OUYA - Cheap, Open-Source Android Game Console

LockAndLoad wrote:

Just got home from my local monthly game dev meetup group and the Ouya pretty much dominated 3 straight hours of conversation amongst 20+ devs. There were quite a few guys that basically kept going around and around saying that this was "a developer's console" and that it'll be easier for indies to get noticed. I had a few arguments against that that nobody really had answers for... That if they ship their original planned 90K allotment, at a 70/30 equity split you would need to sell your game to 1000 of those consoles (~1% of the install base) to make back the $700 "Early SDK" cost. Seems kind of a high number with a low saturation device to justify the expense. My second argument is that there are already 600000 games on Google's app store. What happens when a sizable portion of those are ported over to Ouya, diluting the market to the point where your game gets buried like it would on Apple or Google's app stores. And what happens when Zynga or Popcap appears on the platform, potentially wiping out the visibility for indies altogether.

No one really had good answers to any of those criticisms. It was a little unnerving actually, because there were 5 developers fully engaged on the idea that they were going to get rich or noticed being on the Ouya. When conversation about Steam Greenlight came up, a couple people were concerned that Steam might screw it up or that the results might be skewed as part of a Kickstarter campaign and that was it. No one was really taking Greenlight as a serious avenue to have their game discovered. It was maybe 5 minutes of conversation total.

Kind of fascinating really... These are strange times we live in.

What your anecdote tells me is that some developers really like the idea of OUYA, and that perhaps the fundamental concept behind the project (that is - make a device that specifically targets indie studios) may be sound.

But that's just a concept. There's such a huge gulf between having a good idea and actually making it work, it's hard to guess whether any of the excitement now will actually translate to success down the road once all of these practical obstacles start to actually get in the way.

A guy in my game dev group just received this email from the Ouya team to Kickstarter backers that's kind of interesting...

So it’s time for us to reveal our secret weapon, someone who has been working with us tirelessly behind the scenes to bring OUYA to life, and today we’re pulling back the curtain.

Meet Muffi Ghadiali from our team, who is in charge of making the OUYA product, hardware and software.

Muffi joined OUYA from Lab126, a part of Amazon, where he worked on the Kindle line of products.

I thought it would be best if you heard directly from him, so he wrote to you...

___I’m Muffi, and I want to tell you a little bit about what we’re working on at OUYA.

I came out of Lab126’s product team where I worked on the Kindle line -- hardware and software. I worked every day with engineering, product design, industrial design, operations, supply chain, and QA teams.

I joined OUYA because I saw--early on--the potential for an open technology to change how gaming works. Gamers are unique. They are sophisticated and they follow products from the first idea all the way to market. For a product guy like me, that's exciting. We're getting a lot of feedback, great support and lots of questions. Sometimes those are tough questions but they keep me at the top of my game. It's pretty cool that Kickstarter facilitates a direct dialogue with future users.

My job at OUYA is to ensure that we meet the needs of gamers and developers.

In short, I’m here to deliver OUYA.

I know from experience that this can be done:

I’ve built consumer technology products for more than 15 years--both hardware and software. I’ve worked on set-top boxes, media streaming devices, handheld devices, content services, and other big consumer products.

I’ve been playing a key role in designing the path that will take OUYA to market, from technology to production.

And while it may seem aggressive, the technology here is actually fairly standard. We’re not building a hovercraft or a nano-bot.
If you look online at the teardowns of other devices with some of the same components, you’ll see that our device can be built for well under $99.

What IS innovative is the beautiful design from Yves Behar, and our model for working with game developers. From my perspective, I’m tackling the easy part.

So here’s what we’re doing now...

Developers, we’re working to get an SDK in your hands as fast as we can, please be patient. It will be pretty simple to start, using the existing Android SDK and adding the ability to promote your game, and to charge OUYA customers. We’ll add to it as we go.

We’re getting our ducks in a row on the hardware production. NVIDIA is helping us with production designs, and selecting the right device manufacturer. We’re in talks with a few manufacturers. I was just playing with our circuit board yesterday.

NVIDIA is also helping us maximize the performance of our Tegra 3 chips -- they’ll work even better than the demos you see online. We’ll be able to support some intense games.

And we heard your feedback: yes, yes, we’ll add an Ethernet jack. We have a lot of consoles to make, so I wouldn’t expect too many more changes to the spec.

Ulairi wrote:

there really hasn't been any kickstarter "successes" yet. we have had a lot of products funded but we haven't seen (or i haven't seen) any products hit market due to kickstarter presales and be successful. I think you're being overeager here. I think a lot of the consumers that would buy this are contributing to the kickstarter and I don't see a market that will purchase this thing beyond the kickstarter group.

