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back to article We see ya, Ouya, you tasty Android games console gear

The Powers That Be at El Reg originally asked me to take a shufty at the Ouya gaming box when it first launched in the middle of 2013. I demurred. It seemed obvious to me at the time that the success or failure of this Kickstarter poster child would depend entirely on the enthusiasm with which game makers and the wider developer …

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Anonymous Coward

Is the cost of the console subsidised?

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JDX
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It's hard to see how it would be at that spec.

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Not the best choice

In my opinion Mad Catz M.O.J.O. is a much better choice, despite being more expensive, because it provides access to the PlayStore, allows you to play Android games that you already own, and provides a pathway to stream games from your PC to your TV. It has better hardware, too.

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Re: Not the best choice

Amazon says the MOJO is £220? I could get a PS3 and at least 4-5 (older) AAA titles for that.

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MJI
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What will happen when Vita TV arrives?

Similar price, better controller, known brand.

Will be interesting.

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WTF?

Unless they have backed down and I haven't seen it, you forgot to mention the biggest sticking point of the OUYA - when you try to connect to the store it demands your credit card data. This is before even browsing the store and you cannot get round the enter card data option. At the time some launch backers were getting the console there had been a few hacking scandals, and now this untested new company who we had already paid money to wanted our financial data before we made a purchase?

By good luck I had a card that was expiring that very day, otherwise I would have returned it and demanded a refund, but it soured me on the OUYA and now it sits gathering dust. If it's finally got proper XBMC and USB I may give it another go, but they've got a lot of goodwill to reclaim before I'll give them any more money.

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Anonymous Coward

I agree with your assessment. The CC info demand on boot ticked me off badly after their change in policy and marketing strategy.

My OUYA has remained unplugged from the power cord for almost three months now and I don't miss it at all.

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I'll give you a tenner for it .....

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Sounds interesting. You really have to wonder why Nintendo haven't taken a trick from that book, combining the android gaming ecosystem with their own.

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I think Ninty are in enough trouble as is without having to stoop down even further into the muck of Android & iOS Gaming. If you really think the Ouya, and its associated Ilk, are the future of things to come. Ask yourselves this... Why hasn't Apple either:

a) Updated their Apple TVs to allow Gaming... Though their App Store. or

b) Created a fully dedicated Device for that purpose yet?

Answer: Cause both MicroSoft, and S0NY would trounce them that's why.

Further answer. Android / iOS Gaming belong only on Android & iOS Devices. (i.e. Phablets)

Actually Once you look at it the Wii-U is a damn sight better then both the PS4 and the FAILBOX1. In many ways. Not being tied to a Gaming Service (i.e. Live! or PSN+), for starters. The problem with Nintendo is that it still thinks it can sucker People in with its Apple like pricing. Which only really ever works if you ARE APPLE!, and even then till a number of those Sheeple wake up and discover that better Android Phones / Tablets exist.

IMHO The Ouya was a failure the moment the Community looked at it and said... "But, can it run XBMC?!" Not that this was (or is), a fail. But, that kind of subterfuge kinda kills the Ouya's raison d'etre as a so-called Games Machine. Perhaps the Minds behind it should have been thinking "Could it run Crysis?!" instead. Then they may have had a chance with it.

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JDX
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Neat but pointless?

I just checked, and you can get a 12Gb PS3 for £150 on Amazon or £120 (new) on eBay. With the immense back-catalog of games - most of them very cheap other than new releases, the better spec and the built-in blu-ray player, as well as a big indie gaming store, saving £20 for an unknown device doesn't seem wise to me.

If I missed something big, happy to be corrected.

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Re: Neat but pointless?

This 'It’s not even competition for the PS3 and Xbox 360' is the reason it wont get anywhere. As you pointed out a new PS3/360 cost about the same as this box, and a used one will cost a lot less. TBH it's not even competition for the wii, and heaven knows how that gets berated around here.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Neat but pointless?

Much agreement here. Absolutely pointless. Kids will get these and be shunned by their friends for having a weirdo hipster Dad that buys them a cheap shitty 'droid gaming box instead of a proper one.

Seriously, don't do it, you'll scar them for life.

I'm just surprised the other lot haven't come out with something similar, in a shinier box with indubitably superior design that costs twice as much as a XBone. That'll come, then the REAL hipster Dads will lap them up.

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Re: Neat but pointless?

Much agreement here. Absolutely pointless. Kids will get these and be shunned by their friends for having a weirdo hipster Dad that buys them a cheap shitty 'droid gaming box instead of a proper one.

