Later this month, those of you who backed the OUYA project when it launched on KickStarter last year will get your hands on a final unit of the game, three months before it's set to arrive in stores. There's no question that the little Android-based system has a staggering goal ahead of it, coming into a market just when gaming is about to shift over to the next generation with the PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's next console looming.
But don't count this little guy out yet. The folks over at OUYA have a plan, one that could present an interesting new take on this generation of video games. Here are a few reasons why this little system could make a huge impact in 2013 and beyond…
Where most next-gen systems will end up running you around $350 or higher (depending on what you buy – the Wii U is the cheapest around $300 for a base model), the OUYA will end up running you around $100. And while it doesn't look like you're getting much for your money, the system actually has some juice behind it, thanks to its Android support. Plus, that controller actually looks nifty – and the touch pad doesn't take over half the design, as it does on the PlayStation 4's controller.
It's Developer Friendly
One aspect about the system that's easy to spot is the ability to tinker around with its hardware. You can add on however you please, or simply leave it be and see what kind of processing it has to offer, then try your hand at game design and see how the game fares with the rest of the OUYA community. While the PlayStation 4 (and, in some ways, the Xbox 720) will offer game sharing to some extent, the OUYA looks to make it more convenient in terms of making the system what you want it to be.
Development Costs Won't Go Through the Roof
As the next generation of gaming comes rolling in, there's the question of how much money is needed to create that ideal experience. Killzone: Shadow Fall probably won't cost a mere $1 million to make, after all – those are some pretty graphics. And as a result, several development studios – or even publishers, like THQ – may be forced to close down when they don't turn too much of a profit. With OUYA, developers don't have to worry about breaking the bank in creating their gaming experiences, and they see better direct money earnings, since they don't have to pay too many licensing fees as they would on other consoles.
There's a Chance To Build a Real Community, Without a Fee
Unlike what the PlayStation 4 or Xbox 720 will have to offer, the OUYA doesn't require a nominal membership fee in order to interact with it. Sure, you have to buy the games, but that's usually expected anyway. The OUYA community could easily drum up a gaggle of not only indie developers who get to confer with one another, but also players looking for a more "hardcore" style of experience. The OUYA team should take advantage and implement strong communication tools for the system, as well as a forum where people can get to know each other better. And who knows what kind of cool game event it could host in June once the system actually launches. That is around E3 time, after all.
The "Retro" Door Is Wide Open
Along with creating new Android experiences, the OUYA could also be the home of several "retro-style" games for the system. Imagine what the team behind Super Meat Boy could do for the game. Or, for that matter, if Ubisoft released a complete version (online play and all) of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. And that's just getting started – several 8 and 16-bit style games could very well lead the way for an old-school comeback, one in which developers come up with all sorts of tricks that were unheard of in the actual 16-bit heyday. The "classic" gamers would come back, and there are a lot of us out there. And hey, aren't there SNES emulator on Android devices available already? Hmmm…
It Won't Take Up Much Space
This may not be too big of a deal, but those of you with a dinky little entertainment center may not be too fond of having a huge, lumbering PS4 threatening to topple over at any time (assuming its giant). The OUYA is a tiny little wonder, barely taking up any sort of space on your game shelf. The controller's pretty slender too, easily tucked away with your games or TV remotes.
There are plenty of reasons for the OUYA to succeed, and it'll be interesting to see how the system fares over the next few months. Once we get our hands on ours, we'll give you full hands-on impressions, as well as an idea what to expect…