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Ouya Game Console Retail Launch Delayed Until June 25

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the reset-button dept.

Android 121

PC Mag is one of several outlets reporting that the Kickstarter-funded Ouya Android game console has been delayed by a few weeks; the new target date for launch is June 25. Says the article "The delay does not affect early backers, who are still on track to receive their devices by month's end. Helping to meet that demand will be $15 million in funding, led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers." Also at CNET.

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Durrr Ouya (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674305)

Let's play games ported from our phones on our TV!!!1 That'll be great, let's buy into Ouya's DRM but it's ok because we can pirate. Durr.

Re:Durrr Ouya (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674335)

I for one welcome a cheap console that has demos available for all games. No need to pirate!

Re:Durrr Ouya (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675709)

Of course you need to pirate, otherwise the games will constantly be asking you to buy things in-app. The easy hackability of the console is the point, you'll be able to download a big suite of games off piratebay or something, along with a few emulators.

Shareware model (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43677373)

Of course you need to pirate, otherwise the games will constantly be asking you to buy things in-app.

Why constantly? I envision games laid out like the first Doom, where the first of four episodes ("Knee-Deep") is without charge and the second ("Shores"), third ("Inferno"), and fourth ("Consumed") are one block of paid DLC.

Re:Shareware model (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#43677781)

There's total variety in this regard in Android games today, and there's no reason to believe that things will be any different on Ouya. Some of the popular games today are actually offered both in pay-once and free-to-pay versions, e.g. Real Racing 3. And then there's the games where you can pay to get ahead but they won't harass you to spend money if you don't want to.

Re:Durrr Ouya (4, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674345)

the games aren't PS4 quality like shadowgun, but the console is $99 and the games are only a few $$$ each. does it really matter that you can't see the individual droplets of blood flying off dead people? who cares?

Re:Durrr Ouya (5, Funny)

partyguerrilla (1597357) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674383)

does it really matter that you can't see the individual droplets of blood flying off dead people?

Of course it matters, what kind of gamer are you?

Re:Durrr Ouya (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674535)

Also, why are you even looking at the consumer grade PS4? 8 way SLI with Geforce GTX Titans for the win. You can power a whole wall of 4k monitors with it.

Re:Durrr Ouya (1)

fisted (2295862) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674763)

Whoever'd use that for gaming is a moron. Much more profitable to mine some bitcoins on your neighbours electricity

Games that don't require a pointing device (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43677421)

Also, why are you even looking at the consumer grade PS4?

Because not all games are FPS or RTS. Games in several genres would benefit more from a gamepad than from a mouse and keyboard, such as platformers and fighting games. And when major video game publishers have published games that don't require a mouse or similar pointing device, they have historically tended to do so on consoles far more often than PCs.

Re:Durrr Ouya (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674561)

The casual kind.

Re:Durrr Ouya (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675039)

When I want to see my reflection in the flying splatter of blood, with full bokeh depth-of-field, bloom, and ray-traced lighting, I have a PC. Two, actually.

But I'd have no problem buying one of these, if it had some good games I couldn't get elsewhere. If the Ouya can play regular Android games, that would be perfect - I don't have a phone able to play any game more advanced than Chess, so I've been missing out on some of the higher-quality Android games.

As it is, I don't think it's *quite* worth it, but only for lack of software, not hardware. And even then, if it fails and you can find them being sold for $50, I'd snap one up instantly for XMBC and emulator usage.

Re:Durrr Ouya (1)

StoneyMahoney (1488261) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675183)

When I want to see my reflection in the flying splatter of blood, I remember that I can only gib my annoying neighbour once. Saving him for a special occasion.

Trivial to port (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43677475)

If the Ouya can play regular Android games, that would be perfect

As long as an Android game doesn't heavily rely on pointing and clicking, it should be trivial for the game's developer to port it from Google Play, which expects a multitouch screen, to Ouya, which expects a gamepad. Any game that currently supports Xperia Play, iControlPad, iCade, or keyboard control would probably take a day or two to port the input handling and possibly no more than the rest of the week to work out in-app purchasing.

Re:Durrr Ouya (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43675097)

the console is $99 and the games are only a few $$$ each.

I can already get "only a few $$$" games on a phone/tablet/Steam. The benefit for an Ouya over those is the convenience of a console (i.e minimal setup, easily plugs into TV, console controller), but then as a console it will be compared to the existing big boys, and people will complain how it doesn't have the (expensive) things that the other consoles offer.

Hey, I'd love to be wrong, but the Ouya looks more like a niche than a paradigm shift.

The Wii printed money for years (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43677505)

as a console it will be compared to the existing big boys, and people will complain how it doesn't have the (expensive) things that the other consoles offer.

