26
Dec
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The Ouya killed it on Kickstarter, but the reviews of the final product (including ours) were not overwhelmingly positive. Here we are six months along and it can no longer be said that the device is still too new to judge. There have been OS updates, new games, and feature tweaks. So is the Ouya a better gaming experience now?


Features And Polish

The Ouya software at launch felt minimalist and very "beta." It was arduous to get around and manage your games, especially when you were trying to clear space for a big download. As of now, the software still has the same basic vibe, but it's more polished than it once was. There are backgrounds that are downloaded automatically and navigation has been tweaked in a few ways.

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One of the changes that makes the most difference is the double tap functionality of the Ouya button while in a game. This now pulls up a system menu overlay (instead of just exiting) that allows you to close the game, buy a full version, put the console to sleep or dive back into the game after a brief respite. There is also a way to easily view the info page for your games right from the installed list. That list, however, is still only organized by most recently played – it's a little awkward if you have a lot of games. There is a search function, but typing with the on-screen keyboard is super-tedious.

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The recent updates also added a much-requested feature – USB storage. You can attach a USB drive to the console and access files on it, or even move games over. This is still a work-in-progress, but it somewhat alleviates the pain of living with 8GB of storage (about 5.7GB usable). This feature is still rough around the edges, but it's a big step in the right direction.

I also like that Ouya now has support for automatic game updates, but it's only supported for featured titles right now. I assume this is a capacity issue, so hopefully it's going to be expanded to all titles at some point. The console itself also supports delta updates now, so the patches going forward should download and install faster. Here's a look at the old UI:

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The old interface

While the features are all great steps to see Ouya taking, there are still some gaps in the experience. For example, it's difficult to keep track of how much storage space you have free. It still requires that you dive into the settings and pull up the deeply buried Android storage menu. The only other way you know you're running low is when you try to download a game and it fails. I would really like to see storage space more prominently displayed. I have also been seeing odd bugs that prevent me from installing large games even though I have more than enough storage.

The Ouya's software is better, but there's still more work to do. The current state of the OS is how things should have been at launch.

The Games

By far the biggest issue with the Ouya at launch was the lack of compelling games to play. You can only play Shadowgun for so long before you just want to do something else. There were so few quality titles that the mediocre slapdash content was rising to the top of the store page simply due to lack of selection. This made the Ouya feel cheaper, and made a bad first impression. There is still some of that lame content in the store, but most of it has been pushed down the charts by much more professional games. You can tell the Ouya folks have been working hard to encourage developers to bring more games to this device – there are actually some cool things going on in the store now.

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There are Google Play ports like The Cave, Another World, Sonic the Hedgehog 4, and Ravensword. I'm also pretty taken with Meltdown and Reaper, which play every bit as well on the Ouya as they do on my regular Android devices. It's nice to see some solid Android games moving over to the Ouya. Although, I'm still not seeing much in the way of good racing titles – I'd kill to get a Need for Speed game on the Ouya. Yes, there are also emulators, but there are emulators for everything. It doesn't really set the Ouya apart, in my opinion.

Perhaps the troubling aspect of this trend is that I don't see many games hitting Ouya first that are compelling –Towerfall and Clark are examples of the few Ouya-first games that I've enjoyed playing. Whatever happens with the software going forward, Ouya is still going to be missing Google Play. The fact that users can't get purchased content from other Android devices onto the Ouya is going to hold it back and give developers pause. I feel like the Ouya ecosystem is still far too small to support itself and drive the creation of first-class games – it's going to continue relying on ports.

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If gaming isn't your thing, Ouya is actually growing into a fine little media hub. There are a number of cool video apps like Vimeo, Plex, TwitchTV, and XBMC. Yes, you can finally use XBMC on the Ouya. It's a bit of a pain to configure, but it works. There's even an unofficial port of VLC in the Ouya store. As great as it is that Ouya is courting game devs, I think this angle could be what saves or sinks the console.

Performance And Quality

I said in the original review of the Ouya that it was going to have a hard time moving forward with a Tegra 3 on-board. It made perfect sense when the Ouya was being developed to go with that chip – it had solid gaming credentials. However, T3 ended up being a real dog compared to other chips of its generation, and it's only looking worse as time goes on.

