Gamers were uneasy as soon as Ouya announced its Free the Games Fund a few months back. The goal was to encourage the development of Ouya-exclusive games by matching Kickstarter funds over $50,000, and also offering some extra incentives. After some high-profile scandals that brought to light at least one instance of admitted malfeasance, Ouya boss Julie Uhrman has announced some changes.
First and foremost, the cut off for matching funds has been lowered to $10,000.
Ouya announced in July that it would match funds for Ouya titles that were funded through Kickstarter. That's a pretty good deal, so a number of game developers took a swing at it. There were reports as the first two campaigns neared their goals that something was amiss. There were a number of very large donations, and some felt that screamed "scam." One project has been suspended, and the details are starting to come out.
If you're a dedicated PC or console gamer, odds are pretty good that you've at least heard of The Walking Dead from Telltale Games. It's an old-school adventure game with a coat of current-generation polish, set in the comic book universe that inspired the smash-hit AMC television series. And sometime later this year, it's coming to OUYA.
According to a post on Telltale's blog, all five episodes of The Walking Dead and the well-received DLC episode 400 Days will be coming to the little Android console that could this winter.
In the greater history of computer gaming, Linux is a relative newcomer, still missing out on quite a few AAA titles and only recently gaining access to Steam. While the library of games is growing for the open-sourced OS, the actual development process is still locked in to Windows. Most of the tools used for designing 3D models (e.g. Blender), landscapes, and other graphics have made the transition to Linux, but the primary coding tools are mysteriously absent.
The launch of the world's most hyped Android-powered mini console might have been something of a dud, but at least the creators are keeping up the support. The first major update after Ouya's release includes some substantial improvements to the app/game store, most notably PIN security for purchases (to make sure those meddling kids don't empty Mommy and Daddy's checking account) and support for pre-paid gift cards. Card totals can now be applied towards new games or in-app purchases.
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?
The day has finally come, true believers. The OUYA console is real, it's on sale, and you can have one of three online retailers send one to your doorstep. The $100 gaming SoC-in-a-box got its celebrated start on Kickstarter, but as of today you don't need to be among its backers to buy one. The OUYA storefront, Best Buy, and Target are all allowing orders to go through at the moment - Gamestop and Amazon are also retail partners, but the former isn't allowing you to add the item to your cart, while the latter is showing "out of stock."
All the US and Canadian stores list the OUYA at $99.99, while UK gamers can pick it up for the same price in pounds.
Stop me if you've heard this one before. Mad Catz, purveyor of game controllers and Nintendo cases to rich and poor alike, is preparing yet another Android-powered game console in the vein of OUYA and GameStick. Information on Project M.O.J.O. is buried deep in the company's 2013 fiscal earnings report, with a reveal scheduled at the Electronic Entertainment Expo next week.
Mad Catz CEO Darren Richardson was quoted in the earnings report:
At next week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles we will unveil the keystone product in our GameSmart initiative, Project M.O.J.O., an android micro console configured to harness the maximum gaming horsepower from an android device.
Guys, stop talking about the Ouya for a second. Bluestacks has a different console it would like you to pay attention to: GamePop. The company that has previously worked on interoperability between Android software and other platforms, is now launching a console of its own. The hardware—including a console and physical controller—will be entirely free for people who pre-order. The catch? You have to pay for a subscription to play games.
We've watched this project grow from a once-unfunded Kickstarter campaign to a highly-anticipated beast of a gaming console. If you've been kicking yourself over the last several months for not getting behind the Kickstarter campaign and are counting the days until you can grab this Android-powered box-o-fun from a retail shop, the day is drawing near. According to tonight's announcement from GDC, the device will hit shelves in virtual and physical stores across the country on June 4th.