$99 Ouya game console breaks Kickstarter records

There’s a lot of hype surrounding the Ouya game console. It’s a Kickstarter darling, having broken all sorts of records on the crowd-funding site in just a few days. The project raised a million bucks in just over eight hours and over $2.5 million in its first day, easily outpacing other popular projects. Just a few days in, over $4.4 million has been pledged by more than 34,000 backers. Most of those folks have kicked in $99, which entitles them to the console and one controller. Here’s the pitch that has folks so excited:

The Ouya uses a Tegra 3 SoC backed by 1GB of RAM and 8GB of flash storage. The Tegra chip feeds an HDMI output in addition to one USB port. 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are both supported, and it looks like the latter will be used to interface with the wireless controller, which promises dual analog sticks, triggers, a directional pad, and a host of buttons. Android 4.0 is named as the OS, and custom software will run on top of that.

According to the Kickstarter page, the Ouya will be easy to root and open to hackers. Indie developers are being courted, as well, and there’s mention of all games being free to play. No wonder so many folks have coughed up a Benjamin to reserve their own system.

Before you get too excited, check out The Penny Arcade Report’s skeptical take on the Ouya. As the site points out, some of the project’s claims are contradictory. Games won’t necessarily be free to play, although they may be free to demo, and it doesn’t appear that any developers have actually signed on to make titles for the console. The controller hasn’t been finalized, and work has only just begun on the distribution system charged with delivering games to users. There is much to be done before the Ouya’s projected March 2013 release date.

Obviously, a lot of folks are keen on the Ouya. I’d love to see it become a success. However, the project faces very real challenges, especially since most Android games are designed with touchscreens in mind. The Ouya may need a lot more backers to establish an installed base large enough to lure developers.

Comments closed
    • Corrado
    • 7 years ago

    So they built a controller to connect to the Nexus Q and a launcher that runs games? I guess so….

    • puppetworx
    • 7 years ago

    Doesn’t really interest me. Hardware sounds good, extensive game development for this I’m more skeptical of. This is clearly a company with money behind it though. This Kickstarter is probably about attracting more “real” investors by proving that the public wants it – which, apparently, they do.

    If they got Netflix on there and you could hook a keyboard up to it this would make a great Roku competitor though, except with added gaming ability. If they did that there would definitely be hope for this.

      • albundy
      • 7 years ago

      i dont think it would be that difficult to put in a BT transmitter for a BT keyboard and mouse since all smartphones have it. Definitely would do damage to Roku if it succeeds.

    • Malphas
    • 7 years ago

    I don’t see the point. Maybe this would be interesting a decade ago, but increasingly these days people are moving away from consoles altogether in favour of laptops, smartphones and tablets. The future of consoles is going to be 15 year old boys playing CoD 40 or whatever while everyone else – especially women, older people and casual gamers – will be using computers again (which tablets and smartphones essentially are too) rather than dedicated gaming devices.

    Edit: Also everything Game_boy has said in this thread has been correct, not sure why he’s been voted down for it.

    • DeadOfKnight
    • 7 years ago

    I have a better idea. Put $99 towards one of [url=http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnlineSales/Online/InventorySearch.aspx?c=us&cs=22&l=en&s=dfh&brandid=2202&fid=9175<]these[/url<] and an Xbox 360 controller. You can actually play games with it!

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      I could use some explaining on the gameplay value of a ‘page not found’ error.

        • DeadOfKnight
        • 7 years ago

        It should have linked you to the dell outlet page for a $569 x51 mini-ITX Alienware.

          • Firestarter
          • 7 years ago

          Yes, because $600 is totally the same as $100.

            • DeadOfKnight
            • 7 years ago

            For a system that has over six times the performance, over six times as many games available, and I guarantee you’ll get over six times as much use out of it. Not to mention you don’t have to wait, it’s available now and you know what to expect from it!

            The Ouya project is speaking to gamers. It’s not going to deliver much that appeals to the majority of gamers, I can promise you that. Hackers may have some fun with their new toy that can play a few android apps that play well with a controller but that’s it.

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    So, it’s a Wii without the backing of major companies, vendors, or game developers. Weee…

    Oh, did I mention you can find Wiis for under $99?

    This is just another useless project that looks cool, but will have absolutely no impact on the real world. Game developers wont flock to it. 99% of the titles on the Android market are made to be played with a touch screen, not a controller. The hardware is antiquated and will quickly become obsolete. There really is no reason to buy one of these with or without kickstarter.