Despite such complaints, the Wii printed money [uncyclopedia.co] for the first few years. I don't see how it'd necessarily stop the Ouya.

Re:The Wii printed money for years (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43680041)

as a console it will be compared to the existing big boys, and people will complain how it doesn't have the (expensive) things that the other consoles offer.

Despite such complaints, the Wii printed money [uncyclopedia.co] for the first few years. I don't see how it'd necessarily stop the Ouya.

The hardware is a distant second to the software library in the list of factors which are already stopping the Ouya. There are no exclusive games worth mentioning, and no prospects of getting any. There is no in-house Ouya equivalent of Shigeru Miyamoto (the designer of Nintendo's Mario games, among others). In fact, Ouya has no game development teams at all, and has demonstrated shocking incompetence at even creating their own private app store and reskinning Android for the Ouya.

We can't ignore the hardware though. Forget about CPU and GPU power for a moment. The Wii actually did have one novel hardware feature, which enabled innovative (if ultimately faddish) titles like Wii Sports. Those titles drove a lot of the Wii's sales, particularly to people who'd never bought a game console before. But the Ouya? It's me-too in every way. The only mildly unique hardware feature is a small trackpad on its controller, and that's just for navigating the menus of quick-and-dirty Android ports. A trackpad isn't going to revolutionize gaming control schemes.

I'll give them this, though -- they sure know how to market to gullible people. All they (and particularly the CEO, Julie Uhrman) had to do was babble about how they were going to take back gaming from the Big 3, return gaming to the TV, Kickstarter funding revolution, blah blah blah. Never mind that what they're going to revolt against the Big 3 with is... the Big 3's own ideas, with less competent execution. Or that a key element of their Big Plan to "return gaming to the TV" is to be a conduit for low-effort tablet/phone game ports which will never play well on a big screen with a real controller.

Relying on third-party games (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43680401)

There is no in-house Ouya equivalent of Shigeru Miyamoto

When the PlayStation 2 first launched, the only first-party game was FantaVision, a cross between Klax and Missile Command that a reviewer on tetrisconcept.com called "a steaming pile of tech demo and nothing more." The PS2 had to rely on third-party games at launch, but it still won the fifth generation in sales. Does Apple develop its own games for the App Store or Mac App Store? It's been a long time since Brick Out on the Apple II Plus.

shocking incompetence at even creating their own private app store and reskinning Android for the Ouya

Incompetence in what way, specifically?

Or that a key element of their Big Plan to "return gaming to the TV" is to be a conduit for low-effort tablet/phone game ports which will never play well on a big screen with a real controller.

Never? A lot of these phone and tablet games already have to use an on-screen gamepad to implement gamepad-style controls on a flat sheet of glass, and players end up missing buttons with their thumbs because they can't feel the buttons' edges. Pixeline and the Jungle Treasure, for example, would play a lot better on an Ouya than it does on my Nexus 7. There's also a community of hobbyists still creating games for the NES (yes, the NES), and someone's creating an emulator wrapper analogous to Wii Virtual Console [nesdev.com] to let NES game developers sell their NES games in the Ouya Store.

Re:Durrr Ouya (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675127)

Yeah, but the Nintendo Wii is also only $99. You can soft-mod it to do all sorts of stuff, but there's a bunch of used games out there for really cheap. There's also the WiiWare store which has a bunch of games for pretty low prices. I'm not sure how the Ouya is a gamechanger. It's basically the same as buying last generation's console.

Re:Durrr Ouya (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43675415)

In the Ouya you can swap out the CPU. Next year if you don't want to buy a Ouya2 you could just pop in a Tegra4 (or 5?). Replace the industry standard fan (4 screws) and you're good to go. I'm sure if it takes off there'll be aftermarket controllers for it.

Re:Durrr Ouya (1)

wed128 (722152) | about a year and a half ago | (#43679047)

Not quite...the CPU is soldered to the main board; you'd have to replace the whole board. you'd basically be buying an ouya sans-case, which would cost almost as much as a new ouya.

Re:Durrr Ouya (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43680355)

Not quite...the CPU is soldered to the main board; you'd have to replace the whole board. you'd basically be buying an ouya sans-case, which would cost almost as much as a new ouya.

Have you never used a de-soldering bulb before? From that iFixit link below= Step 7

With the fan out of the way, we're (temporarily) slowed in our journey to the center of the Ouya—the heat sink is soldered in place, obscuring the processor.

According to an Ouya engineer, solder was chosen over clips for mechanical strength, as they were (rightfully) worried about such a small console being knocked around or dropped. Soldering the heat sink to the motherboard proved a much tougher design, better at surviving drop tests.