Just wanted to address this. Though they weren't huge projects, I've already seen a return on 7 different kickstarter projects. Some that I backed late 2011, and others that I backed only a couple months ago. 4 music albums, 1 game, 1 app, and 1 podcast.

Delerat wrote:
Ulairi wrote:

there really hasn't been any kickstarter "successes" yet. we have had a lot of products funded but we haven't seen (or i haven't seen) any products hit market due to kickstarter presales and be successful. I think you're being overeager here. I think a lot of the consumers that would buy this are contributing to the kickstarter and I don't see a market that will purchase this thing beyond the kickstarter group.

Just wanted to address this. Though they weren't huge projects, I've already seen a return on 7 different kickstarter projects. Some that I backed late 2011, and others that I backed only a couple months ago. 4 music albums, 1 game, 1 app, and 1 podcast.

Cards Against Humanity, I discovered while playing it, was a Kickstarter project.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
Delerat wrote:
Ulairi wrote:

there really hasn't been any kickstarter "successes" yet. we have had a lot of products funded but we haven't seen (or i haven't seen) any products hit market due to kickstarter presales and be successful. I think you're being overeager here. I think a lot of the consumers that would buy this are contributing to the kickstarter and I don't see a market that will purchase this thing beyond the kickstarter group.

Just wanted to address this. Though they weren't huge projects, I've already seen a return on 7 different kickstarter projects. Some that I backed late 2011, and others that I backed only a couple months ago. 4 music albums, 1 game, 1 app, and 1 podcast.

Cards Against Humanity, I discovered while playing it, was a Kickstarter project.

I've seen returns on about 7 or so projects by now. Out of 30 backed in total. Only 1 I wasn't happy with. Most of the rest should start delivering later this year / next. I also picked up Alien Frontiers which was another board game that Kickstarted a couple years back. Biggest projects I've backed so far are some of the adventure game revivals earlier this year.

Hey guys, there will be a Q&A on Kotaku with Yves Behar tomorrow. The Julie Uhrman one just happened so I'm late to let you people know. I was curious to see some of the developers users in this forums take their questions to them (I am not business game savvy so I couldn't ask myself). Maybe it's worth checking that out?

http://kotaku.com/5926678/ouyas-top-...

Robert Bowling's new company has committed to making an OUYA exclusive prequel instalment to his new franchise on OUYA.

He has yet to release a game of his own so what this means remains to be seen but still, it's at least one announcement which is something people wanted.

Delerat wrote:
Ulairi wrote:

there really hasn't been any kickstarter "successes" yet. we have had a lot of products funded but we haven't seen (or i haven't seen) any products hit market due to kickstarter presales and be successful. I think you're being overeager here. I think a lot of the consumers that would buy this are contributing to the kickstarter and I don't see a market that will purchase this thing beyond the kickstarter group.

Just wanted to address this. Though they weren't huge projects, I've already seen a return on 7 different kickstarter projects. Some that I backed late 2011, and others that I backed only a couple months ago. 4 music albums, 1 game, 1 app, and 1 podcast.

I want to separate things like albums and podcasts from things like Ouya. When you're kickstarting essentially finished products, or products that need bridge funding to production that's one thing. This thing, the Ouya isn't going to even hit the market. The numbers just don't work based on the information we have. If they raise $6,000,000 and think they're going to have enough to produce the 60,000 units and not have VC or other funding, it's not going to happen. They won't even talk about outside funding. That is very odd to me. It cost a lot of money to get production up and running. When you buy the first Xbox 360 it is more expensive than the 1,000,000 Xbox 360.

I wasn't clear before, I was speaking of the EPIC Kickstarters. I don't know about the game/apps but did they raise the millions of dollars?

Parallax Abstraction wrote:

Robert Bowling's new company has committed to making an OUYA exclusive prequel instalment to his new franchise on OUYA.

He has yet to release a game of his own so what this means remains to be seen but still, it's at least one announcement which is something people wanted.

I heard that Glitchless is going to release their upcoming MMORPG 'Dawn'exclusively on the Ouya.

EDIT: Robert Bowling was the CoD community manager.....

Outgrow.me, which shows you only the successful products/projects you can pre-order or buy now.

Besides filtering the items between ones that'll ship now or when the product is available, you can browse by categories, including under $25 and "everything but apple."

