Tag Archive: ouya


Ouya has announced a new fund that will aid Kickstarter projects headed for the diminutive console. Called “Free the Games,” the $1 million fund will match Kickstarter funds ranging from $50,000 to $250,000 for eligible games. Naturally, Ouya expects something in return: Eligible games must agree to be exclusive to Ouya for six months. So long as the qualifying Kickstarter launches between August 9, 2013 and August 10, 2014, and achieves a minimum goal of $50,000, Ouya will match the total raised up to $250,000. Furthermore, the most successful Kickstarter project to take part in the Free the Games program will receive an additional $100,000. The fund will continue to support projects until the money runs out. Interested developers can find out more about the program on the Ouya website.

Read the full story at Joystiq.

Ouya console

After breaking a funding record on Kickstarter last year the team behind the $99 Ouya console has been hard at work getting the tiny games console manufactured and shipped to backers. Come June, over 68,000 of them should be in the hands of Kickstarters, and a number of retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, Gamestop, and Target, will be more than happy to sell you one.

That’s not the end of the Ouya, though. Julie Uhrman, Ouya founder and CEO, is already looking to the future and has made a bold promise: every year we will see the hardware used inside the Ouya refreshed in order to take advantage of the latest components. At the same time, the $99 price point will be kept.

The first Ouya uses a Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, but with a yearly refresh that could be replaced with a Tegra 4 twelve months after launch. Depending on prices, even the Tegra 4 may be overlooked for an even more powerful processor by then.

Ouya mainboard (no case)

As the Ouya has a board that just slides out of the case, it seems likely an upgrade program will also be put in place. Existing owners could save a bit of money and just purchase the new board for their existing case rather than a whole new unit, but that’s yet to be confirmed.

Yearly updates is certainly a different approach to a gaming platform, but it’s one that will remove uncertainty for developers at least. If popular, the Ouya will be an ever-present platform, that regularly supports the latest hardware while continuing to support all games that have gone before.

As for the games and their promotion, Ouya is also taking a different approach. The app store will be curated not by sales, but through engagement. So while Angry Birds might sell millions, if a less popular game is played more regularly by its gamer base, it will appear higher in the charts on Ouya and receive more promotion. By doing this, the Ouya team will highlight games people enjoy above those that are marketed heavily and get picked up by everyone.

The team behind the OUYA Android game console clearly paid a lot of attention to its looks — they nabbed Yves Behar to design the thing, after all — but not every component has passed muster with the masses. Thankfully, after hearing some discontent from early backers and developers, OUYA has taken some crucial feedback about the console’s controller seriously and has decided to make some changes.

According to recent post on the official OUYA blog, the console’s controller will no longer sport those flat, disc-like d-pads — they’ve been replaced by a more standard cross-shaped affair that should look familiar to anyone to who’s done so much as glance a console controller in the last 20 years. The controller’s dual analog sticks have undergone a bit of a makeover too, as they now feature a grippier finish for increased precision, and the small touchpad nestled in the center of the controller has had its sensitivity bumped up to boot. Throw in some slightly-shifted left and right triggers and a battery door that isn’t as much of a hassle to open, and you’ve got yourself the makings of a half-decent controller.

Sure, some of these may seem like minor tweaks, but any avid gamer could tell you about the importance of fit, finish, and feel when it comes to a device they’re going to be clutching for hours. And hey, by reacting to feedback early enough in the development process, OUYA (with any luck) doesn’t have to deal with the wide-scale blowback from an underwhelming controller the way Microsoft did with its original, roasted ham-sized Xbox controller. It’s heartening to see that OUYA’s community-first approach to this whole undertaking wasn’t just limited to its means of raising money — hopefully the final product will be just as thoughtful when it starts shipping to the rest of us later this year.

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