No trouble for us, we pulled out our trusty soldering iron and desoldering wick and quickly freed the heat sink.

Restrictions on developers limit selection (0)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43677577)

There's also the WiiWare store which has a bunch of games for pretty low prices.

Doesn't a WiiWare developer still have to have "relevant video game industry experience" (that is, several commercial titles on another platform) and a "secure office" (which until very recently explicitly excluded home offices)? Restrictions on developers limit selection, and that's why Bob's Game has taken so long to come out. In the 1980s with retail shelf space and print magazines, limiting selection may have been desirable to filter out the crap that was flooding stores late in the Atari 2600's life, but in the 2010s, we have download stores and online reviews to do the filtering for us.

Re:Durrr Ouya (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#43677757)

Yeah, but the Nintendo Wii is also only $99. You can soft-mod it to do all sorts of stuff, but there's a bunch of used games out there for really cheap. There's also the WiiWare store which has a bunch of games for pretty low prices. I'm not sure how the Ouya is a gamechanger. It's basically the same as buying last generation's console.

Nintendo is still hostile to homebrew and still releases updates which break HBC. If you want to keep your Wii modded, any time an update comes along you have to tell it no and go run the hackmii installer again. That's pretty easy (stick it in a directory on the SD card and launch it from the HBC) but it's still an annoyance and if other people are using your console there's the risk they'll accept the update since it's required for whatever they're doing and it's goodbye HBC, and maybe a bricked console too. Ouya isn't going to be trying to prevent you from running your own apps, that's how it's a game changer. Also, it has a whole lot more balls than the Wii.

Re:Durrr Ouya (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674989)

The 1980s called, they want to know why you're playing games on your phone and not on your TV.

Delayed first (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674349)

I would say "First", but my post was delayed by a few weeks

Ouno! (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674395)

I have high hopes for this one. But the more delays, the less confidence I have.

Re:Ouno! (5, Informative)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674611)

I have high hopes for this one. But the more delays, the less confidence I have.

They've had a problem with the controller buttons getting stuck and had to make the holes larger. From the idea to a worldwide launch in 9 months, not too shabby.

From JoyStiq.com: The Ouya isn't going to make its planned June 4 launch. The diminutive Android console will now launch on June 25. Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman tells Joystiq that the decision was made in order to meet high demand at retail.

"We've had incredibly positive reactions from our retail partners, and so in order to meet their greater than expected demand, we decided to shift the launch date by a couple of weeks – three weeks – which will allow us to create more units and, basically, have more units on store shelves in June."

Uhrman also addressed one of Ouya's stickier issues, notably that the controller's buttons can get stuck underneath its faceplate. The problem has already been fixed, she says, and is being implemented in production. The solution: larger button holes. "I don't know what the exact millimeter is, but we've increased the size just a little bit, so now the buttons don't stick under it. We made that change very early so all the units are being produced with those larger button holes." The corrected controllers will ship alongside Ouya's retail launch units.

http://www.joystiq.com/2013/05/09/ouya-launch-delayed-to-june-25-controller-defect-being-fixed/ [joystiq.com]

Re:Ouno! (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675037)

Controllers are always the hard part. A really good controller is quite hard to come by. They probably would have been better off by not shipping a controller and just telling everyone to go out and buy a XBox360 or DualShock controller. Might have cost a little more in the end for the users, but at least everyone would have a quality controller.

Re:Ouno! (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675089)

And then there would be no default controller for the console and people would have complained about lack of support for their preferred controller.

Re:Ouno! (1)

iroll (717924) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675577)

I think he meant that they could tell you to buy a 360 controller or they could tell you to buy a dual-shock, thus making one of them the default controller.

Re:Ouno! (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675799)

Exactly. You might have a problem if Microsoft decided to stop selling the XBox controller, but that probably wouldn't happen any time soon. I'm interested in buying one, but I want to wait at least 6 months to find out how the controller holds up to heavy use.

Re:Ouno! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#43677635)

You really wouldn't want to specify the Xbox controller, for two big reasons. Reason the first, the official rechargeable battery is shit. Reason the second, it doesn't speak bluetooth. Therefore, you reasonably would have to go with the Sixaxis, because expecting people to buy the PC version of the Xbox controller or a compatible dongle is just getting too far out there, and you're not rationally going to add support for Xbox 360 controllers to your console. But then you're in the position of telling people to go buy controllers from just one of your competitors, which is even more completely unacceptable a solution than telling people to go buy a controller from either of your competitors. As well, the controllers represent a substantial opportunity for profit; they cost as much as the system! (More or less, apparently, etc.)