    Put this $100 towards a HTPC. Sounds like a good Kickstarter project to me. The $400 HTPC Gaming Console. Just make a custom enclosure for it and get a Windows X360 controller.

      • Firestarter
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]The hardware is antiquated and will quickly become obsolete.[/quote<] As opposed to the modern and current hardware of the Wii? [quote<]99% of the titles on the Android market are made to be played with a touch screen, not a controller.[/quote<] And yet there are quite a few Android games where the developers had to get pretty creative to make it work on a touchscreen, where they might have had clear-cut answer if they could rely on a controller. I think the Tegra3 is not powerful enough for anything but the most casual of casual games, and as such I have no idea whether this is going to be successful or not. But, I do wish them the best. I might just buy one for myself, especially if I could hack it so that it doubles as a xbox controller for the PC.

        • Prion
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]I think the Tegra3 is not powerful enough for anything but the most casual of casual games[/quote<] It should be more than enough to run games of approximately Dreamcast/PS2/Gamecube levels of visual fidelity at least at 720p/60fps using standard controllers (no touchscreen overhead). Considering how clean a lot of the "HD remakes" for modern consoles of games of that era look, I'm not sure a whole lot more is needed for a good gaming experience.

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        As opposed to a Wii which is extremely well established and has antiquated hardware just like it.

        I don’t think game mechanics are simply portable. Imagine playing angry birds with joysticks.

        • Corrado
        • 7 years ago

        The Wii is also being replaced within a year, and even my wife, who is not a serious gamer in the least, stopped playing Wii because it looked TERRIBLE on our 50″ TV.

        Remember, the Wii is not HD. The highest resolution it does is 480P.

    • maxxcool
    • 7 years ago

    Keyboard+mouse+hdmi monitor and lock the firmware and give it to my mother…. win win win…

    • BloodSoul
    • 7 years ago

    My only concern for OUYA is the hardware… Tegra 3 would be OK right now, but by its release in March of next year the OUYA’s specs might already be showing their age. If they held off on production and used a Tegra 4 chip when it became available this project could be a lot more competitive.

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 7 years ago

    This thing doesn’t even have an Ethernet port. WTF!

      • yogibbear
      • 7 years ago

      It does have one.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      How fast is your internet connection that this matters?

      edit: if you pause the video very early on, i think there is one to the right of the HDMI port.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        and at 1:39 the board is in focus and ther’es definitely an Ethernet port.

    • ULYXX
    • 7 years ago

    Oh, i cant wait to play Angry Birds and Words with Friends on this. ¬_¬

    • sschaem
    • 7 years ago

    If I wanted to play on a console for 99$, I would buy a PS2 over this.

    I have yet to see any android game come close to the quality of PS2 games release almost a decade ago.

      • BloodSoul
      • 7 years ago

      PS2 game development has significant overhead… this does not. That means almost anyone interested in developing for the OUYA can. This allows the invisible hand to steer the market… not rich gaming corporations.

      If someone wants to make a new version of an Old-School RPG, they can do it out of passion… not having to worry about their project being dropped by their boss. If someone wants to take a shot in the dark and try something new, they don’t have to convince a bunch of business heads. This will hopefully take gaming back to its roots.

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 7 years ago

        How is that different from developing and releasing for PC?

          • Firestarter
          • 7 years ago

          Single low-cost hardware platform, living room presence. Many families already have a TV in the living room with a HDMI input available.

          I’m guessing this is mostly aimed at people who don’t already have a console, or who are fed up with the expensive games or hot bulky hardware. This is like a dedicated delivery platform for the xbox arcade games, in a smaller and cheaper package, with cheaper games.

          • BloodSoul
          • 7 years ago

          If you have developed anything for the PC your question answers itself. Having a unified hardware specification allows for ease of use for developers and gamers alike. Furthermore the PC is a rather anti-social gaming platform, you can’t spontaneously have a group of friends over for a lan party (well, the general public can’t). You can however all play games gathered around a TV in a living room.

          On a separate note, the PC gaming market is hard to penetrate for independent developers. I would imagine the OUYA game store will behave similarly to the android app store, in that they will both be easily accessible free markets. This will help level the playing field between corporate and independent development.

    • HighTech4US2
    • 7 years ago

    NVIDIA GeForce GRID next-generation cloud gaming

    [url<]http://www.nvidia.com/object/cloud-gaming.html[/url<] [quote<]With NVIDIA® GeForce® GRID technology, gamers will have the freedom to play games from the cloud on any display, including TVs, monitors[/quote<] A $99 set top box that can play free casual games but has access to full speed current graphic intensive games looks like a winner to me.

