against. If all you have is a Tegra 3 device, you will feel it's pretty good. Like for me, I have an iPad 2 as well so I can clearly see the differences in game performance (i.e. framerate) between the two.

        Plus the Nexus 7 is running vanilla Android so that helps a bit as well.

  • smirkis

    not surprised one bit. where did all the "i can't wait for ouya to drop it's gonna kill xbox/playstation! HAH, go figure.

  • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

    I am a Nintendo Fan. I bought the WiiU at launch. I also kickstarted the Ouya Limited Edition. My brothers and I love the Ouya and have been playing with it every night for the past week. It comes with more "stupid little games" than the WiiU ever wish it had.

    We had a lot of fun with Knightmare Tower, No Brakes Valet, Stalagnite and Hidden in Plain Sight, to name a few of the games. We've purchased Knightmare Tower and HIPS to unlock the full games because that's just how fun this thing has been for us.

    The games have a very retro feel (Retro is a kind word for ugly, I guess). I do wish stuff looked cleaner than the usual 8-bit characters all over the screen but the games themselves are quite fun.

    I'm sorry you didn't have fun with the console, but we've had a lot of fun in my house. Perhaps its a console best left for couch gaming.

    • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

      That said, the controllers do suck. I have 2 limited edition controllers and am very happy that I can use the Wired X360 Pad because the Ouya controller sometimes gets the buttons stuck and the joystick isn't quite as responsive.

      The issue with the X360 pad is that not all games support it or handle it properly. HIPS doesn't detect the L and R triggers, and Knightmare Tower doesn't detect the Yellow button and has Red and Blue buttons mixed up. =P

      • Himmat Singh

        Well, that totally sucks. One thing the creators were raving about was the revolutionary controller.

        • Magnesus

          The newer controllers are better and people complain only about the dpad on them. I will know more when my OUYA arrives - just shipped from Amazon.

        • Lee Comstock

          No one ever called it revolutionary.

  • WookieFan

    tl;dr (comments) but...OnLive? C'mon this review doesn't even touch the surface of the console's playability. And as far as Android games go, I don't think Ouya was meant to compete with the big two (honestly, even Android games beat Wii graphics). This "No" review is complete farce. The hacking hasn't even really begun. It's one fifth the price of a Xbox One. Review this device/console on its own merits - it has literally created an entirely new category of console gaming (and more).

  • Kellic

    *shrugs* Personally I don't really care one way or another. I got it as a media server. Nothing more, nothing less.

    • ergu

      Are you using it? What are you using it to do? How well does it work for your needs?

  • Bryan Pizzuti

    It's a neat little device that I'm still messing with. What they need is to get some of the good franchises on there. FF3 is a good start, but they need Square to port the rest of their lineup too. They should take a shot at getting Silvertree to port the Cordy games too, and get Sega to port Sonic. And yes, they need to get Rovio on-board.

    Between that and making sure you can get Netflix and Amazon Prime to run, and then you've got a viable $99 multimedia device. Can it hang with a PS3 or Xbox360? No. But then again, it's not supposed to either.

  • jm9843

    There's lots of bad OUYA reviews out there - this one included.

    Shadowgun is now available. Sega has announced they are bringing four Sonic titles to OUYA. I'm just mentioning these because they, specifically, were called out in the review. Ravensword is another fancy game that just became available today.

    As for the broader points:

    No mention of original OUYA titles that are exclusive and have the potential to change the perception of what it means to be an "Android game" - TowerFall and Soul Fjord are available "now" and "soon" respectively.

    No mention of the most important aspect of the OUYA: that it allows anyone to develop and publish a game on a console platform for free. No expensive development kit, no contracts, no tens of thousands of dollars to publish an update, no requirement to have an office for your business. It circumvents all of that and enables indie developers to create new and fun gaming experiences that otherwise wouldn't be possible on the "big three" consoles.

    To that last point, it's complete folly to harp on its lack of 3d game prowess. It's under-powered by design. It keeps the expense down and puts the focus on fun game-play mechanics over whiz bang graphics. It's true that OUYA doesn't compete with traditional consoles, but that's because it's not meant to.

    • Himmat Singh

      Yeah, I think that angle of "full blown 3D games" in the review is somewhat misplaced. People were mostly excited for this to run their emulators and play old classic ports as well as retro games. If you go in with the same mindset as if you're buying a PS3 or XBox 360, then you end up like this reviewer: "No".

