OUYA

OUYA is supposedly going to revolutionize the console market, with beautiful words as ‘disrupt’ and 101 Call To Action lines as ‘you’re the signal to the world’. To be fair, a Kickstarter that garners 4 million dollars in a few days has an air of being something really important. I think OUYA could be really important and as such, I think it’s worth supporting. There are some problems, though.

Someone pointed out to me that at this point, about 38,000 OUYA’s have been sold. Some quick searching learns that the Xbox, Playstation & Wii are each at 50 million consoles sold or more. Of course, those have been around for more than a decade, but 50,000 consoles sold isn’t even going to make a dent.


At this point, developing for AirPlay through Apple TV is a better idea for developers in terms of certainty, with Apple TV selling 1.5 million units last year. Their SDK is mature(-ish, ahem), the store architecture is pretty solid and has consistently produced sales for a lot of projects. Apple TV’s hardware is powerful enough to show graphics that are crisp on a HD television.

OUYA, on the other hand, has not even 10% of that. Not in terms of userbase, not in terms of SDK, architecture or hardware. Not to mention that Android is clumsy, even though Unitys involvement might offset that. OUYA’s lower requirements in terms of gatekeeping are great, although that always brings the potential for XBLIG/Android-esque mess. What OUYA promises instead is a console in a world in which consoles have been ‘degraded’ to NetFlix-enabled home appliances. They promise a controller that is an actual controller, instead of a combination of jumping around, making awkard gestures while shouting voice control.


Despite all the uncertainty, I think OUYA is worth supporting, so I did reach out to them for a quick introduction. I am fully aware that OUYA might be a tiny platform with an extremely low revenue potential, but I do not think that is why anyone’d release a game on OUYA. If I were to release something, it’d be because I think the platform is – together with Steam Greenlight and before it, the App Store and Steam itself – part of a trend that opens up increasing amount of platforms to independent development .

At this point, there’s little sensible to say about the OUYA. Even the creators seem to acknowledge that, as the Kickstarter page is filled with ‘will be’, while developer quotes all mention ‘the potential’.

I’m skeptical, but nevertheless, I’ll grab the popcorn for when the promised delivery date rolls around.