So how does this affect the Ouya? Well, it depends on the game. Some titles seem to play well in spite of the middling hardware. For example, the aforementioned Meltdown is great on Ouya, as is Shadowgun. At the same time, some graphics intensive games like ChronoBlade and Wraithborne suffer from wonky performance and off graphical bugs. I suspect it takes some extra development work to make sure games perform as they should on the Ouya with its rapidly aging hardware.

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The Ouya still sells for $99, which I find a little surprising. Yes, that's cheap for a game console, but it's no secret developers haven't been raking in cash from such a small install base. I would have expected the company to start discounting the device more heavily to get game sales up. Although, perhaps that's not a financially feasible approach right now.

Even with more quality games, I have trouble finding a place for the Ouya in my life. It's wrong to compare it to a tablet/phone, but it's also inappropriate to compare it to a true console – the Ouya is something in between the two. The games (even good ones) are still phone games blown up to a big screen. They might be fun, but they play like giant phone games with all the sacrifices you make to play a game on a mobile touchscreen... only you're using a TV and a controller. Then there are still some games that just look awful when you put them on a larger screen. I worry that there will never be a large enough group of gamers that want a device like the Ouya to keep developers interested.

The company is planning a hardware revision of the Ouya in 2014, but we haven't heard anything firm yet. Maybe Ouya 2.0 will move on to Tegra 4 and 2GB of RAM, or perhaps a chip switch is in the works. Whatever happens, the next version of the device will decide the fate of Ouya. The game catalog is getting there, and maybe with enough power, the device will be able to offer a big screen gaming experience that interests more people. Ouya needs numbers, and the first generation device hasn't gotten them.

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Low-quality games still pop up in the store

As to the question of whether you should buy one, I still have to say 'no' for most use cases. If you want a device to tinker with, or hope to set up a media streamer of some sort, the Ouya might be a good buy. For anyone who is in search of a fun gaming machine, you should probably wait until the next hardware revision and see how it all works out.

[Ouya]

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.

  • PhineasJW

    Yeah, mine is gathering dust, unfortunately. They have a chicken-and-egg problem -- it's tough to build an ecosystem from scratch.

    I mainly bought it to use as a cheap media server with XBMC, but it turns out Android XBMC just isn't there yet as far as multi-channel audio is concerned. I finally gave up and bought an i3 Haswell NUC. Haven't looked back.

    • kindrudekid

      how is the NUC? does it support HDMI-CEC?

      • PhineasJW

        The NUC plays everything, and works for all multichannel audio passthrough. I'm running OpenELEC, which is a bare-bones Linux that boots straight to XBMC.

        If by HDMI-CEC, you mean will it auto-switch to the HDMI input when it fires up, then no. But, as I mentioned, multichannel audio works and the i3 version also has an IR port.

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    Ouya could challenge Roku if Netflix and others supported it with fully optimised apps, as a games console it doesn't stand a chance.

    • mustbepbs

      Considering Roku's start at $50 bucks, no, no it can't.

      • Redundant

        I love me some dollar bucks.

      • http://www.twitter.com/ninjustin ninjustin

        I might fork over an extra $50 if it did the Roku stuff and XBMC well. Right now I run two separate boxes for each use. That said I doubt it does them well and I already have solutions for both.

      • caleb hatere

        Considering a tiny fraction of the world can actually get a roku, yes it can

      • RyanVenson

        I disagree. Rokus don't really play games, and seems like for guys like me,in their mid-30s, that the Ouya is a good option for full-screen emulators. I've found my laptop isn't much fun to play emulators on, it just doesn't give the same feel. I totally agree with this idea. If I could get apps for products I use a lot, say Netflix, Songza (or Pandora, although I prefer Songza), Amazon, Youtube, etc., AND I could emulate my old consoles, I would graciously fork over $100.

      • pepsiman2006

        Just gotta do some math. The total for Ouya is $100. Therefor, the system is $50 and the controller is $50 (the same price as getting another controller). Hmm, seems it can.

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  • Bryan Pizzuti

    I haven't even started mine up in a long time now. I do still like the concept and I'm glad I supported them, but . Integrating media hub features is almost a requirement given the way Microsoft and Sony are going, and at least Ouya isn't starting from scratch there. I might set it up in my bedroom and use it as a pseudo-Roku box.

    They should really offer some method of GooglePlay access rather than having to completely re-buy everything. At least an API that access the PlayStore and detects if you already bought the game there, and offers you a discount on the Ouya version.