This thing and OnLive actually got interesting when they announced the deal with OnLive. It probably won't be something I'd be interested in, but I could see it being a good solution for many people.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

This thing and OnLive actually got interesting when they announced the deal with OnLive. It probably won't be something I'd be interested in, but I could see it being a good solution for many people.

Doesn't OnLive already have a cheap console for this purpose?

SixteenBlue wrote:
tuffalobuffalo wrote:

This thing and OnLive actually got interesting when they announced the deal with OnLive. It probably won't be something I'd be interested in, but I could see it being a good solution for many people.

Doesn't OnLive already have a cheap console for this purpose?

Yeah, but that's just one more item in an entertainment center item and all it does is OnLive (I think?). OUYA running XBMC, OnLive, and any Android based games would have quite a bit going for it.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

OUYA running XBMC, OnLive, and any Android based games would have quite a bit going for it.

I'm sure this is going to be a circular argument (and possibly from earlier in the thread), but are there any compelling Android based games you'd want to play on a large screen TV? Because at this point that's something which differentiates this from a full console/HTPC, and makes MS's $99 360 w/ 2 year contract a valid point of comparison.

Also, isnt OnLive working with TV vendors to embed their technology in higher-end TVs?

shoptroll wrote:

I'm sure this is going to be a circular argument (and possibly from earlier in the thread), but are there any compelling Android based games you'd want to play on a large screen TV?

I bet this would look good.

I've played it on my Transformer tablet and wondered how cool it would look and play on my TV, but I'm too lazy to buy the necessary cable and controller to find out. And for the record, I'm not a backer of the OUYA and don't plan to buy one. Just answering the question.

MeatMan wrote:

Just answering the question.

Thanks. I don't pay much attention to the Android scene so that was a helpful response.

shoptroll wrote:

Also, isnt OnLive working with TV vendors to embed their technology in higher-end TVs?

They announced that they would be included in LG televisions, although none have shipped with it yet. They may be trying to go back to the table with that stuff, though. (The reason they didn't go with other TV companies is because most of those signed an exclusivity deal with Gaikai, but now that Sony owns Gaikai, that's probably not happening.)

kuddles wrote:
shoptroll wrote:

Also, isnt OnLive working with TV vendors to embed their technology in higher-end TVs?

They announced that they would be included in LG televisions, although none have shipped with it yet. They may be trying to go back to the table with that stuff, though. (The reason they didn't go with other TV companies is because most of those signed an exclusivity deal with Gaikai, but now that Sony owns Gaikai, that's probably not happening.)

And there's no guarantee that whatever specific cloud services your fancy pants new TV might support will even exist in a couple of years. I'd much rather have an open little $100 box that can play OnLive and Android games and just let my TV be a dumb display. Maybe if OnLive fails the OUYA could even support whatever replaces it (hypothetically).

I will say that the OnLive thing is a pretty big deal. Yeah, you can get OnLive in other ways, but this actually means you'll have a huge stable of games that you can play right out of the gate - and that makes OUYA much more interesting to me.

gore wrote:

I will say that the OnLive thing is a pretty big deal. Yeah, you can get OnLive in other ways, but this actually means you'll have a huge stable of games that you can play right out of the gate - and that makes OUYA much more interesting to me.

But why not sign your life away on the subsidized $99 360? Do you get the quirky little Android box with latency susceptible AAA gaming, or do you just grab the MS console? The big upside to the OnLive deal is that if this does go through, you won't need to pay additional money for the console transition.

Even then, there's still not much you can do on this box that you can't already do with a PC. Maybe not as easily at the $99 price point, but I still don't see much appeal to this aside from the novelty angle (which I think is partially why people were so ga-ga over the Raspberry Pi as well).

shoptroll wrote:
gore wrote:

I will say that the OnLive thing is a pretty big deal. Yeah, you can get OnLive in other ways, but this actually means you'll have a huge stable of games that you can play right out of the gate - and that makes OUYA much more interesting to me.

But why not sign your life away on the subsidized $99 360? Do you get the quirky little Android box with latency susceptible AAA gaming, or do you just grab the MS console? The big upside to the OnLive deal is that if this does go through, you won't need to pay additional money for the console transition.

By "you" I assume you don't mean me personally but the market as a whole, in which case I don't know. I assume most of us here already have some kind of current console so this is a supplement and not an alternative.

I can say that for myself having a very portable little console / media device / Android computer is incredibly attractive to me. I will not carry my XBox 360 or PS3 with me when I go on vacation - heck, I won't even move them to a second TV. But this thing? Different story.

Just got a Kickstarter email saying....well I will just copy it here.