On the other hand, it would be really slick to have specified the joystick module from either of these controllers for their controllers, because those modules are readily available for very little money. It would mean less revenue selling people new controllers, but it would also mean lower costs. As far as I can tell they're both pretty good modules.

The solution I would most have liked to have seen would have been a remapping app that let you use any bluetooth controller device. All the functionality needed is there in Android and implemented for some devices in apps already, e.g. the sixaxis pairing app, or the bluetooth pairing app for pinless pairing.

Re:Ouno! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43677147)

Neither of those controllers has a touchpad. The PS4 controller does, but that isn't available yet. Maybe no devs will make use of the Ouya controller's touchpad, but the idea behind it was to make porting touchscreen games to it easier.

Abstract (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43677625)

That or the standard library would abstract out the difference between the Dual Shock 3 and the Xbox 360 Controller (wired or with PC adapter), and by default, games would support both. Does anyone know whether the Ouya OS supports enough of Bluetooth and USB input to get these controllers working for, say, player 2?

Re:Abstract (1)

wed128 (722152) | about a year and a half ago | (#43679075)

Yes it does. There's videos of this exact thing all over the youtubes.

Re:Ouno! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43675107)

The controllers are apparently powered by AA batteries. That's just fucking lame. I'd much prefer to have a rechargeable battery pack than to either have to constantly buy AAs or have to use clunky AA rechargeables. I was seriously considering buying one, but that's a deal breaker.

Re:Ouno! (1)

StoneyMahoney (1488261) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675221)

I have the opposite opinion. I'd rather use standard rechargeable cells, I can swap them out in seconds and keep on playing. I even have a AAA-powered music player in my bag for when my mobile is low on battery.

Re:Ouno! (1)

iroll (717924) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675645)

I prefer AAs; they last a long time by themselves, you can get a big box of them from harbor freight for like $3 and be set for at least a year, and they don't need any special consideration for disposal.

Sure, you can throw your expensive lithium batteries that always seem to crap out after a few months in the regular trash, too, but then you'd be an asshole.

Re:Ouno! (1)

lord_mike (567148) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675761)

I've read that the Ouya can use the Xbox controller, as well as bluetooth keyboards, mice, etc. Can anyone confirm that?

Re:Ouno! (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#43676029)

well yeah, 9 months isn't too shabby I suppose to buy an existing older generation tech and buy some injection moulded plastics.

because.. one of the things which makes ouya feel overhyped to the max is that android running tv boxes have been available for ages.

Re:Ouno! (2)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#43676505)

I expect that this thing's going to be hacked like crazy after a few months time. When I see that it can be modded so I can run an android apk I'll surely buy one. All my Atari 2600, 5200, C64, MAME, SNES, NES, Genesis, N64 and PS1 game roms playing on my tv with a decent controller will be worth the $100. Even if I never hook it up to the internet, to have a plug and play type rom player that's got enough cpu power to run these without slow performance, that's really all I'd want. Anything else it'll do would be just icing on the cake.

USB debugging (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43677735)

When I see that it can be modded so I can run an android apk I'll surely buy one.

To load homemade software, it appears you just have to turn on USB debugging, much like with a tablet or phone. Fire up Eclipse and get going.

All my Atari 2600, 5200, C64, MAME, SNES, NES, Genesis, N64 and PS1 game roms

PS1 CDs and PS2 DVDs are relatively easy to dump, at least in my experience using background music extraction software. But how do you plan to connect your 1541 drive to your PC to dump C64 games, dump your arcade PCBs for MAME, or dump your cartridges for the other systems?

Re:USB debugging (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#43678149)

I have the Android based emulators for all the specific consoles of days gone by. I have the game roms (including C-64 ones) that I downloaded from sites found in a google search (gave away the c-64 and other consoles long ago). As long as de-bugging mode lets you run android apks Ouya will work out fine for me. My $100 tablet's got a 1ghz A7 processor, which isn't enough power for NIntendo64, PS1, and several MAME roms.

Controller consistency; brick and mortar (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43677771)

one of the things which makes ouya feel overhyped to the max is that android running tv boxes have been available for ages

Have these Android-running TV boxes had a standard button layout for the user controls? In my research [pineight.com] , just about no two brands of USB game controllers had the buttons in the same order. In one of my games, I've decided to store recommended configurations for all controllers that I happen to own, including Xbox and Logitech controllers, and default to whatever matches the connected controller's make and model.

And has one been able to try or buy them in brick-and-mortar stores? I imagine that a lot of parents are unwilling to buy toys from Amazon or eBay that they've never seen.

