by Anna Roberts
The latest Kickstarter project to take the gaming world by storm is OUYA, an ‘open’ Android games console costing only $99. Its developers have assembled an impressive looking prototype and now need the funds to get the console ready for the market.
OUYA aims to be truly ‘open’, for developers and consumers. Smaller developers will have a much easier time of getting their games onto OUYA relative to traditional consoles, as explained on OUYA’s Kickstarter page:
Developers can wave farewell to the roadblocks of bringing a console game to market. Anyone can make a game: every OUYA console is a dev kit. No need to purchase a license or an expensive SDK. It’s built on Android, so developers already know how it works.
That doesn’t mean OUYA is an Android port. You can create the next big title in your bedroom – just like the good old days! Who needs pants!?
OUYA could change AAA game development, too. Forget about licensing fees, retail fees, and publishing fees.
Further, OUYA will ask developers to adopt at least a partial free-to-play model for any games that they release on the platform.
We’re handing the reins over to the developer with only one condition: at least some gameplay has to be free. We borrowed the free-to-play model from games like League of Legends, Team Fortress 2, Triple Town, and many others. Developers can offer a free demo with a full-game upgrade, in-game items or powers, or ask you to subscribe.
The only reason you used to pay for games before playing them is that you couldn’t try them at the store before you brought them home – it’s a relic of an old way of doing business, and one of the many things about the games business we plan to change.
Notably, Mojang has committed to releasing Minecraft on OUYA (likely with a demo version accessible for all) if the new console is able to back up its promise with significant sales figures.
Intrigued? There’s tons more info on OUYA (including specs) on its Kickstarter page. Plus, in this video the OUYA developers talk through their goals and philosophy.
We think that OUYA has the potential to shake up the stagnant console market if it’s successfully funded. It seems unlikely that larger developers will be happy to adopt this new platform, however, but indie developers seem to be extremely interested in OUYA.
Would you be interested in an open console like the OUYA? What barriers do you think this console will face prior to and after its release?