Seriously, don't do it, you'll scar them for life.

I'm just surprised the other lot haven't come out with something similar, in a shinier box with indubitably superior design that costs twice as much as a XBone. That'll come, then the REAL hipster Dads will lap them up.

Perhaps the Pippen scared them for life, to never attempt another Gaming Machine ever again.....

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MJI
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Re: Neat but pointless?

Much agreement here. Absolutely pointless. Kids will get these and be shunned by their friends for having a weirdo hipster Dad that buys them a cheap shitty 'droid gaming box instead of a proper one.

Actually there is some right shit thrown around at school, my boys have received a bit for not having Call Of Duty and not having an XBox. They retailiated with the usual arguments against that combination, eg Killzone multiplayer requires a lot more skill (well 2 and 3 did), oh and show them a game which looks better than the output of Naughty Dog, The Last Of Us or CoD 47 - no contest.

So if there is crap thrown for having the use of a Playstation, what chance to kids with a strange device like this have? At least with a PS3 there is plenty to throw back and make the argument starter look very foolish.

Now they can fling PS4 at the XBots at their school.

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Re: Neat but pointless?

Oh dear - so peer bullying has become part of the marketing ars(e)anal

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MJI
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Re: Neat but pointless?

Oh dear - so peer bullying has become part of the marketing ars(e)anal

Pretty silly yes but these are all 14 year olds - they get what they are given, or what their parents give up to shut them up.

I think the XB CODs are just obcessed - one game and stuff the rest, where as I have two boys who have multiple games, they both have Steam accounts, Vitas, DSs, and share the family PS2/3/4 Wiii, even managed to just about get a Megadrive working on a monitor (doubled up screen still to sort).

They will sit on Terreria, Minecraft, or Garys Mod all evening given the chance, or sit there on Warframe, AC4, or Borderlands 2 until we want the TV, one really wants Borderlands 2 for his Vita.

Definately a bit more open than COD.

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Hmm...

There's definitely potential here, but I'm not sure I'm willing to shell out for one just yet. If it had access to existing racing titles I already own (my favourite genre), I'd be much more convinced. I'll definitely keep an eye on it over the next few months.

A bugbear I can see, though, is having to use batteries in the controller. It's a pain in the arse, and something I've not had to do since the Dreamcast (for that little portable memory card/ screen thing that plugged into it). It wasn't mentioned in the review, but how long do the supplied Duracell AA's last before needing replacement? Can you put rechargeables in it without damaging it?

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Re: Hmm...

I take it you were blessed to have never owned a RRoD FAILBOX360 then?

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Re: Hmm...

I actually bought a dirt cheap RRoD 360 and fixed it, but made sure to purchase a wired controller to use with it ;-)

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GameStick

Can the Reg also do a review on the Game Stick?

I was as shocked as a shocked person could be when I saw them on the shelves in Game before Christmas.

Ironically, they were right next to the Ouya

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Well I backed gamestick on KS back In Jan 2013 and finally got my unit in...October.

And then sold it in December. Very very poor game selection and like the Ouya sure it runs Android but you cant just grab any Android game from the Play store. I think its eco system (well lack of titles) could be the demise for all these cheap machines.

If it was me why not buy a second hand Nexus 7 and a chromecast so you can stream output to your TV and have the full Play store experience?

Or as others have said spend a little more and get a grown up console!

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Android fail

I don't wish to denigrate the excellent hard work that people have put in to make a titchy box of electronics with software and bring it to market - it's not an easy task; But this product is a technical achievement with hardly any potential customers, bit like the Wii-U.

It's bad enough taking conventional controller-centric games and putting them on a touch device.

Then you come up with the genius idea of taking those (poor) games and putting them on a platform based round a controller.

"Who's going to buy it?" Should have been the first question.

"No, really, WHO is going to buy it?" Should have been the second.

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Re: Android fail

"Who's going to buy it?"

Well, they were after $950k on Kickstarter, and ended up bagging over $8.5m, completely selling out of the $95 console option. So, it seems that question isn't much of a problem for them. Anything they sell now through Game, Amazon etc. is just a bonus.

And to be fair, touch games have been getting better recently.

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Expensive

The price is somewhat of a concern.

I bought a new 12GB PS3 in the Boxing day sales from Tesco for £99.(£90 with Tesco Vouchers)

This not only plays games, Netflix etc. But also includes a Blu-Ray Player.

Its not really an attractive price point.

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MJI
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Re: Expensive

And try the three best Android games against the three best PS3 games.