Re:Ouno! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674733)

If you're a kickstarter backer, their updates have kind of been hinting that they're going to delay going full retailer until all of the kickstarter units have been delivered, plus a couple of weeks of exclusivity. A number of people were complaining that they backed with all the gee-whiz options of engraving, custom colors, etc. Those consoles take a little longer to make and were originally going to be delivered almost the same week that the regular console went full retail, which rubbed some of their bigger backers the wrong way.

iFixit: 9/10 stars (2)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674397)

iFixit gives the Ouya console and controller high marks... http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Ouya+Teardown/14224/1 [ifixit.com]

For $99, how can it go wrong?

Re:iFixit: 9/10 stars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674515)

For $99, how can it go wrong?

That's what people said about OnLive.

Re:iFixit: 9/10 stars (1)

neminem (561346) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674743)

No they didn't? Tons of people said "this won't work" to OnLive.

Re:iFixit: 9/10 stars (2)

BitingChaos (2786797) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675091)

OnLive actually works surprisingly well... It's a shame that it hasn't been a success. The same technology will be used by Sony in the PS4. If it works there, maybe more people will take a look at OnLive, again (if they're still in business).

Re:iFixit: 9/10 stars (1)

Xenx (2211586) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675273)

Your definition of surprisingly well might not be the same as others. OnLive was fine for casual games. Anything that required quick response times was a waste of time and money.

Re:iFixit: 9/10 stars (2)

DdJ (10790) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675337)

That is "surprisingly well" -- I expected it to be a waste for everything.

Re:iFixit: 9/10 stars (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a year and a half ago | (#43677931)

... OnLive was fine for casual games. ....

Can't the same thing be said for the Ouya?

Re:iFixit: 9/10 stars (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43675573)

No, it's not a shame. OnLive is a DRM scheme for single player games, just like Diablo 3. Please let it die.

Re:iFixit: 9/10 stars (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43676097)

For $99, how can it go wrong?

Easy. Underpowered game console with less power than your mother's vibrator, designed by a dike and given a totally gay name like Ouya! Only a pure-bred faggot would actually buy one of these an admit using it.

Re:iFixit: 9/10 stars (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43676635)

Just because you can post ac here doesn't mean you should say hate-filled things, son. Why don't you show your mother your post just to see how proud it makes her of you. Time to grow up some, boy.

Re:iFixit: 9/10 stars (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year and a half ago | (#43676827)

They gave it a 9 out of 10 for how it is built. Big deal, that doesn't make it fun to play unless you wanted to spend $99 on something to take the screws out of it.

"Ads disabled" checkbox broken (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674431)

The ads disabled checkbox for high karma is broken (posting OT as AC)

Re:"Ads disabled" checkbox broken (1, Informative)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674645)

Maybe your karma is broken. It should be for bitching in an unrelated post as AC.

Here is where you express issues with the website:

feedback@slashdot.org

Re:"Ads disabled" checkbox broken (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674689)

(posting OT as AC)

Well, there's your problem right there: Operating Thetans should know better than to deprive the free service of its ad revenue.

So let me get this straight... (1)

mumblestheclown (569987) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674643)

For some reason, developers are going to flock to build cheap games for this substandard performing platform. Furthermore, gamers are going to use this for some reason because...

This thing has cue:cat scale flop written all over it. We won't hear about it again after the media hype dies down, as, simply, except for people who find that they can repurpose the hardware, nobody will buy the thing.

/ just like linux on the desktop.

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674691)

Yeah, but it started as a *Kickstarter* campaign! Doesn't that intrigue you, and make you want to give them money?!?!?

Re:So let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43675275)

The cuecat was a stupid marketing scheme concocted during the "lets add the internet to everything!!" dotcom stock frau- err boom. Turns out that linking print ads to the same ads online isnt exacly what people want.

The ouya, on the other hand, fills a huge hole in the market. A hole so desperately in need of filling that a lot of people are willing to put up 15 million dollars upfront.

Here is my take:
There is a whole new breed of game on the market. Rapidly developed, community driven indy titles that focus on core gameplay mechanics, fun, and style. These games may be artistic, high concept,creative, or "hard core" skill based titles. (Likely a combination of any of all of these) These games bring back a lot of what you loved from 80s and 90s titles. (Some are even complete remakes)

These games are inexpensive, are updated frequently, and often start as incomplete projects that are developed with close input from the gaming community. They often eschew lots of high end 3d graphics as that stuff takes a lot of time and money to develop.

