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Tag Archives: Ouya

So…my Ouya came last Friday.  Aside from being extremely disappointed it took so long to get here, I was excited to finally be able to try it out.

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I’m actually glad it was shipped in such a plain box.  Given its size, it made the package less conspicuous.

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Surprisingly, though, a lot of the box was empty.  Sitting at the top was my extra controller.

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I have to admit, the color scheme is very appealing to me as is the overall layout.  The top buttons, though, as well as the triggers, might take some getting used to.

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And here’s the controller naked.

The tabs to pull out the batteries is a very nice touch, and they feel very durable.  It’s not those cheap plastic tabs that you see on some devices.  I’ve always found those to break off easily.

And now, to the main event!

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The Ouya and everything inside the box.  Notice that it comes with Duracell batteries; no cheap Chinese knockoffs for this console.

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OOoh, shiny…and it’s sooooooo little!

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The back assortment of ports.  Exactly as stated it would have.

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I’ve been playing it on and off since I got it.  I’ve played these games:

  • You Don’t Know Jack
  • Final Fantasy III
  • Stalagflight
  • A Bit of a Fist of Awesome
  • Chrono Blade
  • Puddle
  • Organ Trail
  • League of Evil
  • And a few others that I can’t remember the name of right now.

So far, I have yet to experience any of the input lag issues I’ve heard about except for in one game: Puddle.  The input lag on it is more than crazy, and I’m betting it’s an issue with the game and not the Ouya.  Every other game has played very well without any noticeable lag issues.

My favorite so far is definitely Stalagflight.  It’s a very simple game, I know, but highly addictive to me.  If you play it and love it as much as I do, do the devs a favor and go into the pizza shop and make a donation.  It’s not often that you see freeware anymore, especially as fun as it is.

The issues that I’ve ran into primarily deal with the Ouya interface.  For instance, the analog stick is hyper sensitive when it comes to scrolling through games.  Also, when viewing details for a game, pressing select while on a picture doesn’t bring up an enlarged picture.  Figuring out what is selected in the details could be easier too.  And last, a pending download list as well as the ability to cancel downloads is needed.

I’ll try to give more reviews as I play.  For now, my thoughts on the Ouya have changed from bitter regret to hopeful optimism.  Now, if they have a supply issue right after launch…..I told you so.  But if they can work on that, they have a game changer here.

Now, where’s The Cave and OnLive support…

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ouya (Photo credit: Saad Faruque)

If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, you know I was a Kickstarter backer of the Ouya back in August of last year. While I thought receiving a new console would be cool, putting money towards a console that really pushed for more indie content was something I was willing to do. I anticipated March not just for a new plaything, but also to see what games could be developed for it.

Fast forward to today. In a week, it will be a month since Kickstarter systems will have started shipping, and I have yet to receive mine. Add in that it could be more than a month before I get mine, and I’m getting extremely worried for the fate of this little console.

My concern stems not from the whole, “But I want what I ordered!” mindset, but from the statistics of it all.  Follow me, if you will, into the way this has played out in my head:

At the end of March, Kickstarter backers were told that shipments would *start* on March 28th.  This is very different wording than the original backing, which stated “Estimated delivery: March 2013″.  Now I’m already getting pledger’s remorse just from realizing I’m not going to receive my device when promised.

A few emails have been sent out to backers since shipments started going out to give updates for those still awaiting devices.  Of these emails, the last one caught my eye because it said that they were at full production capacity, and yet would not have every since Kickstarter backer’s system out the door until May 27th.  That’s two full months since shipments started going out, to ship out roughly 55k OUYAs.  That’s 27.5k systems a month, with all devices being made going out as soon as it’s off the assembly line.  This is probably the lowest production rate of any device that intends to compete with name-brand consoles I’ve ever seen.  The Wii U will sell faster than this just by pure willpower alone.

There are several arguments that can be made from this to look at it from an optimistic point of view.  However, consider this: if you want to buy this on its launch date in June, do you have any guarantee you will be able to get one the very month you ordered it?  Kickstarter backers may not even receive theirs until the day before full launch, not to mention the unknown amount of people that preordered one just after the Kickstarter ended.  Those were supposed to be released this month.  So either Ouya is making more consoles than they say and shipping out preorders alongside Kickstarter backers, which makes my remorse even worse, OR those that preordered and were originally told April now won’t get theirs until June.

Another possibility is that they are indeed making more than they are shipping out and stockpiling for the June launch.  If so, that means Kickstarter backers are not their priority even though we were told we would be.

All of these different possibilities make me extremely anxious.  I know Ouya keeps trying to calm their backers and preorder customers, but the fact is that they just do not have the ability to compete quantity-wise with even the smallest player in the video game market if the numbers truly are as they state.  They can’t put out enough consoles to satisfy the people that have already paid for one, and they have just a little over two months before Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and GameStop want to have their consoles ready for store shelves.

I hope I’m wrong about this, but until I see an uptrend in shipments, I don’t see how the Ouya can have a future.

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Ouya controller (Photo credit: Saad Faruque)

So, there’s a new console about to break ground called the Ouya, and it looks to fill the indie nitch like no other console before it.

Many consoles have tried to tap into this market before.  Xbox Live and the Playstation Network host independently developed games; even the original Playstation had some indie hits.  But the cost of entry can still be pretty high.

Enter: Ouya.  An Android-based consoles with pumped-up tablet specs that hopes to drive gameplay to a whole new level.  Call me old-fashioned (or just old), but I hope it brings back the good old days of the 8- and 16-bit era of video games.  Some of my favorite games of all time are Chrono Trigger and Super Mario RPG, and you just can’t find anything like them anymore.

Here’s to hoping that the Ouya brings something new to the table.  I’m looking at this from an optimistic viewpoint.

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