originals\ Jul 16, 2012 at 11:31 am

OUYA backers seem confused by what the console actually is


The OUYA hype is certainly quite a phenomenal thing. A console that no one has ever laid their hands on, seen a demo of, or know anything about besides specs, is still being largely supported by a huge community that hopes that a console will co-exist alongside others, that won't require you to spend $60 on a game that you can play on your TV and with a controller.

Even despite this massive success the Kickstarter is having, there is no shortage of doubters and skeptics. In fact, there are backers that took back their pledge simply due to a lack of updates from the OUYA team even despite it's massive success. It's understandable though, I can obviously understand some people's skepticism when it comes to backing something that hasn't been at all developed yet, and might have a chance to be a complete bust.

OUYA console
Is this what the console will look like? No one knows for sure yet

In a recent editorial written by Ben Kuchera on the Penny-Arcade Report, he discusses reasons why people shouldn't give into the hype, but rather go into the project a bit skeptical, since there are is a bunch of evidence pointing to an unsuccessful console. While I don't necessarily agree with Ben's point of view of the console pointing to a certain failure, I definitely see there are a few problems, and one of the biggest ones happen to be with the backers themselves.

Shortly after the Kickstarter hit its goal, the team at OUYA released a survey to let people write in games they'd love to see on the console. After a ton of people have responded, the team compiled a list of the top 20 most popular results:

  • Call of Duty (Activision) Maybe some of the older, much older titles?
  • Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft) Unless they mean the terrible mobile version...which they don't
  • Battlefield (EA) Same as Call of Duty, maybe a very early Battlefield game
  • Grand Theft Auto (Rockstar)
  • Bastion (Supergiant)
  • Timesplitter (Eidos)
  • Limbo (Playdead)
  • FIFA (EA) FIFA 95?
  • Super Meat Boy (Team Meat)
  • Mass Effect (EA) Come on...
  • Fez (Polytron)
  • Terraria (Re-Logic)
  • Battletoads (Tradewest)
  • Skyrim (Bethesda) This unholy suggestion blows my mind
  • Minecraft (Mojang)
  • Torchlight (Runic)
  • Need for Speed (EA) Need for Speed 1 and 2? Those could definitely work
  • League of Legends (Riot)
  • Final Fantasy (Square)
  • Dungeon Defenders (Trendy)

There are two problems here. The first, and arguably the biggest problem is that backers seem to be confused about what the OUYA is supposed to be, what kind of games it can handle, and where it wants to fit into the console market. The premise of OUYA has never been, "Let's make another powerful console that will take down the competition and play the latest AAA titles." In fact, the premise is quite the opposite. It's supposed to be a console that will let indie developers shine; a console that will let you enjoy some of those fantastic games only playable on a touch screen thus far; a console that will rather fill a niche of gamers, than taking on the masses and expecting every living room to have one.

Skyrim on OUYA
‚ÄčThis will most likely never happen

But a lot of the backers seem to think that the OUYA will be their inexpensive ticket to next gen hardware and games, and that for $99 they'll be able to play games like Battlefield and Skyrim at very little cost. Thankfully the entire list isn't filled with silly requests like those, and it seems like some people are understanding the point of it.

Now of course my speculation could be wrong however, and it could turn out that OUYA is indeed wanting to take on consoles of this generation. If that's the case...then I'm a bit worried.

The second problem is that the team behind the OUYA is actually acknowledging these requests. Instead of filtering out choices such as Skyrim‚Äč, they actually included it on the list, giving people false hopes of one day being able to play Bethesda's epic RPG on the Android based console. Then again, maybe it stayed on the list as a reference guide, something to show to developers and let them know "Hey, people want more games like Skyrim, so get to work." Even if this was the case, there should have been an update on their page which clearly stated this, or simply stated that those games just won't be able to work on their console.

We heart games on a TV
Notice the titles shown. Even Madden is most likely the mobile version. This is the purpose of OUYA

With so much development time left, it would certainly benefit everyone if there were more frequent updates on the project. It would let people know that despite them investing nearly a hundred dollars or more, can rest easy knowing exactly what their money is being put to.

Me being the optimist that I am, I still see a very bright future for the OUYA. I'm just worried that a lot of people who are also excited for the console, but for all the wrong reasons might be its biggest downfall.

About The Author
Mike Splechta GameZone's review copy hoarding D-bag extraordinaire! Follow me @MichaelSplechta
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