      • Matthew Merrick

        I'm honestly quite surprised emulators weren't mentioned in the review. ..

        • ergu

          There is a lot that I want to know about OUYA that is missing from nearly every review I read/watch. I can't understand what it is about OUYA, but it seems to have the effect of sapping all intelligence from everybody who comes into contact with it, whether they love it or hate it. I either seem to hear, "it's amazing! it does this one thing!" or "it's terrible, it doesn't do this one thing!". I really would like a calm, complete list of the things it does well, and a of the things it does not do, or does not do well.

    • Paul_Werner

      Finally, someone with some sense!! Too bad you weren't tasked with the review of the console. I usually like AP articles but not this one. It's like he totally missed the point

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I see a lot of exclusive Ouya games, but just like Tegra exclusives, or Amazon Appstore exclusives, I frown upon them. Ouya runs Android, and all these exclusive games are exclusive for purely promotional reasons. I don't see them as a plus for Ouya, but that's thanks to a larger point: Ouya doesn't have the Play Store.

      Great, so not only I have to re-buy the games I already own, but I can't play 99% of what I can on my other Android devices. And Ouya games are actually more expensive in some cases. And then there's the converse, from the above - I can buy something I can only play on Ouya, but not on any of my other Android devices. That's more market fragmentation, and because of this Ouya is a no for me, just like the Nabi line is, or the Amazon line, or until recently the Nook tablet line.

      The only consolation is you can hack it and add the Play Store. This changed the Nabi completely, for example, and it proves to me that utility and usefulness are of utmost importance. I personally couldn't care less that every game on Ouya has a free demo. It should have had the Play Store, period.

  • Madz™

    Well, this is expected... Next is MadCat's console and Shield..

  • Alan Shearer

    OUYA? how about OUNA!

    teehee

    But in all seriousness, get cyanogenmod or paranoid android on this thing with play store access, and it will bloom. Why they decided not to include play store access from the get go I do not understand, my one requirement for any, I repeat, any android device, google play store access.

    • jaduncan

      They will be taking a cut on games sales, which can't be done if the purchases are from the play store.

      • Alan Shearer

        Good for them, still stand by what I said, no play store access, I no buy. I hope them success, I truly do, but I will not be buying it due to that. Not paying twice for the same game unless it is truly enhanced enough to justify it. Playing on my tv does not count, my galaxy nexus does that with an adapter and ps3 controller. The mad catz android console and shield have my attencion more than this, they have google services access, and yet both companies are still going to make a profit.

        Also why I do not buy the kindle, no google store access. And I know the amazon marketplace is quite big, but still no.

        Beside, multiple stores means more fragmentation on android. Android fragmentation is not due to the variety in devices, but due to the variety of storefronts, slideme, appbrain, amazon, google play, now ouya, DEJATE DE JODER!

        • jaduncan

          To be clear, I agree that it's end user hostile to make a less good app store. I can just see the business logic even if it's a deal killer for me.

          • Alan Shearer

            Oh I can see the reason they did it, same as amazon, means more monies for them. From a business point of view makes sense. From and end user point of view, well I already stated mine.

  • duddddddeerrr88

    the nvidia tegas are TERRIBLE. I have the TF101 transformer with Tegra2 and i will never own another tegra powered device. just total crap.

    • FourEyedGeek

      Tegra 2 is oooold.

  • Sven Joy

    So do you guys think GamePop will be better?

  • imtoomuch

    I called this from day one. Look at my past comments.

    From the most overhyped and overrated kick starter to an $8 million loss, bankruptcy, and closing.

    If the controllers suck so bad, why are they so expensive.

    I thought this was going to be vaporware. I was proved wrong there, but is was proved right in every other area.

    I don't care how cheap it is, people don't want crap.

    • EricRead

      Wow, lots of people want to be right about calling this thing a bust. I guess it's your prerogative.

      The last console I purchased was PS1. I haven't brought any of the current or recent ones because I'm not into gaming. I wouldn't say that the PS3 is junk just because it's not my thing.

      XBMC on this thing is nice. That's what I brought it for. It really doesn't matter to me whether it was a kick starter or not, whether there was too much or too little hype. What matters is what the device does. The disproportionate hype doesn't change the device's performance. They're two separate issues.

  • CuriousCursor

    Lol, after all that funding and so much hype: Fail.

    I don't know where that hype came from, we all knew this was gonna happen.

