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back to article Android games console scheme nets $2.5m

Ouya, the tablet-spec games console being pitched at Android hackers, has netted pledges of almost $2.5m in its first round of funding, organised through Kickstarter. That's more than double what the company was seeking. The machine is planned to be built around an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, coupled with 1GB of Ram and 8GB of …

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I think the OnLive games console idea is better than this. But haven't seen it widely available in the UK yet (Haven't tried looking lately though).

Can't ever see this really taking off. You can develop games for Xbox Live and get access to it's large user base. All games on there are also free to try (Indie Games).

Might be good for people that enjoy playing on their phone/tablet though and don't currently have a console at home.

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Anonymous Coward

Another way to catch a virus

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FAIL

"Another way to catch a virus"

Another way to let everyone know you have an iPhone. Except you posted as AC so entirely pointless.

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Software Library

I personally can't see this working as well as people would like to think.

They would probably like people to assume that there is a huge pre-existing array of games to be used - "Look at all the games in the Android store!"

All games for this need to be developed specifically for this and will be very different from the existing Android software. This will not have a touch-screen, how many current Android games can do without one?

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Re: Software Library

Fair enough, some games will not work and will have to be rebuilt from the ground up. But there are thousands that can be ported and remapped to work with a controller instead of touch.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Software Library

I'll be using one as an emulator box for old games, and a media center (XBMC hopefully!)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Software Library

yeah, me too. I'm going to buy 10 of them.

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Looks pretty good

Good idea, opening up the console market a bit and giving indie dev teams who don't have Hollywood budgets a shot at success, and the specified hardware architecture will allow the games to be honed, guaranteeing they will actually work on the console.

Also, I'm glad they're not using a strictly free to play model. I'd personally like the option of paying £2-£5 for a game to support the devs and get rid of in-game ads.

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g e
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XBMC?

That's enough to sell me one of these things, if it's ported...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: XBMC?

Unfortunately, for now, you would need to either replace the OS, or dual boot to do this.

There is no Android port (yet?), but there is a (non-Android) Linux ARM port that it will run on - it's how they demoed XBMC on the Raspberry Pi.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: XBMC?

Yep, that would be an ideal use for one of those, at a nice low price. More to the point, such hacks would probably delight the guys who designed it.

(Meantime, I paid under a hundred quid for a brand new Apple TV, jailbroke it, and stuck XBMC on there, which is great, and works with the remote out of the box- fantastic for playing movies over the network from an SMB share, or iPlayerHD)

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Re: XBMC?

Porting the Linux ARM build to Android would be pretty easy to do, but if your main focus is running XBMC wouldn't it be easier to use one of the various methods of installing a more traditional Linux distro as an Android app? I haven't done it (yet!) but from what I understand it's not a terribly difficult process.

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Law
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Re: XBMC?

XBMC apk is now available for android (beta I think).... so no need to do anything to the box now other than install the android application. :)

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@ g e

Raspberry PI openELEC XBMC just saved half your money and a heap of time

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g e
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Re: @ g e

There's an XBMC build for the Pi already and it'll consistently do 1080p ?

You may well indeed have saved me half the money :o)

Going to look NOW!

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Re: @ g e

I'll let you know once mine has arrived dammit missed the courier only waited 4 months for it >_<

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Re: @ g e

Yup the latest builds of openelec are great - it happily plays 10Gb+ 1080p24 films -- however I needed to plug it into my AV amp for things like 5.1 DTS as the Pi tries to downmix it and that kills the CPU. However pumping straight out to the amp and its as smooth as butter. Hardly use my Windows 7 HTPC now - just the Pi! Won't play ISOs of DVDs etc but then I encode all mine as H264 files anyway so not a big deal for me.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ g e

@James Boag

The Pi has a fart knocker processor and comes with no controllers or wifi. This looks interesting for the price.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ g e

@James Boag

@ AC 14:11

Bah, I thought all the google shills had fucked off, guess they were just sleeping...

This box has a cock sucker processor, I'd rather have a fart knocker any day, you need at least a rim licker to run Android properly anyway....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ g e

@AC 14.44 ?

What are you babbling about ? Yeh right tegra 3 is shite compared to a 700mhz single core ?

Who says it's going to be running android in my hands ?

