While Sony and Microsoft prepared to the unveil the details of their next generation video game consoles inside last week’s E3 expo, the buzz outside the Los Angeles Convention Center came from a company knocking on the door of the software giants.
Ouya, the latest challenger to top-selling Xbox and Playstation platforms, opted not to buy a seat at the annual video game conference and show, but rather set up a display in a parking lot across the street, prompting the Entertainment Software Association to attempt to shut down the upstart video game company.
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The standoff was a major storyline coming out of an expo, bringing plenty of media attention and intrigue to OUYA in advance of the console’s June 25 launch date. Here's a preview of what gamers can expect from the video game industry's newest challenger.
What exactly is Ouya?
Ouya is the vision of video game industry veteran Julie Uhrman, a former executive at GameFly, IGN and Vivendi Universal. The idea behind the console is to take the simplicity of playing mobile device games to the TV. In July 2012, Ouya launched the second highest grossing Kickstarter campaign to date, raising more than $8.5 million — shattering their stated goal of $950,000. With more than 63,000 people backing their Kickstater campaign, OUYA had the funds and fan support to move along with the project.
Separating Ouya from the rest of field
The concept behind Ouya is more complex than Microsoft’s new Xbox One or Sony’s Playstation 4, but it has tremendous potential for growth where the major consoles do not. Ouya’s website touts the system’s ability to let “any creator publish a game to the TV.” Publishing a game for Ouya is similar to developing a touchscreen game for an Android-based smartphone, as the codes are open source. Any developer can access a game development kit on Ouya’s website free of charge and take the first steps toward building the next great video game.
Experienced gamers, long burdened with the escalating prices of video games, will appreciate Ouya for allowing users to try every game in its Discover store for free. Maybe the biggest key to a console’s success will be that Ouya’s starting price is only $99, compared with $499 for the Xbox One and $399 for the Playstation 4.
You know we’ve reached the future when a relatively tiny box is able to pack the drive necessary to operate a high-definition, Bluetooth-powered gaming system:
- Hardware dimensions: 2.9in x 2.9in x 3.2in
- 8 GB internal flash storage, which is expandable via USB port
- WiFi, ethernet port and Bluetooth
- HDMI output up to 1080p HD
- Wireless controller (included), 15 buttons with touchpad
Follow Chris Longo on Twitter @east_coastbias