    • RyanWhitwam

      They would have to pass Google's CTS to get access to the Play Store, and I doubt the Ouya is capable. Its version of Android has been pretty heavily modified.

      • Brian Cuellar

        I believe it's actually because Google Play is touch/mouse enabled and the OUYA controller is not up to the standards of navigating the Google Play Store, according to Google. Here's hoping their next controller is more like the MadCatz controller.

        The MadCatz controller has a switch you can move to switch into "Mouse Mode". You can then use the joystick(s?) to move the mouse around. That would be awesome for Ouya.

        • RyanWhitwam

          I think it's considerably more than that. If spending a tiny bit more on a controller would have guaranteed CTS passage, I imagine they would have done it. It takes a lot of work to build a device that Google will certify, which is why all these inexpensive Android peripherals don't have Play Services.

          • Primalxconvoy

            However, Google needs to include more services and whatnot to make their os more compatible with the needs of pc and console users in order to move into those markets.

          • http://www.googlepants.com/ Wizard of Odyssey

            Ryan, do you really think Ouya doesn't have Google Play services because they didn't/couldn't pass Android compatibility testing?

            I think the simpler, more obvious answer is that Ouya wants a cut of software sales on their platform. This strategy is straight out of Nintendo's 1980's playbook, Amazon's entire ecosystem, and Apple's iTunes and App stores.

            Otherwise, why do you think that Ouya would build an inexpensive, sold-at-cost platform? Just so Google could take 30% of the sales, leaving literally nothing for Ouya?

          • RyanWhitwam

            I think you misunderstand. I'm not saying they couldn't have, just that they can't now. The software was designed to run without Google services, and they are too far along now to go back and get CTS without changing a lot of stuff.

          • http://www.googlepants.com/ Wizard of Odyssey

            That sounds like speculation to me, unless you have a source from inside Ouya willing to speak about their intentions.

            Sure, it would probably take work that they don't want to do, but *my* speculation is that the Ouya OS is not so significantly forked from standard Android to completely break compatibility. It certainly looks the same under the covers (albeit missing a few features that were deliberately hobbled). The Ouya store app is just a custom launcher.

            Perhaps you should ask someone who has developed on many releases for both stores. Robert Broglia of explusalpha dot com made a bunch of great classic console emulators and if you could get an interview, I think that would make for a very interesting feature for your site and a feather in your journalism cap.

            Plus you'd regain some credibility with old farts like me who think the Ouya is pretty cool as a retro emulation box.

          • Charles Dexter Ward

            I've seen cheaper stuff have google play, it is probably to avoid profit loss from people prefering to use google play instead of their own built-in store.

        • Scott Zupek

          All OUYA controllers already have a built in mouse. it's the touch pad... why do you need a switch? what you are asking for is already on EVERY ouya controller....

        • Primalxconvoy

          I use a usb wifi mouse with my ouya. No problems.

    • Guest

      Is there a way to sideload APKs? I have quite a few from the Humble Bundles I've been picking up.

      • RyanWhitwam

        Yeah, but not all games will work. You can look at the original review for more detail.

        • Brian Cuellar

          You can install a root app that maps your OUYA controller into a MOGA Controller. Then, by sideloading MOGA-enabled games, you can play games like Dead Trigger without any issues.

          Look up "Mod Collection for OUYA". The same developer created RootMyOuya, which lets you push one button to get Root. It changed my OUYA experience.

          • Sunset Rider

            If you have a MOGA controller, why are you sideloading MOGA games onto the OUYA? Seems needlessly complicated to me.

            I have a MOGA controller and if I want to play MOGA games on my TV, I just connect my phone or tablet to the TV and turn on my MOGA controller. No sideloading onto OUYA is necessary.

          • Matthew Martino

            I tried that but the APK's kept refusing to install on my iphone so I went to buy an android phone and moga controller however it turns out that it costs more then $100! I found it amazing that Ouya was the cheap option to get what I wanted! Who could have guessed!?

          • Brian Cuellar

            In addition to Matthew's commentary (i.e. people with iPhones don't have that freedom) I'd like to point out that an HDMI adapter is hit and miss on framerate and quality. The OUYA is built for TV and can provide targeted performance based on that quality.