  • Shuyin86

    I'd love to try this out for myself but I'm still waiting for my console to turn up! I preordered mine in August last year thinking it would be sent out earlier (like it says on their website) but only got confirmation of shipping on 11th July. Now the tracking is not working so it looks like its stuck in Hong Kong with now way of telling when it will arrive (which sucks that its now in stores) so I guess I'll sit and wait. Glad I preordered in $ and the convention to £ was less than £99 :)

    Any word on how the NES, SNES & N64 emulators work? I wouldn't mind playing Goldeneye or Mario Kart on it for old times sake.

    • Guillermo Apellidofalso

      NES - Perfect, indeed, there is an emulator called EMUya which has a store with indie roms developed for NES system.
      SNES - Perfect.
      N64 - Some games are choppy at 1080p but in the last version you can switch the output resolution. On 720p mostly every game works @ 30 constant fps (even smash bros!)

      PSX also works great, and the PSP emulator looks promising.

      • Mark Bentley

        So as an indie console and emulator it's got a few god things going for it. Lets face it, for those people that have bought it 99£/$ isn't a huge amount (slightly more than a ps3/360 AAA game) and its day one. I'm pretty sure even the "big 3" didn't get it right straight outa the gate...look at the Wii-U software patch fiasco...

        I'll give it time to cook a little longer.

        • Guillermo Apellidofalso

          Indeed, the review miss a lot of things that comes in the air today, like Shadowgun, Super Crate Box (dude, this is amazing with a pad) and TowerFall.

          Also, I think is tricky to uses images in a review from a game of the sandbox version, where ANYONE can upload games.

          In any case, refering everytime to the lack of Google Play is meanless. This is not the point of OUYA. This console was born with the idea of allow the indie devs an easy access to the TV. What is the point to ask for a mobile app store access?

    • Primalxconvoy

      I hear you. Ironically, I love in Japan,which is basically down the road from Hong Kong.

  • CJ

    Never really paid attention to any of the ouya hype. Never even really thought this would ever come to fruition.

    I'm just fine sticking with my transformer tablet + hdmi out + bluetooth ps3 controller for android gaming on the big screen.

  • Jeff Lopez

    Real talk all I wanna do with this thing is install emulators and xbmc......

  • Sam

    If my PS3 broke tonight and I had £100 I'd rather dust my Sega Mega Drive off than buy this.

    • jm9843

      Weird. Because the OUYA plays Mega Drive, and SNES, and NES, and Commodore 64, etc.

      • Sam

        Bit weird to buy it then if I can just crack out an old console to get the same experience.

        • EricRead

          It's kind of nice to be able to pirate old console games to play on the Ouya though. Blast from the past. With the real console, you're limited to what you have...if it's Nintendo, it usually involves a low of blowing and retry.

  • David Nguyen

    I was initially excited about Ouya and was and early backer on Kickstarer. Got my device some months ago and was eager to try it out.

    The review express everything and exactly what I felt playing with it. Disappointment. The controller was okay. Nothing great. But where it makes or breaks are the games and or lack of games. Some of the titles I already own on the Play store and wasn't about to buy it again.

    I played with it for 15 minutes. Put it back in its box and there it has stayed. I'm hoping Ouya will give me a reason to pull it back out but right now it is part of the tech gadget warehouse of crap.

    • jm9843

      There's been about 4 firmware updates since the first Kickstarter units were shipped and it's a much better experience now. You should update yours.

      If you're into indie/retro then there should be at least a handful of games you'll enjoy now.

  • coalminds

    These games look atrocious.

  • Kasoki

    The idea was not to create a device which allows you to play your Android games on TV, instead this is intended to be a game console which runs Android backend. This is the first reason you fail as an author. Many items on your "The Bad" list are just stupid:

    "Controller trackpad is awful" - Yes it is! Obviously! Because you shouldn't play games with it!

    "Game selection is still very poor" - The selection itself is great more than 150 games, most of them are shit though

    "Many games have noticable lag" - The shitty games obviously yes

    "No Play Store" - This point is just stupid, why would you want to put the Play Store on this device? None of the Play Store apps are written for this device so most of them obviously won't work. (You should remove the "tech writer"-thing because it's somewhat embrassing that you're not aware of this fact.

    "Some Play Store ports are more expensive on Ouya" - Third reason you fail as an author you should always give some examples (not just one game), but we'll this is not something OUYA made wrong. Developers are at fault you know?

    "Sideloaded games often don't perform well, or work at all" - Like i said, because they're not developed with the OUYA in mind.