    • Deanjo
    • 7 years ago

    This has me remembering the Pandora fiasco.

    [url<]http://www.openpandora.ca/[/url<] [url<]http://openpandora.org/[/url<]

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 7 years ago

      Remind me, how was that a fiasco? Pandora wasn’t meant to be a console, but a portable emulator, and that’s what people bought it for. Only thing I thought was bad was the outdated hardware and high price.

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        The fiasco that I was referring to was that it was supposed to be a lot cheaper and available a lot sooner. The release was delayed several times and when it came out it was a lot more expensive then expected.

        [url<]http://techcrunch.com/2008/04/14/pandora-a-powerhouse-handheld-designed-for-homebrew-and-emulation/[/url<] $330 [url<]http://techcrunch.com/2010/04/29/open-source-handheld-pandoras-maker-explains-delays/[/url<] [url<]http://www.slashgear.com/pandora-handheld-gaming-system-finally-ships-next-month-25210631/[/url<] $460 4 years later and $130 over target price.

          • Deanjo
          • 7 years ago

          See above links

      • David
      • 7 years ago

      Yeah. If this thing ever actually sees a release I’m betting it’s running outdated hardware or the price skyrockets.

      • derTorbs
      • 7 years ago

      Hopefully its not like [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantom_Entertainment[/url<] I'm really looking forward to what Ouya can produce and I wish them the best of luck. If i had more money I would have already gotten on board. They seem to be passionate and they have some very talented people working with them. Also they are collaborating directly with Nvidia which will help a ton.

    • Game_boy
    • 7 years ago

    The hardware spec is irrelevant, no one will actually be porting games to it.

    The Xperia PLAY was meant to be an Android console and it failed. The PS Vita is an actual Playstation and it’s close to being cancelled (been outsold by the PSP since launch, 2.5m sold compared to 18m 3DSs and 3DS is outselling it 3:1). If these are the least successful consoles of this gen, no way Ouya will sell enough units to attract developers.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      Xperia PLAY was meant to be an Android phone with Playstation games, which is basically what it is. It was also, as Sony is so wont to do, priced very high.

    • Game_boy
    • 7 years ago

    Nvidia cards aren’t good for consoles. MS, Sony and Nintendo have all chosen AMD.

    (edit: This was meant to be a reply to jdaven, not on its own.)

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      *Looks at the “hardware is irrelevant” comment. Looks at this comment. Double-checks to ensure the same user posted both. *

      hmm

        • Game_boy
        • 7 years ago

        Why else would Sony ditch Nvidia? They had the most powerful console this gen using them, their next gen must have fallen far back in console performance.

          • Deanjo
          • 7 years ago

          [quote<]Why else would Sony ditch Nvidia?[/quote<] $$$, simple as that.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 7 years ago

          But you said hardware specs are irrelevant.

            • Game_boy
            • 7 years ago

            They are; the strongest console has never won a generation.

            • yogibbear
            • 7 years ago

            PS2, PS1….

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            The Xbox was technically superior to the PS2.

            The PS1 could be argued, but the N64 could definitely produce nicer visuals.

            • Flatland_Spider
            • 7 years ago

            The PS1 had better games. When Sony released the Gran Turismo juggernaut, it was over.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            I meant it could be argued which system was technologically superior between the N64 and the PS1. They both had positives and negatives.

            • superjawes
            • 7 years ago

            The Gamecube was significantly better than the PS2…and if I remember correctly, the Dreamcast was also superior to the PS2.

            So of [b<]four[/b<] consoles in that cycle, the PS2 did the best even though it was weak.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            The Dreamcast being better is not true. The PS2 had better graphics and used DVDs which could hold way more than the Dreamcast CDs.

            Now Sony over hyped the degree to which the graphics could be better, so there was a backlash, but really the Dreamcast was worse (just not much worse).

            It did come with built in online capabilities though.

            • Corrado
            • 7 years ago

            I dunno about that. I don’t think I ever saw anything on PS2 that looked better than Soul Caliber on Dreamcast.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            It was weak, yes, but it foreshadowed the idea of living room convergence. The PS2 was everyone’s de facto DVD player because it supported it out of the box.

            The Dreamcast had 2x the VRAM and VGA output support, so it could produce nicer visuals (and still looks good on my HDTV with a VGA input), but it also only had half the system RAM of the PS2, no DVD-ROM, and a controller with two too few buttons. Three, if you count the absence of a select button.