This morning, we are honored to announce that OUYA is partnering with Square Enix to bring you one of the most beloved franchises in gaming -- Final Fantasy. We will kick this off with Final Fantasy III, which will be a launch title on OUYA. This will be the first time gamers outside of Japan can play FFIII on their televisions through a console.

But that’s not the end of it: We’re promising to deliver Final Fantasy III like you’ve never seen it before – Hironobu Sakaguchi’s third installment in the role playing game franchise will be updated to exploit OUYA’s high-definition resolution in glorious graphic detail. For those of you who are new to Final Fantasy, we’ll offer a free demo so you can give it a go!

Previously unreleased in the U.S. until it appeared as a 3D remake for the Nintendo DS in 2006, Final Fantasy III was widely referred to as one of the “missing pieces” in the FF series. OUYA players can now proudly claim this piece of the puzzle.

We’re thrilled to bring this storied franchise to OUYA.

I think that is a pretty big feather in their cap. Not as big as if SQ had let them have say Final Fantasy 7 but still a huge developer.

farley3k wrote:

Just got a Kickstarter email saying....well I will just copy it here.

This morning, we are honored to announce that OUYA is partnering with Square Enix to bring you one of the most beloved franchises in gaming -- Final Fantasy. We will kick this off with Final Fantasy III, which will be a launch title on OUYA. This will be the first time gamers outside of Japan can play FFIII on their televisions through a console.

But that’s not the end of it: We’re promising to deliver Final Fantasy III like you’ve never seen it before – Hironobu Sakaguchi’s third installment in the role playing game franchise will be updated to exploit OUYA’s high-definition resolution in glorious graphic detail. For those of you who are new to Final Fantasy, we’ll offer a free demo so you can give it a go!

Previously unreleased in the U.S. until it appeared as a 3D remake for the Nintendo DS in 2006, Final Fantasy III was widely referred to as one of the “missing pieces” in the FF series. OUYA players can now proudly claim this piece of the puzzle.

We’re thrilled to bring this storied franchise to OUYA.

I think that is a pretty big feather in their cap. Not as big as if SQ had let them have say Final Fantasy 7 but still a huge developer.

It's already on Android. I'm curious what updated for HD means.

SixteenBlue wrote:

It's already on Android. I'm curious what updated for HD means.

It's also on iPad, so they probably already have art assets that are already 720p and they can probably refine them from there. All they're likely to do is re-integrate the DS control scheme for the Ouya controller and shove it out there.

Good to hear that they're getting support from a big name publisher though!

SixteenBlue wrote:

It's already on Android. I'm curious what updated for HD means.

Yeah - I'm assuming it's just a case of adding controller support to the existing Android port. Which, you know, is nice, but hardly a revolution. Also, teaming up with one biggest game developers in the world kind of seems like a big screw you to the "indie" developers this thing is supposedly targeting.

It just occurred to me that OUYA could have an interesting and beneficial effect on the rest of the Android ecosystem, in that it might start encouraging developers to add gamepad support generally. A very small bluetooth gamepad with e.g. a Nexus 7 might be an attractive proposition for some more serious games too.

gore wrote:

Also, teaming up with one biggest game developers in the world kind of seems like a big screw you to the "indie" developers this thing is supposedly targeting.

They're not mutually exclusive. That's just how things pan out sometimes.

Blind_Evil wrote:
gore wrote:

Also, teaming up with one biggest game developers in the world kind of seems like a big screw you to the "indie" developers this thing is supposedly targeting.

They're not mutually exclusive. That's just how things pan out sometimes.

And indies aren't going to bring the sales numbers if this thing ever makes it to the retail channels. So you need big names like EA, Square-Enix, Activision, et al. Besides, aren't the "big names" what people wanted based on that survey?

Sure is tiny

IMAGE(http://www1.pcmag.com/media/images/353543-ouya-console.jpg?thumb=y)

I just dropped my pledge for this. I want the device, I think it will be cool. However, I also see it becoming another thing that just sits around after a couple weeks and never gets used (I'm looking at you Microsoft Kinect!) I still hope it goes well but just didn't feel right about putting my money behind it at this point.

XBMC was announced for ouya for this today too. Nowim really interested .

DeThroned wrote:

I just dropped my pledge for this. I want the device, I think it will be cool. However, I also see it becoming another thing that just sits around after a couple weeks and never gets used (I'm looking at you Microsoft Kinect!) I still hope it goes well but just didn't feel right about putting my money behind it at this point.

I agree but I am also very wary of how this will end up and if it will be what they advertise even with xbmc.

I just can't justify it at the moment.