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTA3MjQ

Asshole.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ g e

@AC 12:22

No one says it'll be running android in your hands, I say it'll be running android on your dick.

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Meh

Seems to be priced for "$99, why the hell not at that price?"

My hand keeps hovering over the button to pay $99 now and get the console on release, purely because this thing is priced the same amount as 6 hours or so on Canal Street with the other half (I am a prolific drinks buyer and consumate gentleman so I mostly pay for everything, so I actually make out pretty well only spending ~£60 in that time).

But I have a few concerns.

It's fabulously hard to become a successful hardware manufacturer today. There's a reason SEGA essentially died, why Atari's last successful console was like 30 years ago when their last console was about 15 years ago. It's because they didn't sell that well. Even with the kickstarter preorders they're looking at an install base of 40,000. Which is sweet fuck all. It won't entice any big developers. Likely this means it'll be stuck with ports of mobile phone games and a few bones thrown by some smaller indies. That's fine for the Ouya guys, they might be able to sustain this and make their money from it. But it'll die quite quickly

Bear in mind that of that $2.5m, $1,774,733 is literally preorders for the console, and a big chunk of the remainder is a small (sub 1000) number wealthy(ish) people (In fact, at levels lower than the preorder level, the kickstarter has only provided about $22,000).

I also worry that they're dangerously close to offering more consoles than they can have made, their initial backer "preorder" was 1000 consoles, which sold in minutes, so they added 5000 more, then another 5000, then another 10,000. Failing to deliver on this could fairly massively damage all the goodwill gained from making somethign unique, interesting and open source.

Ouya is the kind of thing that gets a cult following, and things like that can be successful, but I think they need to shoot for a higher install base than "cult", or developers won't be interested. Lack of developers leads to the install base not growing as people become disinterested, leads to lack of developer interest leads to....etc.

I'm starting to suspect that the initial buzz for Ouya has already peaked on Kickstarter, don't expect to see it make 2.5 million in a day again, or even 1.5 million, I think everyone who wants to know or cares to know about Ouya probably already knows and probably has already backed (give or take a few, give or take double or even triple the amount of the current backers, it's still too small an install base).

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Collecting the money

At kickstarter is easy. By definition, money pledged is already in Amazon Payments.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Collecting the money

Amazon doesn't actually charge until the project is funded.

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MJI
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I still think

A PS2 is a better idea for cheap games, get them for next to nothing and games are everywhere

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Re: I still think

That's a good point, but there's nothing new or interesting coming out for the PS2, ever, and Ouya is a LOT more powerful than Sony's nigh immortal ridged box (what were those ridges for anyway? Very 80s HiFi styled for a very late 90 product).

I don't really want to defend Ouya too much as while I love it as a concept, I'm fairly sure it's doomed to fail as a business. "more powerful than other console" and "a great original idea" is not a surefire sign of ubiquity, the GP32 and it's successors already tried being a massively more powerful, open source handheld and that didn't go too well. Now I admit that the GP32 (and Co.) were pricier than the alternative, but I'm not sure price is enough to sway people.

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Re: I still think

The ridges, at least on the original PlayStation, were a deliberate homage to the Apple Macintosh. [from the book Digital Dreams - the work of the Sony Design Centre with the Playstation head designer talking about the process.]

The PS2 makes a pretty good media centre for streaming from a NAS (sadly, it only has USB 1.1 so can't really do it from stick) but the hacking process is a bit convoluted. For games, I can't see the Ouya competing against the PS2's professionaly-developed back catalogue. Tekken, WipeOut, THPS, Metal Gear... and more JRPGs than you can shake a Power Demon Sword of Destiny at.

Low cost consoles competing on things other than fancy graphics can work- look at the Nintendo Wii. But it also offered a USP of a new way to play games, more suitable to mixed company after the pub.

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MJI
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Huge back catalogue

I bought a PS2 game late last year, then found the laser had gone (not reading SOME games including GT4) - one laser repair and one disc polish I can play it. The twins say that Star Wars Battlefront loads quicker as well.

The biggest issue with the PS2 was the huge amount of dross, but last year we started fixing it. 4 Ratchet & Clank games later, a Jak & Daxter, and finally I bought Killzone to see what the fuss was about, the dross we bought at the beginning went on Ebay.

