Thoughts about the OUYA

A few days ago a brazilian gaming news blog, of which I’ve been a collaborator since March of this year, published an article of my authorship about the OUYA. And so, I decided to translate the post to English and publish here. You can check the original post, in Portuguese here.

Before I begin, I want to make an introduction about Kickstarter: a crowdfunding site where people help enable, through cash donations, all kinds of projects, from sunglasses to video games. A minimum stipulated amount is placed as the goal and it has 30 days to be achieved. All people interested  can make their donation and according to the amount donated, some projects offer special rewards. For example, a limited amount custom sunglasses for donations above $ 100. To learn more about the Kickstarter, feel free to visit its’ FAQ Page and Basics.

Released on July 10th, a Kickstarter for a console called OUYA has been attracting a lot of specialized gaming media attention. The reason for this interest was due to the OUYA’s proposal: to be an Android based “table” console, totally open for modification and development and also to be a simple platform for publishing independent games. Another major reason for this “buzz” is the asked sale price of US$ 99.00.

The minimum amount required to fund this project is US$ 950,000.00 and this goal was achieved in just over eight hours according to Engadget, representing the most money earned in one day, as reported by Kickstarter itself. After 30 days, at the end of the fundraising, the OUYA reached the staggering numbers of 63,416 supporters (or “backers”) and the amount of US$ 8,596,475.00.

Several big names in the industry have spoken about this project, among them, independent developers such as Team Meat’s Edmund McMillen, one of the creators of Super Meat Boy, Markus Persson (AKA @Notch), creator of Minecraft, Nathan Fouts, responsible for the game Serious Sam Double D XXL, among others.
Joystiq published an awesome article, where you can check out what these and other indie developers have said about Ouya.

One of those responsible for the design of the console is called Yves Behar. Besides renowned product designer, he is the creator of several famous products, including Leaf lamp, the line of headphones and speakers Jawbone and the XO, the laptop which costs less than $ 100 that was part of a distribution campaign for one laptop per child. Additionally, Yves has appeared twice on the TED Talks: on one of them he presents a motorcycle with electric motor alongside an engineer, and on the other, Yves talks about his creative process and how it works so that your products tell their stories through their designs.

The hardware specs for the OUYA are:

  • Tegra3 quad-core processor.
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB internal flash memory.
  • HDMI Connection to TV, including support for 1080p HD.
  • WiFi 802.11 b / g / n
  • Bluetooth LE 4.0
  • A USB 2.0 Input.
  • Wireless controller with standard buttons (two analog, one D-pad, eight action buttons and a button system) and a touchpad.
  • Android 4.0.
  • Ethernet output.

So far, some major companies that have announced interest in releasing games for the OUYA are: Square Enix (releasing Final Fantasy III), Namco Bandai (which by the way, you can comment on the Facebook for Namco Bandai about which game you would like to see in Ouya), U4iA and Robotoki (releasing a prequel to the the game called Human Element to be released in 2015). The OUYA also partnered with various services like TwitchTV, TuneIn, OnLive, XBMC, Plex, among others.

What is Love?!

I honestly believe that Ouya get in the media buzz due to its proximity to its community of developers and gamers. After all, it is a console that is about to launched with over than 60,000 founding members who raised together more than $ 8.5 million. This project can be considered a prime example of the definition of crowdfunding: financial assistance to fund jointly a common goal. Naturally, with this amount of supporters there is a proportional pressure to obtain a quality product. Especially with a project of this size, which in addition to challenge industry leaders promises to change the gaming market as we know it.

If you crave for more OUYA info, I highly recommend checking out the Reddit post done by Julie Uhrman, CEO of  OUYA. On this post Mrs. Uhrman did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) that had over 450 messages, where users and supporters of the project had an excellent opportunity to question those responsible for the console they are helping to fund.

To learn more about the OUYA, watch the video below and let me know your thought about it. You can also follow the OUYA profile on twitter, Facebook, Google Plus among other social networks.

And if you want to know more about the project, visit the Kickstarter page for the OUYA. =)

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