These games are POPULAR (just look at minecraft) and the large console makers have completely, utterly failed to serve this market. Closed platforms, high development prices, difficult development tools, restrictive policies, and a very high cost of publishing updates all make the above development model impossible. It's also pretty clear that the big studios bully console makers in to much of these policies. (Yes, I know minecraft is out for consoles now. But look how long it took.. And look how popular it is. It's one of the xbox's biggest and most played titles. Period)

The problem with these indy titles is that they're out of reach to many potential customers. They're pretty much PC only Many gamers don't want to use a PC to game, or don't have one. The smart phone markets are good and open, but controls and screen size are lacking.

The Ouya is an inexpensive device that is easy to use, made from COTS parts and well understood commodity software. It also establishes a fixed hardware platform and software framework that programmers will be able to optimize for very easily. In short, it gives a lot of titles an inexpensive way to expand their userbase.

Re:So let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43676417)

The cuecat was a stupid marketing scheme concocted during the "lets add the internet to everything!!" dotcom stock frau- err boom. Turns out that linking print ads to the same ads online isnt exacly what people want.

And yet here we are 15 years later, with QR codes on everything.

Differences between CueCat and QR (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43677867)

I see two differences between CueCat and QR Code. First, people bought Internet-connected cameras of their own accord, needing only an application distributed without charge to translate the QR Code matrix into a URL. Second, Denso licenses QR Code patents to the public without charge [wikipedia.org] , whereas Digital Convergence went all DMCA on CueCat hackers' behinds [wikipedia.org] .

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

Xenx (2211586) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675305)

There are games on Android that I do enjoy playing from time to time. For $100, it allows me to do so on my tv. But, it was mostly about repurposing the hardware and backing an alternative to the big 3 consoles. If the idea fails, I still keep the hardware.

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

rgbscan (321794) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675333)

I have to agree. The Wii would be selling in droves if casual games with last gen graphics were the biggest market.

Wii printed money (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43677933)

The Wii would be selling in droves if casual games with last gen graphics were the biggest market.

And Wii did go on to sell 100 million consoles, compared to 77 million each for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Perhaps the appeal of the Ouya is that it could be the YouTube of gaming on TV, compared to the other consoles that are like the more tightly curated Netflix.

Preorder at target (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674663)

My Local Target has this for per-order. I was kind of shocked to see it. This may be a lot bigger deal than I had originally imagined. $99 really brings it down into a reasonable birthday/Christmas present for the kids.

Re:Preorder at target (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674711)

Do your kids have credit cards? It requires CC info and an online update before they can even use it. Afterwards they can charge up in-game-transactions at the press of a button. Just FYI, the system might not be what you expect.

Re:Preorder at target (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about a year and a half ago | (#43676525)

Or he could just use a prepaid card.

Re:Preorder at target (1)

CCarrot (1562079) | about a year and a half ago | (#43677189)

Do your kids have credit cards? It requires CC info and an online update before they can even use it. Afterwards they can charge up in-game-transactions at the press of a button. Just FYI, the system might not be what you expect.

So? Register with a $25 Visa or Mastercard gift card: self limiting, and who cares if the black hats scrape the number? When that runs out, update with a new card, if they got one for their birthday or whatever...

I look at this as a good way to teach them to be cautious and discriminating shoppers. They have a fixed amount: if they want to spend it all on Minecraft bling or the equivalent, that's fine, but when it runs out it's gone until their next birthday or Christmas or they spend their own money on a new card.

If you don't want to go through the hassle of re-registering a new card number each time they run out, there is also a reloadable pre-paid [mastercard.us] option. If the kids receive or earn cash, they can choose whether or not to load it on their card (or you might have to do it for them, depending on the T&C), but it's still self-limiting and much more secure than a 'normal' credit card.

BTW, the same principle applies to any micro-transaction site: Google certainly doesn't have my real CC number, yet I can still buy apps for my phone and tablet to my hearts content, worry free. I don't care if they share the number with app developers or get scraped or whatever: I think my remaining balance right now is about $15. Woo hoo, go to town... ;o)

Re:Preorder at target (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674717)

My Local Target has this for per-order. I was kind of shocked to see it. This may be a lot bigger deal than I had originally imagined. $99 really brings it down into a reasonable birthday/Christmas present for the kids.

Yep, and if the Ouya people are smart they'll have a gift card to load up the kid's account with, instead of a credit card only system.

Re:Preorder at target (1)

Picass0 (147474) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674853)

^^^^^ This.

I gave both of my kids iTouch devices a few years ago. They still love them and game on them, but it pisses me off how every f'ing game has popups to download and install a new level, unlock, or companion game from the istore (for additional money). I have an android phone an see it slightly less often on my games.

If I could load up a kids store account with tokens or credits like on the Wii store that would be perfect.

Re:Preorder at target (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675117)

iTunes gift cards are available everywhere.

