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Ouya – Will it disrupt Console Gaming or Perish Trying?

Gaming industry has always had a strange relationship with its customers. Atari, a company once so great in the gaming industry is nowhere now and so are other companies from the past like Sega. On the other hand, there are companies like Sony with its PS series and Microsoft with its XBOX series that now rule the roost.

Nintendo is the exception company that seems to know what the audience wants since the beginning till now. Even when it seemed all is lost for Nintendo they came up with Wii and changed the whole gaming scenario. These three companies are currently the three major console makers in the market and as far as OS goes- none of them carries an OS used anywhere else.

This all seems to be changing by the challenge of a new kind of Console- Ouya.

Ouya

Ouya specifications

  • CPU - 1.7 GHz Quad core ARM Cortex A9
  • Memory - 1 GB
  • Storage – 8GB
  • Connectivity - Wireless Controller with WiFi, Bluetooth and Ethernet port

These specs are minimal when compared to the giants out there like PS3 and XBOX 360. I would not even go to the next versions of them. The idea of Julie Uhrman is different though. The idea is to bring a $99 console in the market. This console is priced for the masses

When it was initially launched on Kickstarter, the kind of support it garnered alone tells us about the craze that a $99 console creates. Even with this kind of support though, no console is complete without games.

In fact, the biggest proof of this is the fact that each of the three big Greek Gods (PS3, XBOX 360 and Nintendo Wii) has flagship games or series that run on no other console and are created in-house- God of War, Halo and Mario respectively.

Ouya has something else up its sleeve – the OS. It runs Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). This means that with a little tweaking, the games of Android are there in the console to play with. As the display capacity is up to 1080p, we can expect any game like Need for Speed to look awesome on our TVs as well. Also, we should not forget that average price of an Android game is less than a console.

Is Ouya Disruptive?

The bigger question to ask is – Will this console disrupt the Console gaming ecosystem and if so by how much?

The advantage of the pricing and people’s familiarity with Android means that people will not be ambivalent to the project (something they have already shown). This also means that this might become the first console in many homes where the kids are young. This place is currently held by Wii.

For the hard core games though, this will not be the console to go to. On the other hand, this can become something akin to a smaller second car in the family. People might buy it to take it on the go. It is compact in comparison to other consoles.

What I am more interested in is its impact on the developing countries like India. We like it when prices go down. Also, in India, gaming is still a child’s play. If Ouya keeps similar price in India (Around Rs. 5-6K) then it might become the choice of console in India and if people at Ouya are smart, they can even get it bundled with some high end TVs in India.

Let’s see if this is the course the company takes or fizzles out like many other startups.

 

What’s your take on Ouya?


About Kunal Prakash

A graduate from IIT-Roorkee, Kunal Prakash’s love for technology was at first sight and everlasting. He is currently enjoying the first stint as a professional after leaving over 20 years of schooling. You can follow him on facebook or visit his blog for his other musings.

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