    • bustinjustin

      You have to root ouya for play acess which is easy but you dont need it root it for amazon app store

      • Primalxconvoy

        Unfortunately, Amazon will only work in a free places/only America do it's useless to me.

  • pepsiman2006

    Considering that tinkering that is allowed on the system, I have had a pleasant casual experience so far. As a media server using XBMC, Dailymotion, Watch ABC, NBC, CBS, Univision, etc. The picture come in as clear as the source will allow (compared view with tablet) So far NBC gives the most crisp picture, As for gaming, after installing "Root My Ouya" and the "Ouya Mod Collection" app, Google Play was very easy to include. Playing games from Google Play however does require some extra tweaking to make it work with the controller. Games designed for Tegra 3 and Ouya games have been working nicely.

  • http://www.googlepants.com/ Wizard of Odyssey

    OUYA is a great emulation machine as-is, way more elegant than a MAME cabinet and capable of emulating just about every cartridge-based game console ever. Review author is either a kid or sworn not to talk about ROMs, either of which unfairly ignores one of the best things about this device.

    "Media streamer" my butt. This thing is for GAMES!!!

    • Cat Astrophy

      Exactly. Cover EVERYTHING gaming related to what the Ouya can do, or not at all!

    • CorbeauNoir

      So what? You can emulate cartridge games on practically every other device you already own - including a handful that are far more versatile and/or portable
      than the Ouya. Hook up a bluetooth controller (the build quality of which is virtually guaranteed to be far better than the Ouya's cheap-feeling sticking-button crap, btw) to your phone and you already have the ability to do anything the Ouya can with the benefit of not having to be chained to a TV.

      But hey, have fun with Car Jumper.

      • Primalxconvoy

        You are missing the point. Ouya is meant for those that want to play on a TV or monitor easily and cheaply. Most of us who use them are already supporters of mobile devices and champions of the os behind them. Ouya users are not some different breed of gamer that just beamed down to planet earth.

        • Sunset Rider

          You're also missing the point. I have a 4 year old laptop that can emulate cartridge and disc-based games. The OUYA is nothing special when it comes to emulation. If you're buying an OUYA just for emulation, I would strongly suggest looking into the Raspberry Pi.

          • Primalxconvoy

            I think you're missing the point. A pc is expensive and only gets slower with age.

            The ouya is a cheap and relatively easy device to set up and maintain for watching video and playing emulators.

            The Pi, although a hackers' delight, isn't exactly user friendly.

    • Primalxconvoy

      I mainly use it for xbmc. Emulation is OK but ps1and n64 emulsion needs a bit more work.

  • Dan

    Controller range is rather limited and can start to get weird as close as 10' away. The power supply puts some fairly nasty noise on your AC line, although that easy enough to clean up with a filter. I haven't seen any games yet that really blow me away. All I really wanted was a $99 XBMC client, so I'm fairly happy with mine.

  • Cat Astrophy

    "If gaming isn't your thing, Ouya is actually growing into a fine little media hub."

    Yeah someone forgot about emulators.

    • Primalxconvoy

      Yes, but emulators are for games, non?

  • Sergii Pylypenko

    Shell out $150 more, and buy a real console, like MadCatz MOJO. If you also buy all Final Fantasy titles, it will be cheaper than buying PS3.
    My main issue with porting games to Ouya is that they require 10% of screen near borders to not contain any important stuff like buttons or your health bar, which essentially means you have to redesign game UI or just shrink whole screen, which may not always be that simple, and for hobby developer like me that can be a deciding factor to skip Ouya altogether. I wish they'd shrink whole screen automagically from the system settings, asking user to calibrate the picture on TV on the first power-up, that would make porting to Ouya much easier. Oh, and also it does not support Bluetooth microphone, so poor gamers are missing the wonders of CoD-style dirty talk.

    • Primalxconvoy

      Actually I wish ALL games and apps had a manual screen adjust built into them, regardless of platform.

  • Ed Baker

    We saw them at the local Target, right before Christmas for $100. Fully stocked shelf with fully stocked extra controllers and prepaid cards for games. Saw them a couple times and not one had sold in a couple weeks. I considered it, but to add a second game controller to it would have cost $50!!! Half the cost of the entire system? Left a bad taste in my mouth.

