Ever since the Ouya’s funds surpassed its goal (it’s over quadruple its initial goal as I write this), there has been a lot of speculation about its success or failure. Obviously the idea of a new console is very enticing, but at the same time, the Ouya barely offers more than a PC or smartphone is capable of. Its main selling point is that it integrates android applications with the television—but otherwise, its specs are abysmal and pale in comparison to other consoles. That’s no reason to throw it in the gutter, however—we’ve seen some consoles succeed despite their lackluster specs before, and this one has plenty to offer that the other consoles don’t. Here are five reasons that will drive the success of the Ouya.
5. Open-source Technology
The Ouya is open-source, which allows for all kinds of unique applications that other consoles can’t have. Internet browser? It’ll have a few. Youtube application? Yep. One of the things that has me most excited is that it will run old emulators—N64, Dreamcast, Playstation, and so on. Since the console is open-source, virtually anything can be made for it, and its interface can be entirely customized to suit the user. The main disadvantage of this is that it opens the door for piracy, but that’s not a problem for the consumer to worry about, and certainly won’t hamper the console’s sales.
4. It’s Advertised Towards a New ‘Gaming’ Niche
The Nintendo Wii was so successful because it catered to families and casual players, rather than the hardcore gamers or loyal fans that had followed the company through the years. This opened up a new niche in the market, but that doesn’t mean there’s no other niches left to address. Smart phone users dominate the market, with Angry Birds surpassing even the Mario series in terms of overall sales. While it’s true the Ouya could be emulated easily on any of their smart phones, the huge amount of funding it has already received shows that there is a group of casual gamers ready to get a console made for their kind of game.
3. Cheap Development Cost
The developer’s license for the Ouya is completely free. If developers want to have an early copy of the Ouya to test their products, they can pay a few hundred dollars for the extra copy—but for everyone else, they can begin development with no paperwork whatsoever involved. Since developing for other consoles can cost thousands of dollars, this will encourage small companies and independent developers to create games for the Ouya.
2. It’s Only $99
Priced the same as a smart phone but delivering a bit more (unless, of course, you jailbroke your iPhone), this console caters to people who can’t afford the larger consoles or simply don’t want to play the AAA games that those consoles have to offer. The Ouya takes an understandable blow to its specs in return for this cheap price tag, making it seem like a toy compared to the others; But at the same time, it would appeal to someone who actually is looking for a toy to entertain their kids.
1. It’s a Phone for TVs…Exactly as Advertised
Comparing the Ouya to consoles just seems to be a marketing strategy to stir up free advertisement while explaining loosely what the ‘console’ will do. It’s a service that allows you to play Android games on the television—exactly as it says in the finer details of the Kickstarter page. It has other things to offer, such as video streaming and an infinite amount of applications that can be created by users and developers alike. Instead of comparing it to Playstation 3 or XBOX 360, it would be better to think of it as a console designed around PSN or XBLA. It’s like comparing a smartphone to a PSP. They’re two different creatures, but both have their uses.