Re:Preorder at target (1)

Picass0 (147474) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675379)

True, but those work better for teens and above. My kids are younger (10) and this is a game console. The store should work for younger gamers within reason. The Wii store is simple and the points concept works well. Whatevergame costs 800 points and you have 1000 points.

Re:Preorder at target (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#43676731)

Do I need a credit card/debit card or some other payment instrument to get an OUYA account?

Yes. You will be asked to provide payment information *before* you can download any games. Everything is free to try so you may never purchase anything, but, we need to collect your information upfront. We will expand our options as we grow. Initially, we will support credit cards, debit cards, and pre-paid/gift cards and promo cards (in June). Remember: we will never charge you unless you decide to make a purchase (for example, you want to unlock the full game or buy the flaming sword).

http://www.ouya.tv/faq/ [www.ouya.tv]

Re:Preorder at target (1)

CCarrot (1562079) | about a year and a half ago | (#43677305)

^^^^^ This.

I gave both of my kids iTouch devices a few years ago. They still love them and game on them, but it pisses me off how every f'ing game has popups to download and install a new level, unlock, or companion game from the istore (for additional money). I have an android phone an see it slightly less often on my games.

If I could load up a kids store account with tokens or credits like on the Wii store that would be perfect.

Here you go [mastercard.us] .

See my post just above. No need to give them incidental access to a typical, no holds barred credit card: there are self-limiting options out there. They may have to track their own expenditures in order to know how much is left on the card, but hey, excellent learning opportunity! Balancing books is something most adults can't manage...

Re:Preorder at target (1)

rather_not (2919397) | about a year and a half ago | (#43679241)

>This. Go back to 4chan, kid.

Re:Preorder at target (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year and a half ago | (#43680541)

With the android OS and the play store, you can require a password to purchase anything. I've set it up on my wifes tablet after my 5yr old bought $10 worth of slingshots in angrybirds by mistake. It should be on by default, but it's easy enough to setup that I'm not going to bitch too much.

Bad Move (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674911)

Unless they're confident that Nvidia's Project SHIELD [nvidia.com] will slide past its Q2 release window [venturebeat.com] , this is a really bad idea.

Would you prefer your Android gaming console permanently tethered to your TV on Tegra 3 [nvidia.com] or would you prefer a handheld console on Tegra 4 [nvidia.com] with the option of going mobile?

Re:Bad Move (1)

Xenx (2211586) | about a year and a half ago | (#43676957)

Would you prefer to spend $100 or ~$400? I definitely wouldn't fault someone on either choice.

Console? (0)

DarthVain (724186) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675279)

This is pushing the definition of "console" and not in a good way.

It has a nVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU in it. (I guess AMD gets all the real consoles...)
Which is slightly better than a smartphone that's processor was released in 2010 (Galaxy S3, Snapdragon S3).

So the think is going to be powered by cellphone technology that is 3 years old on launch.
Even the price point isn't that great. At launch the S4 will be available, how much do you think a no contract S3 will be then? 100$? and it will have more features.
About the only thing it does have is a controller.

Anyway all this is a older cellphone gaming on your TV with a controller. I am not sure I would qualify this as a console.

Re:Console? (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675823)

Samsung S4 is already out, the S3 unlocked sells for a little over $400. Even the S2 sell for over $300, so no of course the S3 won't sell for $100 in a couple of months.

Additionally, an S3 would need a controller and HDMI connection to use it as a console.

Re:Console? (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about a year and a half ago | (#43677823)

Why would it need HDMI connection? I can already wirelessly stream video to my TV. In addition, you can likely plug it into a usb port as well.

But yes you would need a controller for the "console" feel. Not sure how that would work.

S4 *just* came out. In a couple of months in the summer they will do the price drops prior to Apple doing anything in the fall. However yes it would still be more than 100$. However it does a lot more, and that 100$ is a product that isn't even available, and we will see how close to 100$ it actually will be.

Latency of DLNA (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43678053)

Why would it need HDMI connection? I can already wirelessly stream video to my TV.

Were you were referring to DLNA? As I understand it, that's more designed for noninteractive video [steamcommunity.com] , which doesn't value low latency nearly as much as gaming does. Something with latency on the order of a single 16 ms frame would need a specialized protocol, which probably means a new box to receives the wireless stream and forward it to the TV.

Re:Console? (1)

brandorf (586083) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675851)

While it is a phone chip, the T33 Tegra 3 is the fastest in the line (only appearing in the HTC One X and an Asus Tablet), I believe it will get better performance than a mobile device because you can shut off all the power saving modes. But then again, aren't all consoles obsoleted a bit by the time they hit market?