  • Hugh Johnson

    PS3 contoller, six-axis app, mhl or slimport. I use my phone as a gaming device on my TV, no need to purchase a outdated ouya for that purpose.

    • yeahman45

      yup i don't quite understand the purpose of buying the ouya when android tablet/phone can already to the same thing as ouya

      • Primalxconvoy

        Because your tablet suffers from input lag/framerate loss when connected to a tv.

        • yeahman45

          I haven't experienced any input lag...

    • Primalxconvoy

      Again, the framerate will be affected by your existing set up, plus you will need to go back to your touch screen and touch menu controls to access menus or answer the phone etc. Although I use your solution myself (and like it) it's not superior to the dedicated set top box solution, merely a different (and welcomed) one.

  • puppybone69

    I'm far more likely to buy an NVIDIA SHIELD for $250 than the current Ouya for $100. It all comes down to a Tegra 4 + a well proven track record VS a Tegra 3 + a young upstart. Plus, 8GB of storage is nowhere near enough, even if you could use all of it. 16GB is the bare minimum for any Android device now, and even 32GB is already barely sufficient for power users. I filled up 16GB of the 32GB on my Galaxy Note 3 the very first day I got it, and by the time that weekend was over, I had filled up all 32GB on it. That was 550 apps from Google Play, most of them games, and many of them paid apps. So why would I want an Ouya without Google Play, and only 8GB of storage? Put a Tegra 4 in it with at least 16GB of storage in it, and add Google Play to it, and I'll buy it, regardless of what it costs, but as it is now, I wouldn't pay more than $50 for it, and I certainly won't buy it for $100. NVIDIA SHIELD is killing Ouya already, and for only $60 or $80 I can buy a MOGA Hero or a MOGA Pro, connect it to my Galaxy Note 3, beam my display to my TV, and have a far superior Android gaming system similar in concept and execution. Sorry but Ouya is already obsolete now.

    • yeahman45

      yup 32gb is not even enough for me and i am not a power user... but i listen to a lot of music so it's mostly filled with music. And photos, my titanium backups and nandroid also take a lot of space... I feel like i need a 64gb card now... with the games taking more and more space now

      • Primalxconvoy

        The ouya supports external usb drives so media can easily be stored and used from an external hard drive.

        • yeahman45

          ah ok.. didn't know it supported OTG... so 32gb is fine then

    • Primalxconvoy

      I don't think your note 3 is better for gaming on the tv. I have a note 2 and I've used a galaxy 4 in the same way. I've used an hdmi adaptor and my Moga pro power (it was a Christmas present), plus the Samsung smart dock and a wired ps3 controller. Both were tested on a cheap 21 inch monitor and a 42 inch hdtv. Although the cheap hdmi cable/ and Moga was OK (and the smart dock combo awful), the lag and framerate drops for both solutions was not as good as the ouya solution.

      Regardless, android and ios gaming isn't going to matter about which hardware solution we use in the future, which is the beauty of basing a gaming and media device on software rather than hardware. In the near future, I expect to see phone docks, dedicated set top boxes, smart tvs, phone streaming solutions etc to all cement mobile convergence gaming and app use on the TV, monitor and touchscreen.

    • http://www.googlepants.com/ Wizard of Odyssey

      Onboard storage is irrelevant when you can use external storage.

      I put my old PS3 hard drive in a USB enclosure and use it with my OUYA. Enough space for anything I could ever want on there.

      NVidia Shield is indeed a nice device (and console mode is brilliant). I don't see why one needs to "kill" the other.

  • GuilhermeMendes

    I believe Ouya will be a great deal with the new steam controllers!

  • Sam Frankelli

    Just so the writer knows the issue with games not installing when you know there's enough space is an android issue. A 500mb app would need 1000mb free space to install so having 600 mb would not cut it. I've had mine since day one, controller has no problems ever. In fact it's so far my favorite controller of any system I've owned. And people need to stop calling games "mobile games" Jesus Christ this irks me.. does anyone call DS, gameboy, vita or PSP games mobile games? They are mobile but why would we call them that? They're just games.
    I have so far bought and play consistently over 50+ games for OUYA and do not regret any purchase. The hate just doesn't make sense already. It's a cheap indie gaming beast with emulation from every rom system and a couple cd based! How can you beat that?!

    • Lumi

      They are called handheld console games, and mobile games refers to mobile phone/device/tablet games.

