The folks behind Ouya have been making some changes as of late. There was a more pricey version of the console, then the Ouya Everywhere initiative happened. Now the company has announced it will no longer require all games to have a free demo attached. Be prepared for regular paid content to start popping up in the Ouya store.


This doesn't mean the free-to-try model is going away, but developers will be allowed to ask for payment up-front. Ouya says this is about giving developers choice, but the free trials were a big selling point for consumers. It seems unlikely the company would do this unless it was getting an earful from devs. In the blog post, Ouya's Bob Mills says developers have been citing issues like budget, creative direction, and lack of interest in creating demo content.

It will be a few weeks before the paid model is an option for developers, but the wheels are in motion. If this does succeed in getting more developers working on the Ouya, it might be worth any ill will engendered in the community.

[Ouya Blog]

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

  • Dman11

    spelling error at tree to try?

    • Andrew Vrba

      Tree to try is my favorite business model. If a door-to-door salesman comes by and he doesn't at least have a shrub for me to fondle, I tell him where to go.

      • primalxconvoy

        Handy if you are on a holy quest for a shrubbery.

    • Jewel C. Muller


      █ █ █ █⯩ █ █ █ █ █ �█ █ █ █ █ █ This is a terrible idea...even XBox Live Arcade and Indie Games require a demo.

  • Cherokee4life

    If it helps the OUYA pick up more traction then I am all for it.

    • Andrew Vrba

      Between this, and "Ouya Everywhere", they're just cutting their own throats.

  • miri

    I just wish they'd give prices upfront, free-to-try or no.

    • Erstam


      • primalxconvoy

        No, they don't. You still don't see the price at the Discover store. They just now have a dedicated "buy" and a "try for free" button next to the game. Still no price into, sigh.

        • MadFerret9

          Yes they do... turn your ouya on.. it shows prices right on the game page.

    • http://www.benvanhouts.com Benjamin van Houts

      I was under the impression they did this in their last major update?

  • Jon_TWR

    This is a terrible idea...even XBox Live Arcade and Indie Games require a demo. This is the biggest sign I've seen that OUYA may not be long for this world.

    And I'm sorry to say, I feel like I might have to accelerate that trend by no longer purchasing any OUYA content. I'll still use my OUYA and play the games I already have, but if they're willing to betray one of their core principles, why would I trust anything they say?

    • Andrew Vrba

      I knew it wasn't long for this world the moment they said it wouldn't have native Google play support.

      • Jon_TWR

        So, as soon as they announced the kickstarter, then?

        • Andrew Vrba

          Pretty much! And Ouya isn't even that radical of an idea.
          Android gaming on the TV can be had without the need for Ouya.
          Android Sticks get the job done, and some phones and tablets have a mini-HDMI out on them.

          • Jared Deklems

            But that's not the idea of OUYA! The idea is to give developers a true environment to develop for the TV!

          • Andrew Vrba

            Dude, I don't even think Ouya's handlers know what the idea of Ouya is supposed to be, not as often as they change their story.

          • primalxconvoy

            When will people like you understand that the FRAME RATE TAKES A KICK IN THE GUTS WHEN A PHONE OR TABLET IS CONNECTED TO A TV OR MONITOR?

            I've tried many connection styles and the best way so far is a dedicated hdmi connected device.

            Seriously, what's with all the newb comments at sites like this?

          • Andrew Vrba

            I play android games on my TV using a stick.
            Zero lag. Sorry, but your special little box isn't so special.

    • David Hart

      My Ouya is a Towerfall box :/

      • Cat Astrophy

        It's a decent emulator box. Could use a Tegra 4 though

        • Andrew Vrba

          Yeah, but that fleet of Rockchip android sticks are decent emulator boxes too. The differences being, I don't have to sit around and wait for an emulator author to decide to make a device-centric build of say...Drastic. In that regard Ouya is an inferior emulator box.

    • primalxconvoy

      Exactly. Shame, really as Meltdown is premium only on Ouya (with great support from the devs) and the android version is freemium with AWFUL customer support from those jokers, Bulkypix.

  • Andrew Vrba

    Wow, even some of the Ouya die-hards are starting to shake their heads. Maybe now they will see the Ouya for what it is, a glorified Android stick pc, with a shoddy BT controller.

    • Pete Tandon

      this is all it was ever going to be. They have die-hard fans?

      • Andrew Vrba

        Oh yes. And the ones who have done nothing but make excuse for Ouya since its inception are starting to go "Wait...this thing might NOT be all it was cracked up to be!" But rather than go "Shame on me, for being so gullible!" its "Shame on Ouya, for me being so gullible!"

        • primalxconvoy

          Except that you are sprouting rubbish. At the Unofficial Ouya Forums, most posters there have equally praised and complained about the Ouya since it came out.

          Perhaps the lady herself doth protest too much?

          • Andrew Vrba

            Bullshit. That thread is 90% butt hurt, self-entitled brats, angry that they are no longer guaranteed a free taste of everything.

  • hp420

    Well, there goes every single shred of what Ouya once stood for...

  • http://dpashk.com/ Dmitry Pashkevich


  • h4rr4r

    They need to sell the controller and release the APK of their store.
    I have plenty of phones and tablets that I can hook up via HDMI and many are more powerful than the OUYA.

    • Andrew Vrba

      They're releasing their store to other platforms like the MOJO. Your better off finding a much better controller though. OUYA's is a piece of shit.

      • h4rr4r

        I don't want to buy yet another device, when I can simply hook a tablet to my TV. So far the best controller seems to be the PS3 one.

        • primalxconvoy

          Except that the frame rate drops when connecting a phone or tablet to the tv. Although I would like to see this improve for better gaming options, currently your argument has little merit compared to a dedicated STB or hdmi dongle solution.

          • h4rr4r

            Since when?
            Frame rate is based on how many pixels you can drive, if the phone and TV have the same number of pixels there should be no framerate drop.
            You mean spending more money for the same result, why is that a good idea?

          • Nitrogen Widget

            1. most TV's have more pixels than most phones so most phones have to drive more pixels than they were designed for.

            2. If you do have a 1080 phone hooked up to a 1080 tv then the phone is working even harder to render the image on both displays at once. Hence the reason phones slow down. Not to mention the battery drains at a good clip also even with the charger hooked up.

          • h4rr4r

            1. My tablet and tv are both 1080p.
            2. No, the display is mirrored, so the graphics chip does not more work than to one display. My tablet charges will displaying just fine.

    • primalxconvoy

      You don't want one of their controllers. They are crap.

  • primalxconvoy

    I will only buy games or apps that I've tried for free on Android. The platform is too unstable to just buy things in the hope that they will work.

    Ouya also hasn't got a 15 minute refund window, either.

    Regardless, ANY game that I want to try on Ouya, but can't because there is no demo version, will just be sideloaded and I'll play the full version for free. Or I'll just ignore it.

    Ouya have continued to break every promise they've given to customers. This latest one is probably too get the likes of Shamesoft and cronies.

    Thing is, having a platform like Ouya, with free demos and premium content was a GREAT way to show how different it was to other Android stores. Having this with "Ouya Everywhere" could then allow devs to do release freemium and all the other junk on Play, while releasing premium and demos on the Ouya.

    They will lose what little customers they have if this goes down.