The Spring 2013 Gaming Console You May Not Have Heard About

ouyaWith console giants like Xbox, Nintendo, and Playstation always grabbing every headline, lesser-known newcomers can sometimes fall through the cracks. But while Ouya may not be a household name just yet, that hasn’t stopped it from throwing its hat in the ring.

Ouya (pronounced OOH-yah) is a $99 gaming console created by gaming veteran Julie Uhrman. Based on Android Technology, the Ouya allows any game or application purchased through the Android Marketplace to be played on your television screen. If you’re a fan of games like Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of the Super Heroes or Avengers Initiative for Android but are tired of playing them on your phone, Ouya will allow you to transfer the battle to your big screen. Likewise, if you enjoy reading your comic books digitally but would prefer a much larger screen, Ouya will support the Android marketplace Comixology app. All video and music streaming apps are supported as well.

Another key feature behind the concept is the use of a controller. While cell-phone gaming is by and large the most convenient option for most players, more advanced games can feel overly challenging or downright impossible to play on a touchscreen. Introducing an ergonomically designed controller to the mix should alleviate the frustration a game like Street Fighter II may cause by having to move, jump, and attack (often at the same time) when some touch screen phones only allow one movement at a time.

OUYA_controller-smAesthetically, the Ouya system itself is pleasing to the eye, as it manages to be somewhat reminiscent of the Nintendo Gamecube while still bringing a sufficient amount of originality to the table. The controller itself, however, while presumably comfortable and ergonomically designed, is hard to look at. It looks too much like a boomerang for its own good and could use a rethinking.

Though the Ouya gaming system may not be at the forefront of the mainstream gamer’s mind just yet, it did manage to gain a tremendous cult-following online. The company ran a one month Kickstarter campaign from July to August of this year, originally seeking $950,000 but instead earned nearly ten times that amount, making it one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns of all time.

Ouya has also formed partnerships with AAA gaming publishers such as Square Enix, who will be bringing Final Fantasy 3 to the console’s launch, as well as NAMCO Bandai, the developer of games like Pac-Man, Ridge Racer, Galaga, and Tekken.

While the system is purportedly very powerful, the company welcomes you to open up the system and make changes as you see fit. In a world where the top tier gaming consoles frown upon such an act, Ouya’s “have a look around yourself” mentality is a welcomed one.

For more on the Ouya and all your sci-tech related news keep it pinned on Capeless Crusader.

  • I’d be all over this if they released an iApps version!

  • Colin Hollister

    Samesies! That would be cool for someone like me who doesn’t use an iPhone. Likewise, I can see the Ouya being enticing for those without access to Android Apps.