      • Sam Frankelli

        The terminology problem is calling any game a mobile game. A game is a game is a game. Only people arguing otherwise are fucking console fanboys. Why would anyone pledge allegiance to a corporation is beyond me to begin with. But then to bash anything that's different is complete insanity. Gamers unite not freaking argue about the console wars. True gamers own everything they can that has to so with gaming. I still play my old Tiger LCD handheld games from late eighties, early nineties. It's all good, it's all gaming.. Stop the insanity!!

        • Lumi

          Agreed, games need to be judged on their own quality, not the console/machine/system they can be played on. Would actually be a perfect world if we can have a single device that can play ANYTHING, and take the console stuff out of the equation (saves us space and money too).

        • Primalxconvoy

          Although i see your point, there is a technical and design difference between console, pc, mobile and portable gaming. Factors such as screen size affect resolution (ever played a gba game on a 42 inch hd tv?), available time using the device affects how long a gaming session should last (one of the psp's coffin nails was the long loading times which killed the chances of playing it waiting in queues or between short commutes on the bus or train), control devices (PC fps' use mainly mouse and keyboards which is faster than a console player playing the same game using a joypad), distance from the screen (this affects text size, positions of information and screen resolution), battery life (games need to be tailored to v mobile and portable devices), etc.

          I agree that people shouldn't snub when games and apps converge onto other devices (I actually like playing gba games on a big telly) but there are differences between games created for different devices.

    • Primalxconvoy

      It's not just an android issue. Even though the OP didn't see that when you download a game from the shop, you can see how much memory in internal and external drives are; if you only have 500 Megs left you can't always install or download it. Checking a for manager shows that the have downloaded and can be installed just like sideloaded games can.

      Although i share your view on "just games" even portable console games need some work to look good on a tv, mainly to resolution.

  • VulkanX

    All this device is now is a novelty. Neat device to keep in the bedroom when you're done with your xbox one in the game room. That's why I bought one. That and to stream movies, it's nothing revolutionary.

  • Benjamin Jimenez

    The console is still new, It might fail, but those that will come after it will learn from their mistakes and improve until we have a system that everyone is happy with.

    • Primalxconvoy

      In rather hoping Google buys them and uses the brand for their own Google console that's rumoured to be coming out. I'd love for them to work with Moga to create a good joypad and integrate Tegra and the Tegra zone with it for all-round gaming goodness.

      Throw in Google plus (with increased gaming features) for the account, a revised Google play store (with the upcoming new gaming genre search and section for compatible games), syncing game saves and purchases through the console and mobile devices, add nexus q features and it will sell.

      • http://www.googlepants.com/ Wizard of Odyssey

        Wild speculation: the only way Google Play gets on the Ouya platform is if the company goes into a Nook-style death spiral and they have nothing to lose by giving up their software revenues.

  • krowstone

    just wait until ultimate gay fighter hits the screen then everyone will want a ouya

  • MadFerret9

    what I like about ouya is that I'm able to develop my own game for a console. I've always wanted to do this, but until now, I've only been able to make a game on PC. When you can use a controller with real joysticks and play it on the big screen, it makes the experience more captivating. And with their simple distribution model, once I have a decent prototype, people can try it out. As a console, ouya itself isn't really anything too special.. what makes ouya unique is how it changes the ecosystem so anybody can develop for a game console and sell their product easily.

  • John McNichol

    Without google play (which for all this time I thought it had!) Ouya doesn't hold much value to me, I like playing games on my devices and the thought of playing them on a bigger screen console style appeals to me but why would I buy games twice? Seems crazy it is still going without play support.

    • Primalxconvoy

      I agree. Ouya needs to aggressively get support for android ports or integrate Google play and evolve their discover store into a portal for Google play (like moga and tegra does).

  • geniuskong

    Nice to see a fair review of the Ouya.

  • James

    Just one Question!
    Can I use my games from Google Play or do I have to buy them again?
    This is important for me!

    • Primalxconvoy

      You have to buy your Google play games again (and some cost more on the ouya).

      I still use my Ouya to watch xbmc and play games like "Meltdow". Apart from the slow boot-up/disk check at the start, I have found it a faster way of watching video content than the ps3 (and with a file manager, an easier to manage way, too).

