Become A Part of a Revolution: The Ouya Kickstarter

I’m sure you have all heard of the little device setting a fire to Kickstarter’s servers by now. We had reported on the Ouya before with its announcement and today with the specs but this is really becoming something huge.

The $99 Android-driven game console is really beginning to become a hot commodity around blog sites and can you blame them? The Ouya is something new. Despite the obscure name, the console newcomer is a device even the mighty and powerful Xbox and PlayStation should fear. If this becomes something of a force at the retail stores and digital outlets, you could be seeing a new revolution in terms of how gamers and general consumers want their products to work.

The main reason behind my thought above is that the Ouya is open. In fact, the platform is so open source that the developers are even calling for hackers to surprise them with what they can do with it and even are allowing other devs to ask for the hardware design plans. What is so special about being an open platform? Game consoles like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are closed and because of that it is harder for developers to get products on them. Not only that, they have to adhere to certain rules put in place by Microsoft and Sony. Nintendo does the same thing. The Ouya is a platform that dev studios – big and small – can produce work on and have it in the hands of consumers.

Now, you can try and come up with reasons why this shouldn’t work such as hardware limitations (it certainly isn’t as high caliber as the gaming systems we use right now) or the reach of the target demographic but you need to throw that out the window. The Ouya isn’t claiming to be the latest and greatest in the hardware world. It laid out its specs, gave it a traditional controller (without motion or gyro sensors), and said have at it. As for target audience? The Ouya can have content for any age range in any sort of genre. Given the Android nature, you’ll find the usual suspects such as Angry Birds, Gameloft titles, Zynga, and EA. However, this device isn’t just for those mobile titles. The dev team is talking about an even wider collection of games ranging from indie titles to full games, as long as the studios can scale their product to the Ouya’s hardware. You’ll find games in all sorts of price ranges from $0.99 to $59.99 or even more. Everything is set by the developer.

Now when you take that and add in streaming capabilities, emulator access (the Ouya’s hardware can easily support any games from the NES to the PSX/N64), and easy root access you’re going to have yourself a beast of a device. Any sort of streaming app such as Netflix, Hulu, remote desktop apps, and even Google Play’s content will be available. Your previous purchases will be there thanks to your G-Mail account. You can play any sort of games from retro systems provided you own the game and have the ROM. Yet perhaps the most important part about the Ouya is the easy root access that doesn’t not void your warranty. I can’t even imagine what the XDA community will do with this thing.

Still doubting the little thing? How about the fact that in one day the Ouya Kickstarter went from zero to two million? As of this writing, the backing amount is up to just under 2.2 million and there are still 28 days left. The original goal? $950,000. So what exactly will the dev team do with the extra money? Well that’s up to them and us to figure it out. If you’ve backed the project already, you would have received an e-mail from the team talking about this phenomenon. Here is an excerpt from the update:

The biggest thing for us right now: we are working on our stretch goals, what we can do if we raise more money. It might take us a few days to figure that out, and we want your help.

Tell us what you would like the stretch goals to be at [email protected]

They are inviting backers to e-mail them to tell them what you think, what you would like to see, ask for an interview, and tell them what games you would like to see on it. The Ouya Kickstarter holds all the information one might need including specs, pictures of the console and controller, information about the device itself, the dev team, a list of e-mails, and even a few FAQ questions at the bottom. Right now the Ouya Kickstarter has almost 18,000 backers and rewards are running out quickly.

Mojang, the team behind Minecraft and Scrolls, has already pledged support by saying all of this current and future games will be featured on the Ouya provided that the demand is there. I can’t see how after just one day they won’t pledge full support. In fact, I can’t see any studio shying around from the Ouya. The accessibility of the console and ease of purchase will be something to factor in. I already know one couple who pledged the $99 (+$30 for the second controller) in order to get one not just for themselves but for their kids, as well.

Given the huge influx of mobile games and devices, the Ouya is using a platform that has plenty of kick and support already. With this new platform, Android should see a huge drive of games and apps. Google should be helping this team get this on the map.



Using another excerpt from the first update, the Ouya team states, “Do you realize what you’ve done? You proved consoles aren’t dead.” No matter if you’ve given the subject any thought or not, there are plenty of writers with access to top tier blogs wondering if the next gen will be the last for home consoles. Personally, I think it’s a load of crock, but the thought is trickling into more and more minds by the day. You see other bloggers defending the statement and even more attacking it. The Ouya is a huge win for home consoles. Even if you think this project isn’t for you or just downright want to hate on it, console gamers have to see what this means for the future of boxed devices sitting above, in front, or under their TV’s.

It’s going to hard for video game and tech readers to ignore the Ouya from here on out. Thanks to this impressive display of pledging, you can expect many updates hitting websites about the Ouya Kickstarter. Do yourselves a favor and at least read up on it. You may find your next console for you, the kids, or the entire family.