Just the chance to play the four Naughty Dog games a PS3 is worth it

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Is the UI still laggy?

I haven't switched mine on for ages.

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As to the question of whos gonna buy it... (got down voted), and my little summery above that seems to be attracting as much hate as well. Are missing a tick here. The Ouya is a solution to a problem that nobody ever knew they had. This thing has only ever appealed to the elite geek, whos first thoughts are on how to hack it and put XBMC onto it. I guess any Sale is a good sale for Ouya. But, if your Ouya is running XBMC, and probably just as poorly as every other Android XBMC revision to date. Then how do you make money off, of it? Seems to me that the Ouya Team should have been working more on the Back-end of their Systems Once Google basically told them to go forth and multiply. Something they'd appear to have no interest in doing. So another fail.

As for Apple? IMHO they, along with Google perhaps are in the best position to actually make something like this happen. If only 'cause of Brand recognition and the strength of there Back-end Networks. I have to be honest. Its actaully kinda surprises that Apple haven't yet added a Gaming Function to their Apple TVs yet. Which seems almost like a no brainier at the moment. Given that it would just need a chepo Bluetooth Chip (if it doesn't already have One), and access to its iTM (and App), S. Which I'm sure it has. It just kinda feels like a missed Opertunity. I wounder what St. Steven would have made of it?

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Its competition

> Is the Ouya competition for the likes of the PS4 and Xbox One?

No, it's a budget console, so its competition is the Wii and Wii U.

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JDX
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Re: Its competition

Sadly it's competition is also the PS3 and XBox360 and they smack it out of the park. The Wii beats it because of the motion controllers and they beat it on power and back-catalog. And of course you can get Kinect for the 360 too.

If people developed some awesome accessories for it I'd be interested, is that likely?

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Lack of the Google Play Store makes it basically useless

I really cannot understand anyone releasing an Android games console that doesn't use the Google Play Store (and preferably a compatible controller too). Such a console has to not only create its own game store and try to woo the big names to appear on it, but it also misses out two obvious Google Play Store plusses:

1. If you bought a game on the Google Play Store for another device, you'd be able to play it without another purchase on a Play Store-compatible games console.

2. You can use Google Play Store gift cards to credit your account and avoid having to tie a credit/debit card to your account. This is a major advantage that is overlooked by a lot of reviewers of the Ouya.

This is exactly why, no matter how cheap the Ouya gets, I won't buy it. *Any* Android device without the Play Store is massively unattractive in my books.

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Everyone seems to have missed a little point

... and that is you can play emulated games from the MD, SNES, PSX, NeoGeo, N64 etc.

With a back catalogue of retro games and the occasional new one with the media centre attached - surely it is worth the £100 just to have a decent device which can play all your old carts and cds?

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MJI
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Re: Everyone seems to have missed a little point

Emulated.

Hmm I think I will just plug in the Megadrive. or the SNES, and I am sure both the PS2 & PS3 plays PS1 games

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Don't Make The Same Mistake I Did

I am a self confessed geek and I have an OUYA.

On first boot I was impressed, nice graphics and good UI. I got round the CC log in but not sure if I am allowed to mention how here as I don't know the rules. However, once I was in to the console boy was I disappointed.

My main disappointment was the fact that the controller doesn't work with the device. I know that sounds crazy but its true. OUYA support said that they are looking in to sorting the controller issues this year 2014, (I am not holding my breath) Instead for the time being you need a USB supported remote if you want to access the internet in its entirety (there is no scroll function and very limited things you can do otherwise)

Next disappointment was the fact that there is limited developing options, again won't go in to much details but basically without them having extra developers on board this console will burn. As all it offers is 2-3 games, which this review has given them too much credit in my opinion.

If you are an XBMC user then this console may make you a little happier as in my opinion this stand alone box is the best on the market (at the moment) to run XBMC. It is quick and deals with any format thrown at it. However, £99 for a box to run XBMC? - Well, it's your call.

In summary I would suggest that anyone who is looking to buy one of these, do your homework and save your money this is in no way a substitute for the PS3 or XBOX and more importantly you need to have developing experience if you want to make this box work for you. Neelessly to say mine went back after a couple of days.

Lastly, I predict that this company will fold this year after bleeding dry their consumers with false promises. I am however, looking forward to the 2 competitors that look set to make an appearance this year.

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Questionable Quality

Which were of questionable quality? The games or the 20 pound notes in your great-grandfather's wallet? If the latter, were they genuine or was Mr H Taylor an amateur forger?

Inquiring minds wish to know!

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