      I don't think playing games that work well on a phone is a problem. Games like Neon Shadow, Meltdown, Shadow Gun, etc look and play great and sideloaded mobile games like Riptide GT 2, The Conduit HD, Dead Trigger (even hacked versions of Asphalt 8 and Neon Shadow) all play great and don't betray their mobile roots (The Conduit started life on the Wii, anyway).

  • Charles Dexter Ward

    Ouya management decisions killed the project. It was a really good project, they got the money to make it great, but they rushed it. Now they want by 2014 make current HW obsolete by releasing a revision, this is not the way a console should work, that just points out the obvious: they are not really making a console, they just tweeked an android version with a fancy launcher and they got a SoC exactly like the ones nvidia already sells having no real advantage over android sticks.

    • Primalxconvoy

      I disagree. If they update the hardware every year or so then I have no problem with that. Existing Tegra 4 games are still compatible with other chips including Tegra 3 so this shouldn't be a problem.

      However, I don't want to have to wait for my new ouya 2 like I did with my original ouya order and I certainly don't want to buy their pos joypads either. There must be some killer apps and games that need tegra 4 for me to bother with it or some new hardware features (MUCH bigger internal hard drive, multiple usb ports, audio out/headphone jack, etc). If I see that and more big names like Gameloft supporting it, I'm in.

      • Charles Dexter Ward

        There is no guarantee that they'll keep using tegra, (regardless of that games should be compatible for atleast the next generation). Regardless of that their biggest problems are software related, spending resources to get together a new hardware version would split their effort at best. And new version will have advantage which current ouya won't have, and if it doesn't have, there is no point in buying it.Probably they want a new version 'cuz current tegra is no longer being made and ouya folks are not important enough to keep production just for them...

  • Scott Zupek

    The difference between Shadowgun, Meltdown is that they are written FOR the Tegra3 chip. They use texture compression and NVIDIA chipset specific features to get results. Games like chrono blade and I am also guessing THE CAVE, don't seem to use HARDWARE OpenGL ES or seem to make light of the Tegra3 feature set. OUYA has power, the problem is, you won't find many Indie developers written specific to one chipset (nvidia vs amd vs intel) because it cuts their install base down. However, developing only for the OUYA means (just like the big 3) you know EXACTLY what to develop for. Right now, releasing Tegra 4 / Ouya 2 ( i like Ouya Squared ) will hurt the longterm brand reputation. They still need developers to reach out and develop for Tegra3. For the record Shadowgun, when it released, REQUIRED Tegra 3. They helped sell Tegra 3 hardware including the Tegra 3 based ASUS Transformed T700 series.

    Ouya has done what they promised. They delivered a box that CAN be a good gaming console if TALENTED developers make sure of it. Games like Tripwire's Killing Floor Calmilty certainly help sell the console too. However, that is NOT developed for TEGRA3 graphics, which is why it slows down.

    • Himmat Singh

      True enough. There is this so-called "secret sauce" that enables Tegra-optimized games to perform better than they otherwise would. But still, it doesn't change the fact Tegra 3 is a real dog. My iPad 2 runs rings around any Tegra 3 device performance wise.

      PS: Shadowgun never REQUIRED Tegra 3. That was simply the THD version. The regular one was available on all chipsets.

  • Himmat Singh

    When I see how newer nice-looking games run on my Tegra 3 tablet, I cringe. And I can always get a Tegra 4 tablet, but I've decided to skip this generation of devices. Holding out for a Tegra 5 device next year one short. The performance delta increase between generations should also decrease by then.

  • Andrew Beard

    I'm much happier with the Shield and real Google Play access than the Ouya.

  • Don

    For me the I was hoping for some of the better gameloft games, but none the less the OUYA if fun. I have two of the revised controllers. Me and my son have a ball playing games like tower fall and hidden in plain site. That game makes everyone crack up. I think the idea is not to make the best graphic games, but to have a way to make fun phone games playable on the big screen without dongles and a MOGA. MOGA is fun too. XBMC on the OUYA is the real seller. It also plays retro games better than a molded Wii. My Xbox doesn't get as much play, because in my busy world. I dont always have the time to make it through the loading screen of the Xbox. It is what it is. I already have two friends who bought one after playing with mine. Also you get try every game before you slap a dime down.

  • Andrew Vrba

    Anything Ouya does, MiniPC dongles do better and, in many cases, cheaper.