OUYA is an Android based home console that
came into existence thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign. Some
may even point to the OUYA as how and why Kickstarter has become so
mainstream. The system promises that every single game on it will have
some form of a free version.
The most exciting thing about the OUYA is they have open development, and allow anyone to develop for it. So small companies eager for some name recognition can get some games on a marketplace. Maybe even build some money to make even better games in the future.
After purchasing the OUYA online, we had to wait for it to arrive. Once it did, I marveled at the shoe box sized package. This was the last time I had anything remotely near excitement or being impressed when it came to the OUYA. It took a couple of us to figure out how to actually plug in the batteries into the controller.
We had to dismantle the controllers right and left faces to put batteries in. Be sure to keep those pieces of cloth in there or you will have difficulties replacing batteries when the time comes. This was odd, and a forewarning of things to come. The setup menu screens are clunky at best.
You may have heard some people talk about the credit card issue. Yes it is present. A card has to be put into the system at set up. Even if you plan on never ever purchasing a game. They get some form of credit information from you. They already got $99 dollars from me - that I will never get back.
The system itself is a tiny little cube. Obviously it was efficiently designed. The same goes for the menu screens. Bare bones is another way they can be described. There are no frills, and very little information. In fact most games has a “more info” screen which contains the exact same information on the main page of that game.
Speaking of games on the OUYA. They seem to fit into a few different categories. There are old games (PC, Nintendo DS), there are Android apps, emulators for ROMS of older games, and there are a few home grown apps for the OUYA. When it comes to exclusives there are very few on OUYA that will interest families.
Remember that whole "having some form of a free version?" Well most of the games allow the player to play only a few levels before requesting payment. Some allow the game to be played for so many minutes. The prices on the OUYA actually shocked me. Some of these apps are way cheaper on an Android or iOS device. Why pay so much more to lock it down in your house?
Another problem is how many of these games look. They look like apps stretched out onto the home television screen. Which will never compete with the Wii, PS3, or Xbox 360. Let alone try and compete with the Wii U, PS4, and Xbox One. There is nothing special in the sound department either.
The controller for the OUYA is uncomfortable, and in some games the cursor likes to move to different places all by itself. In other words glitchy. The HDMI cord is too short, and we had to replace with a longer one. The developer tools are something we can still not get working. We spent 3 hours going through all the set up and their multiple forms of instructions, and could still not get it working.
The biggest problem with the development kit concept is you need to plug the OUYA into your computer to do the development. That means move it from where you play it to where you work on your computer. Move it back to play it, and move it back to do more development. This was not well thought out. Maybe things will improve in the coming years.
Family Friendly Factor: 60%
Rating: ‘NR’ - Not Rated
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