By McKinley Noble | 07-13-2012 | 2:00PM
In a console market dominated by the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii, can the Ouya carve its own niche while attracting mobile developers to its platform? It’s far too early to tell, but there’s a huge amount of hype behind this technology marvel for good reason. In fact, here are eight things you should know about the Ouya before it hits retail shelves and online stores next year.
8. It only costs $99
In the gaming market, the big console makers are constantly waging a pricing war to see how low they need to go in order to attract new buyers. Even Microsoft is still reinventing their Xbox 360 models, pairing $99 units with two-year contracts. But Ouya’s console is hitting the $99 price floor right out of the gate on Kickstarter, which automatically makes it an attractive offer for potential customers.
7. It’s on track to be the most successful Kickstarter project in history
As documented by Kickstarter’s own editorial team, the Ouya is both the fastest project to hit $1 million in funding (at 8 hours and 22 minutes) and boasts the most money pledged in 24 hours at $2.5 million. If the console continues at its current rate, it’ll be the most successful project the website has ever had. That’s not the only impressive accolade. In just a few days, the Ouya has raised $4 million dollars. That’s more money than the Double Fine Adventure project made in a month.
6. Game developers are already producing Ouya ports
Indie mobile game developer Semi Secret is already on board with the Ouya, as Canabalt is one of the console’s leading launch titles. Other mobile games will undoubtedly follow suit, and the Ouya’s gained public praise from the likes of thatgamecompany’s Jenova Chen and Minecraft creator Markus Persson, better known as “Notch.” It's also been confirmed to play console-caliber Tegra 3 optimized titles such as Shadowgun and Dead Trigger.
5. The controller has a built-in touch screen
Any mobile games that are modified for the Ouya won’t have to give up their touch-screen controls, as the system’s controller already features a built-in touch-screen of its own. For a TV-focused console, that’s an interesting technological feature, making the Ouya a direct competitor to devices like Nintendo's Wii U.
4. It runs an open-source interface on Android 4.0
Unlike most systems, the Ouya promotes itself as an open-source, hackable device that’s meant for low-cost gaming. As part of its interface, every game it supports will have a free component, and with the Android Ice Cream Sandwich interface, it’s accessible for developers to modify a huge variety of apps and programs.
3. Nvidia’s Tegra 3 technology powers its core and graphics
Despite its low price, the Ouya won’t be a slouch in the visuals department, as it’s fueled by Nvidia's quad core Tegra 3 graphics technology. Essentially, it’ll visuals will be just as stunning (if not more so) than devices like the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime or the Acer Iconia Tab A510.
2. It supports custom-made peripherals
If you don’t want to pony up the extra $30 for an extra controller, the Ouya can support whatever USB options you have available. Aside from just controllers, the console can also be expanded to storage space, so you won’t have to burn money on specialized memory cards or hard drives.
1. It just might change the gaming market
More than anything else, the Ouya is a unique idea that gives the surging mobile market another place to stretch its widening breadth of content. It’s sold over 30,000 units so far via preorder, pushing the system from “prototype” to “niche gaming product” in record time. Once the Kickstarter fund is over, it’ll be interesting to see where the idea goes, and how far the console can go with the public at large.