Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ouya Impresses Kickstarter Backers with Revolutionary New Console

Ouya has burst onto the gaming scene in a big way recently, making headlines equally attractive to gamers and game developers. The company and product of the same name recently blew their Kickstarter funding goals away by over $2 million in the first several days, hooking backers with promises of a new type of console that they hope will change the face of the console-gaming market.

Built on Android 4.0, Ouya is designed as an open-source console with a price point under $100. Ouya encourages and invites indie developers to enter the world of console gaming as legitimate players, rather than as small voices in a crowded market of secondary importance, as is the case with current console's indie marketplaces. Far from a box for gimmick games, Ouya invites AAA developers and publishers to weight in with their best titles, as well.

Much has been said about the impact that Ouya may have when it hits store shelves in 2013, but I am more interested in the game-changing undertones of this project's very existence. The tug-of-war between AAA players and Indies has not seemed to favor either side in recent years. On one side, we see things like Digital Rights Management evolving to a point where sharing games is no longer an option, for example, while on the other side we see indie developers creating more open-source games with unlimited distribution. As another example, we see platforms like the Playstation 3 becoming more difficult for indie developers to break into, while at the same time publishing on mobile platforms becomes increasingly cost effective for indie (and even basement) developers. Ouya represents a merging of these two worlds and a reconcilliation of the two divergent trends. On a mass-market, open-source platform, AAA titles can exist alongside Indie titles with casual gamers unable to tell the difference between the two.

Whether or not Ouya makes the splash that many expect it to, this company has put an idea out into the world, and their success on Kickstarter shows that gamers and developers are not going to let this trend disappear. Ouya proves that the gaming industry as a whole wants to see Indie developers and AAA publishers on more of an even playing field; this can only be good for gamers and the industry.

For more information, visit Ouya's Kickstarter page:

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