It may be old but it gets a lot more use than the Wiii, simply due to a huge games catalogue.

Wiii - lots of dross as well - due to popularity, but some good games, but I am not a Mario fan, prefered early PC games and Segas line up. The PS3 we are a lot more careful with, most games we have are decent, no Haze - we learnt our lessons.

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A focus on F2P gaming?

Wow, there's a console I'll be staying away from. Most F2P games are the worst kind of nickel-and-diming.

"That's a good point, but there's nothing new or interesting coming out for the PS2, ever,"

There's nothing new coming out, but there's more good games on it than you'll ever play, so who cares? My PS2 is still hooked up and used often, in spite of all the hardware around it being far newer. It has an outstanding games catalogue, so why not indulge?

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Anonymous Coward

Wrong choice of OS. Why Android, it's a phone OS designed for touch screens. You can plug in a mouse, but a mouse is a bad choice of input device for a living room games console.

Maybe if they were talking about a handheld games console (but why bother, get a smartphone).

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What I like about the Ouya...

Its not Microsoft or Sony, thats a good start.

Second, sounds like you'll be able to run up another OS if you like, making emulators possible.

Third, the price. And for the price, you don't get a bad box, plus its upgradable.

Fourth, it's like taking a step back to when console gaming was what it was in the NES / SNES / Mega Drive / PS1 / PS2 days. I've never understood mobile gaming, I've got better things to do when I'm away from my TV, like work, socialising and using my mobile phone to be a....mobile phone.

And for those games that need higher specs? I'll be using Steam.

It'll be interesting to see how the Ouya, OnLive and the rumoured Steam console will fair against PS3 and Xbox next year in terms of gaming. I suspect the new PS and XBox will be sold as a media box, rather than a gaming console.

Also, what is interesting to note that Julie Uhrman stated that consoles will die and be replaced by being integrated into the TV. And yet they are releasing a console...wonder what the strategy behind that is....

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Pint

Re: What I like about the Ouya...

>I've never understood mobile gaming

Its not hard to grasp: It's for keeping your kids quiet for long journeys or for when you have no choice to take them somewhere they will find boring- like a pub beer garden.

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Joke

Just wait until the lads hear about this...

DEAR KIND SIRS OR MADEMS

MY NAME IS PRINCE GAMER OF NIGERIA AND I HAVE A INTERESTING PROPOSITITION FOR YOU THAT COULD BE IN YOUR INTERESTS. MY FATHER KING GAMEBOY III, WAS KILLED BY EVIL TERORISTS EARLIER THIS YEAR AND I AM NOW LEFT TO MANAGE HIS ESTATE. HIS DREAM WAS TO BUILD THE WORLDS FIRST EVER ANDROID GAMING CONSOLE. I WOULD NOW LIKE TO PARTNER WITH YOU IN THIS GREAT VENTURE. PLEASE DEPOSIT SOME MONEY SAY £1000 (ONE THOUSANDS POUNDS US DOLLARS) IN MY KICK-STARTER PROJECT ACCOUNTS (VIA WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER)......

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just wait until the lads hear about this...

Please make cheques payable to : George Agdgdgwngo

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Just wait until the lads hear about this...

King Gameboy III! LOL! Now I know what I will name my next pet cat!

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Anonymous Coward

It would be a mistake not to take this seriously

Changing a well written game over from touch screen to controller input should not be difficult. Games like the original Max Payne have gone the other way, and in fact the Android tablet version supports both touch screen and controller.

There is a huge market for casual games, and those who write them typically don't have the resources to jump through the expensive hoops required by Sony and Microsoft. Importantly, casual games do not compete with traditional console games, in fact it could be argued that casual games broaden the market, resulting in due course in increased sales of big budget titles on different platforms.

It is likely that the ability to use a controller will allow for more interesting casual games, which will attract more players, and benefit the entire games industry.

Companies like Unity have already indicated support, so the tools will certainly be there to create impressive titles with capabilities that go well beyond what we are used to seeing on mobile phones.

I think what we are seeing here is the creation of a new market. If they don't succeed, then someone who follows them surely will.

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Anonymous Coward

Mugs game

Selling a Tegra 3 platform at July 2012 prices, for delivery March 2013.

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MJI
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FtoP no thanks

I would rather pay and have a full game.

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