    ...

    "...re solid, but not even up to the standards of AAA Play Store titles..." - So you compare AAA titles with indie titles? Mkay...

    • Himmat Singh

      Dude, you raise some valid points, but the device should be able to run any game on Google Play out of the box. That is why people are sideloading Google Play and getting all their purchased apps from there.

      The only issue is controller compatibility, but with root access you can easily map them yourself.

      PS: Still listing down "No GP" as bad doesn't make sense cause this was already known from Day 1.

    • Primalxconvoy

      Incorrect. Ouya can't escape its Android roots, so it's perfectly acceptable to compare it using the Play Store when the existing ouya store is so underwhelming.

      Also, Android and ios are the biggest competitors to ouya and considering ios 7 now has official gamepad support, it's only a matter of time before more ios games and by extension, Google play games (and this devices) support hardware controllers.

  • David Margolin

    this reminds me of the nexus q

  • GraveUypo

    not slightly surprised. i totally expected this.

  • kpjimmy

    I've had one for weeks now as well. I played with it for a few days, but fell short of the gaming expectations. I didn't expect PS3 or even PS2, just good gaming. There are the FFIII and the demo for Chrono Blade which is awesome IMO. And yet to try out the boxing game, which I heard is pretty good as well.

    I bought an extra controller. I even tried pairing up my another PS3 controller, but that ended up interfering with the other controllers while playing for some odd reason. At first there were some overlay issues where the UI and screen goes off screen. Surprised there wasn't an option to manually fix the horizontal and vertical screen to fit.

  • Telefunken

    > The upshot, it’s completely silent.

    That's not an upshot. Perhaps you meant "upside"?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Pretty sure you're right. Pinged Ryan.

  • a

    I don't know about everyone else, but I'm enjoying playing "Spot the Kickstarter backers" in the comments.

    • http://www.modminecraft.com/ Nick Coad

      I was a backer! Then they fucked around getting the devices shipped out and there was delay after delay, the reports from the few people who did have them were massively unimpressive and so I ended up cancelling my order and getting a refund.

      So fucking glad I did that.

  • DavidEssex

    So, you make money writing diatribe like this? Egads. I used to like Android Police.

  • Matt McKee

    It's Sonic 4: Episode 2, not Sonic 2.

  • Mark Robinson

    it can join the rest of the Que of wasted android tv (stick) devices at least they are quickly made and not that well thought out, total waste of money and £50 too expensive. Tegra 3??? how yesterday. The Ouya looks cool but sadly isn't the controller is the worst design ever.

  • AgustinRodriguez

    I might get this just to put xbmc on it.

  • Firehawkws7

    I'm more excited about seeing Red Mars and The Mote In God's Eye in the background, than the Ouya flop.

  • Doug

    If the Ouya supported videos streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Instant, then this device would have been very worth it since it wouldn't cost much more than a regular streaming box! I ended up getting a Roku instead. I want an Android gaming device though. Maybe the next model in the future. Play Store support is a must.

  • antifud

    to be honest, I'm not surprised Ouya (V1) sucks. I was hoping it'd work as a HTPC but even that seems out the window at the moment.

    I do expect that when they refresh the hardware - given how fast hardware has been updating, will make everything vastly improved and more like what sadly were initial expectations of the original Ouya.

  • jurrabi

    From my perspective your review, while very helpful and inspired, lacks one basic aspect. And I remark "from my perspective" because it was my reason to enter the kickstarter (as I suspect of many others): XBMC support.

    Ouya was announced to support XBMC (both by ouya creators and TeamXBMC). So I said: "a 100 bucks box that runs xbmc can't be a bad investment". So I entered.

    I never bought into the idea (as you very well explained in your review) a tegra3 device could serve as a TV console.

    But XBMC is something I want in every tv in my house, since now I even use it for my tv regular watching too...

    But we are at launch and we still don't have official XBMC support nor a proposed date.

    I won't feel fooled as long as XBMC comes along the way. And with full 1080p support, not some laggy port...

  • Mikael Schober

    OUYA raised $8.5 million on Kickstarter. 10 times more than needed.
    And this is what they launch with?
    An overclocked Tegra 3, weak game controller and NO must-play games?
    The KS ended Aug 9, 2012. What were they doing all this time with $8.5 million?

    They could have easily just made a stock Android skin, access to Google Play.
    Added an OUYA game store.
    And poured money into game development.

