For those that have missed the coverage, OUYA is a budget-priced ($99) console, built on the popular Android platform. It goes without saying that mobile gaming has experienced a boom since the rise of smartphones, but the creators of the OUYA wax nostalgia about the traditions of console gaming - in particular, those halcyon days (which haven't really left us) of plopping down in front of the television and playing one's favorite titles with a proper controller, rather than frantically tapping one's pocket-sized screens.
While the OUYA aims to be another outlet for "mainstream" developers - Square-Enix has committed to hawking some of its wares, and Mojang "could see all current Mojang games go on the platform if there's a demand for it - the prevailing focus seems to be on indie development. In the Kickstarter pitch, OUYA Product Designer Yves Behar highlights the appeal for aspiring game designers, stating that "You're able to build things right from the start: You don't have to pay outrageous amounts of money for the dev kit, or don't have to have a lot of credentials - just good ideas." Some of the hype surrounding OUYA has been the "free-to-play" claim, as noted on the Kickstarter page. If this sounds like an incredibly lofty goal, that's because, plainly put, it's not exactly the case. As noted in the same section of said Kickstarter, the requirement for developers will be that "at least some gameplay has to be free [...] Developers can offer a free demo with a full-game upgrade, in-game items or powers, or ask you to subscribe."
As has become almost sickeningly commonplace, the OUYA well exceeded its $950,000 funding goal, with a grand total of just under $8.6 million. From the Kickstarter page:
Our Kickstarter campaign is over, but you can still get an OUYA. Head over to www.ouya.tv for more info and to place an order. We just added game streaming through OnLive! Final Fantasy will be on OUYA...and we have an exclusive game! And VEVO has agreed to put their music videos on OUYA, XBMC adds a streaming media app, with TuneIn and iHeartRadio adding music! We're honored by all of you who are backing us -- THANK YOU. We are focused on delivering for you, first come first served. We can only promise OUYA by March to our Kickstarter backers.
What do you think, gamers? Is the OUYA a worthy addition to the realm of console gaming, or is this box-like abomination (extra points to anyone who gets that reference) nothing but that? Sound off in the comments section below!