Perhaps you have heard some of the hub-bub surrounding this new console releasing in March 2013. It's not from either Sony or Microsoft but from some passionate minds from Los Angeles, CA who've amassed funds via Kickstarter. This new platform is the OUYA, and it just may change the face of gaming. How, you may ask, can such an obscure machine make a difference in an industry with well-established names such as Nintendo and Valve? To put it simply, it has the potential to cater to both gamers and developers in ways that no company has ever attempted.
Following the growing trend of PC games, OUYA is also encouraging the free-to-play model as games that follow the Team Fortress 2 or League of Legends model will be championed. Some developers have been reserved going into the free-to-play market, but with the OUYA's affordability, we just may see a boom in the genre. Some developers have even suggested that this revenue model will bring about more MMOs without monthly fees. Although the model seems to be a detail that OUYA is still working on, their reason at heart is to make sure that no customer feels cheated by paying for a poorly made game. They are also requiring that all games have to at least offer a demo so customers will only buy games they absolutely love. Tell me, when was the last time a company put you above their wallet?
What console will sell well if it does not have third-party support? OUYA knows the answer and has prepared accordingly. Notch, one of the most noted faces in the indie community, will release Minecraft on the OUYA. He has even stated all of his future titles will be made available for OUYA if there is demand. For those with no interest in the indie field, Square Enix will also be releasing Final Fantasy III on the OUYA. Of course, Square will probably do as they always have and re-release every game they have; but who doesn't want to play War of The Lions or Chaos Rings on the flat screen? Some other games that have been shown via screen shots are Dead Trigger, Canabalt, and Triple Town. Another move OUYA has made that will appeal to many gamers is streaming games with OnLive. Though there will be some, such as myself, who prefer access to Steam than OnLive, and this will assist OUYA in having a constant flow of games.
While having third-party support is a must, so are useful features provided by the console itself. Features such as OUYA being compatible with every Android app ever made including non-gaming apps. For those of you who enjoy watching others play games, this means that Twitch.TV will be accessible through the OUYA. Another feature, though already used by the Wii U, is that OUYA's controller has a touchpad. Imagine playing Cut The Rope or Bad Piggies on your TV screen without having to settle with analog sticks as the controls.
For those who love to find out how things work, this game system is 100 percent hackable. All that is required is a Philips head screwdriver. If you so choose to modify your OUYA but break it, you're in luck. The warranty is still good. The developers of OUYA will not punish you for having a sense of curiosity or creativity. Other features include the basics such as USB ports, Bluetooth, HDMI support, and the ability to be online via Ethernet. OUYA also has some ambitious ideas for their project. To encourage business globally, they will make the console available in any language requested. Also, it supports multiple voltages. Now you can visit your Aunt in Germany without the game system exploding.
The creators of the OUYA were obviously told, "If it's too good to be true then it is", and retorted, "challenge accepted". When inflation is factored in, this is the lowest priced system ever created. It is also made in mind for both the indie and triple A studios. When a tablet game is made available for game systems, a lot of what made that game fun is lost due to the transition to analog controls. However, OUYA seems to have overcome that issue with touchpad in the controller. Most console makers punish hacking, but OUYA encourages it. While a few months still remain before its release, this little Rubik's Cube of a system may not only change the way we play, but the way we create games to share our passions with others.