            The Xbox required a $20 additional investment to play back DVDs. The Gamecube used stupid, tiny discs. The PS2 won that generation because it supported DVD out of the box.

            • Game_boy
            • 7 years ago

            PS2 won because it had the games people want to buy. Same as any successful console. DVD support was a nice to have, not the reason why it was bought.

            Otherwise why was PS3 so much less successful (especially at launch)? It had Blu-ray out of the box which is the standard film format as DVD was then. It recovered when it got games people wanted.

            How anyone can believe hardware sells consoles I don’t know; the figures don’t show it at all.

            • Corrado
            • 7 years ago

            3? It had 4 buttons + 2 triggers. And you’re holding the lack of a select button against it? When is the last time a select button was TRULY needed?

            The biggest hindrance was the lack of a 2nd analog stick, so FPS games were kinda not possible.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            The PS2 had component out, and could do 720p with some games.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    tegra 3 isn’t terribly impressive. mediocre cpu score, and mediocre gpu score don’t make me confident in this things ability. it’ll match the wii, possibly, but not much more.

    I can’t imagine why i’d want to play those “run forever” games, or scrabble on a 40 inch screen. i guess they’re hoping for a “if you build it they will come” situation, where we get real games on this thing, but i’m skeptical.

      • BabelHuber
      • 7 years ago

      [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpzkCTe76Bc[/url<]

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        sure. it looks like a wii game. that worth 100$ today? i’m not convinced.

          • BabelHuber
          • 7 years ago

          The game costs $0.99, and it does look better than all Wii games I have seen, troll.

      • Flatland_Spider
      • 7 years ago

      Your description sounds like every console out right now.

      It’s the abilities and creativity of the programmers, not the hardware specs, that matter. It’s a console, and people will code around the problems.

    • jdaven
    • 7 years ago

    This console is what I predicted Nvidia was going to do themselves back during the GTX 690 marketing teasers. Nvidia has everything to make a console really cheap. Android…check. SoC…check. Online marketplace full of games for Android…check check. And that’s about all you need aside from designing a housing.

    I’m glad to see another company also had this idea of a cheap console based on Android and Tegra. Not one next gen console has an Nvidia part according to the rumors. Nvidia products are too good to be completely left out of the next gen console wars.

      • superjawes
      • 7 years ago

      Does Android have the kind of mainstream support that you can get from Xbox, PS3, Steam, or Origin? (Yes, serious question.)

      I could see the major block in any of this being the anticipation of new consoles from Microsoft and Sony. Their digital distribution platforms are going to get a lot of following just because they are already giants in that setting, and how they pair that with the next round of consoles will provide a lot of direction for the industry whether it should or not, and I think that anyone looking to enter the fray is going to have to out perform or out innovate them.

        • BabelHuber
        • 7 years ago

        [url<]http://www.tegrazone.com[/url<]

    • calvindog717
    • 7 years ago

    while Penny Arcade might be skeptical of this, i’m even [b<]more[/b<] skeptical of penny arcade's own kickstarter , which isn't really creating any project or meeting a goal, just funding the site for a year so they can get rid of their adds.

      • Game_boy
      • 7 years ago

      If you read their FAQ, removing ads also means they can stop doing sponsored comics and use the time for more content (they’ve announced 3 or 4 comic series and a podcast they will do if goals are reached) reuse their ad staff as content-producing as well.

      Unlike Ouya they are not relying on this funding, they are exploring it as an alternative business models. If people don’t want to pay, that’s completely fine by them.

      So it’s silly but if it works everyone gets no ads and more PA content.

      • chuckula
      • 7 years ago

      I get rid of adds by multiplying one of the operands by -1 and doing a subtraction instead.

        • BiffStroganoffsky
        • 7 years ago

        Well, you certainly know how to get rid off the adds…by the looks of it. 🙂

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        Unnecessary grammar b*tching. You knew exactly what (s)he meant

      • Farting Bob
      • 7 years ago

      Im pretty sure they were expecting the millions to pour in at Penny Arcade, and while they will certainly raise a decent amount, we arent looking at anything too noteworthy by Kickstarter standards. I think alot of Penny Arcade fans probably use adblockers so the main promise of ad-free (well 250k should remove a single banner ad from the homepage, woot) isn’t exactly stunning. And there has always been a donate button on PA, so i dont think the hoards of people were waiting for a way to donate if they wanted to.

        • David
        • 7 years ago

        There hasn’t been a donate button in years. I may donate to the PA Kickstarter. I like to support sites I frequent and I don’t use an adblocker because of that.

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