    • ergu

      As has been stated in many other places, raising 'more than needed' on kickstarter, particularly for a hardware company, is NOT a totally good thing. The logistics of building and shipping on that scale are much more challenging than building and shipping on a much smaller scale. If this were software, making more copies would be trivial. Because it is hardware, because they had received many times more funding than they originally sought, they basically had the amount of TIME they needed multiplied as well. I don't know how good the OUYA will be, or if they wasted a bunch of time, as you say, but I do believe, from what I have read, that it is a very challenging task to get such a device out the door in such a short time frame with the VOLUME we're talking about.

  • Michael DeGuzis

    My Ouya has 2* USB ports....please update the post.

  • Primalxconvoy

    Like I've been moaning about in other posts, I'm still waiting for my Kickstarter ouya and/or a refund.

    Then, in either hacking it or selling it.

    I'm done with ouya... but not on the idea that Android can and will migrate to tvs as a viable os and hardware platform of some sort.

  • GigiAUT

    I'd use it as an emulator and an XBMC box at most. I actually wanted one at some point then though, meh. I shelled out for an Android stick for those purposes but in hindsight, I would have probably been better off with an Ouya. It cost more than the Ouya, doesn't have a controller and refuses to pair with my Dual Shock or just about any other bluetooth device, and the performance (streaming HD especially) is....not great. It does have a 32GB microSD though, and 6GB onboard.

  • Qliphah

    "You might have a ton of game licenses on Google Play, but those are useless on Ouya. You'll have to re-buy games you may have already purchased on Google Play"

    And I'm out. This is both a dick move and something that could have been a huge selling point. However I trust the mod community, it won't take long for custom ROMs to "fix" this.

  • Bloodflame87

    I've been intrigued by Ouya for some months now, but still unsure if I'd like to actually buy one. On one hand, I'm not even looking at this as a gaming console. I have a Nexus 4, and I like the idea of using it to watch Netflix movies or YouTube videos on my TV. But that means I either need to buy a $40+ Slimport dongle, or a $80+ Miracast device... a little expensive if you ask me. So I've also thought of buying a dedicated Android device for my TV, either in the form of a cheap Chinese HDMI dongle, or something a little nicer like an Ouya. Sure, there are other great options like a Google TV box or even non-Android devices such as Roku, but once again, they feel pricey for what they do. $99 doesn't seem like a bad deal afterall for Ouya, considering it also plays games, and is marketed as such a console. Great! I'm not much of a gamer, but I do enjoy killing time once in a while with Need for Speed, Shadowgun, or even a little nostalgic Tetris. Plus, it's worth mentioning that I just love tinkering with Android's software (I picked up the Nexus for a reason) so that almost seals the deal right there. I guess what I'm saying is, Ouya might not be without it's flaws, but for the price and features it offers, there's definitely a market, and I feel very close to making a purchase sometime very soon. On the other hand, Ouya has previously mentioned plans to refresh the hardware every year, so it might also be worth waiting out a second revision where they can improve on the first-gen's shortcomings.

  • Noitatsidem Eht

    You're doing it wrong on so many levels. There's few if any games that have been developed to take full advantage of the tegra3 chip, phones and tablets have power consumption to worry about, Ouya doesn't so it can push some extra juice out. Also: How many games are there at launch on any other console? The answer is probably around 50 at most, Ouya wins, even if some are ports, they're often optimized, or changed in some way for the Ouya. You're right about one thing, it's great that it's hackable, if I end up not liking my Ouya (unlikely, but possible) I'm just going to turn it into a desktop running some linux distro (been thinking the arm port of Arch Linux, or Debian testing/sid, not sure which I'd prefer)
    POINT BEING: You're giving it a "no" before it has its chance to shine, consoles rarely have more than 2 or 3 great launch games, Ouya's no exception, the only difference is you aren't locked in using a proprietary system that you can't change if you ever wanted to. Consoles are PCs for TVs and games, and the people who created Ouya kept that in mind, so even if it doesn't meet your expectations as a console, install a desktop OS on it and you'll have a functioning desktop system for 99 dollars. I fail to see how this is a bad deal.
    Hell, I'm a backer, I don't even have the retail version with every kink worked out - I've an early backer version, and I still have no notable gripes thus far.
    You make some good points, but really saying "no" this early - wait 3 months, and I'd bet you'd wish you never said it, because it's completely and utterly asinine.

  • Chris Wong

    Actually Shadowgun does appear in the library and its enhanced to the Google Play version.

    OUYA's main goal is to get people excited about gaming. It's easy to
    compare it against a PS3 or Xbox 360 and I've seen many websites do this
    comparison. The key to getting more people excited about games must be to get more
    of those games to more people. And one of the keys to that must
    certainly be cost.

    Secondly, games should be about fun and not graphics. I think lately we have been having a wank over console hardware specifications. Games with good graphics are not necessarily good games. Games that are fun, engaging etc. are good games. The average Joe doesn't need to have Crysis 3 graphics - they just want to play some fun games. And if you've ever played the 5 player games on the Wii U I think you'll agree they're actually pretty fun even though they have pretty much GameCube era graphics. Why do people buy games for their phones? Because they're cheap, fun and easily obtainable.

    I liken the OUYA to when the first Eee PC came out. It had a horrendously
    small screen. It was quite slow. But it excelled in size, weight and
    cost. Suddenly we had something new - a fully functioning computer that
    was easily portable and cheap. Suddenly we had all these people with
    small laptop computers. Perhaps a lot of them wouldn't have normally
    used laptops or were unwilling to spend $1000 on a new toy that they
    might not end up using. I'm willing to bet at least some of those people
    found value in the form factor and ended up buying more fully fledged
    laptops.

    Another example is the MK802. Or the Mazda MX-5. Or even
    the microwave. All of these products were 'new' and/or 'inferior' and
    cheaper than the current offerrings in the market yet they have gone on
    to leave lasting impressions in their respective industries. So I personally think its quite exciting that the OUYA has come out in the same fashion, breaking away from status quo.

    If anything, the OUYA has game distribution worked out well. Having a demo playable straightaway and giving me a choice to buy the full version if I like it is something that is new and not done before (on a console). The library just needs to fill up with a decent amount of quality games.

    It's still quite early days to say if the OUYA will be a success or not but if theres an obvious differentiator between much hyped products which end up being successful and the ones which fail is sales. Software and hardware can improve over time. It's all about the execution of the idea and I think they have got that part of it right at least. The main hurdle is getting the games into the library.

    Finally, I think they should be applauded for actually making this thing a reality, on time, and somehow also managed to convince Joe Bloggs at the local Walmart to buy one. Products that people don't want don't fly off shelves.

  • CF

    "I don’t know who the Ouya is for."

    I'm buying an Ouya purely for it's ROM emulation. Yes, you can hook up your phone or even your laptop to your TV, but that's lame. The laptop takes forever to boot up and I have to disconnect it whenever I want to do serious work on it. Ditto on the phone, i have to connect/disconnect it when I leave the house with it. And buying a phone or laptop JUST to emulate games is more expensive than the Ouya.

    The Ouya is perfect for people who love classic games and want a relatively cheap, dedicated piece of hardware JUST to provide it.

  • CF

    If you're buying an Ouya to compete with modern AAA consoles, you're in idiot. That's not its target audience. I will buy a PS4 AND an Ouya to play modern and retro games.

  • Marc Karasek

    Also missing one other point, the retro crowd.
    There are a lot of emulators out for the OUYA already. Putting aside the whole DRM on ROMs issue, this puts into play all of the games for C64, N64, Nintendo, etc.. into the catagory. One system to play them all. I know of friends who have the OUYA just for this, to do retro-gaming. Combine this with the Android gaming, which is just in its infancy. And you have a very powerful 1,2 punch (IMO)

    • Primalxconvoy

      Except the n64 and ps1 emulators are unstable.

  • Karl Kindt IV

    You miss the point of its market. A bunch of friends playing on the couch together in person.

    • Primalxconvoy

      Except you can't do that as the official ouya controller is a piece of non-syncing garbage and not all games support 3rd party controllers and when they do, the OUYA may be having one of its "special" moments where every controller is player 1, etc.

  • Dean Vaughan

    I had much the same experience with my Ouya with the added problem of horrible overscan issues with my TV. While XBMC has a very nice method for compensating, there is no way to globally change the Ouya's overscan setting. It's pretty much a deal breaker for me, which is a shame because I was really looking forward to a cool XBMC/emulator box.

    My write up on the overscan problems: http://deanvaughan.org/wordpress/2013/07/ouya-and-vizio-vw42hdtva-overscan/

  • http://www.facebook.com/milty.mc Milty Mc

    I got my ouya recently and am really happy with it. People need to remember that it will take time for the better games to arrive ! Its just common sense that very few developers will be willing to make games BEFORE launch.

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