Re:Console? (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about a year and a half ago | (#43676303)

They tend to be... very few consoles are ground breaking hardware compared to desktop pc tech when they are released.. I think an OC'd tegra 3 should be sufficient. My biggest hope was that this would offer a fairly common platform for emulators to target, I have plenty of roms for older games, and older game consoles, but I don't like switching around hardware, and analog connections are a pain... I just wanted an interface at least as easy as netflix for switching games... the memory is pretty limited, and hopefully a large-ish thumb drive will work without issue... for me it's a $99 gamble, worst case, it's another XBMC box for the bedroom, best case I get some decent UIs for emulators.. if OnLive and their own apps are successful, cool... if not it's not too bad. With the Wii, my biggest disappointments are when they killed homebrew, and how much of a pain it was to connect with friends on the platform. I would love to see this be a good hackable platform, I do hope that the cheaters don't abuse it, so that it can stay open. I can imagine a v2 in a couple years with whatever Tegra after v4 is, or something equivalent as a really competitive system. It's also probably worth noting that the console is probably only 1/2-2/3 of production cost, as the controller is pretty interesting on its' own. With the rumor mill on the next xbox and ps units, also with the likes of nVidia and Valve getting in on the action, who knows how things will shake down in the next 2-3 years.

Re:Console? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#43677715)

Emulators targeting NEON won't have to do anything. Emulators targeting Tegra 2 will probably have little to do. Everyone else is using software rendering and will have nothing to do... so pretty much all the emulators ought to run on it

Re:Console? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675937)

Anyway all this is a older cellphone gaming on your TV with a controller. I am not sure I would qualify this as a console.

Well, I'm sure a very popular thing to do would be to put whatever MAME is best on Android on it, plug in a USB hard drive and play your emulators on the big screen that way. For $99 and a hard drive, you really cannot beat it as a retrogaming console. Of course, those who staked their lives on selling apps are screwed, but no biggie.

Re:Console? (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about a year and a half ago | (#43677873)

I like this idea better.

However the one problem with playing retro games on a big HD wide screen TV is they look extra terrible.

The one problem I have with the Android Market place is that it is very difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff if you will. There are literally tens of thousands of games when I go to look for anything (apps too), and everything seemingly has a 4-4.5 stars. Overload.

Simulate SDTV with a pixel shader (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43678137)

However the one problem with playing retro games on a big HD wide screen TV is they look extra terrible.

Then the emulator needs to simulate the electron beam spread of an SDTV, on which bright scanlines spread more than dark scanlines. I'm pretty sure that that's doable in a pixel shader. Or the emulator needs to use Scale2x or hq3x or something to smooth borders of things, which ends up making 8-bit game graphics look like cartoony Flash vector graphics. Scale2x has also been implemented in a pixel shader [openpandora.org] .

The one problem I have with the Android Market place is that it is very difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff if you will.

And Nintendo Power used to say good things about every licensed NES game. Aren't there other sources of reviews of Android games?

Re:Console? (1)

Jiro (131519) | about a year and a half ago | (#43679283)

If you want to play emulators on your TV, get a Wii and jailbreak it. Given the current speed of android emulators, I really doubt the Ouya is going to give any better performance than that.

Re:Console? (4, Insightful)

flimflammer (956759) | about a year and a half ago | (#43676649)

That's like saying the Wii doesn't meet the definition of a console.

Re:Console? (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about a year and a half ago | (#43677913)

One might argue that. However it was more low end PC than it was phone hardware.

Sliding scale of curation (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43678177)

So the think is going to be powered by cellphone technology that is 3 years old on launch.

Flimflammer mentioned the Wii, a 2006 die-shrink of the 2001 GameCube with about twice the RAM and a Bluetooth air mouse. It sold 100 million consoles.

About the only thing it does have is a controller.

That's the entire point. Seventh-generation consoles' download stores are tightly curated like Netflix. There's still a space for something less curated like YouTube.

Sigh! (4, Interesting)

lord_mike (567148) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675747)

Well, I guess I'll be crossing another item off my fathers day gift list! Bummer! :-( I hope this thing works out. I'm looking forward to buying one. I think that this will be a big deal. The hardcore gamers pooh pooh it, but the device isn't meant for you. There is a market for a device like this that is incredibly flexible and versatile. It goes beyond gaming. It can run all sorts of software, such as media software and emulators, and allow you to really take control of your TV experience and do whatever you want with it. That is what I think the Ouya's core appeal is--it's creative potential for users. It's fun, inexpensive, and full of potential. What's not to like?

I'm an early backer .. (1)

Frag-A-Muffin (5490) | about a year and a half ago | (#43676427)

And I haven't received mine yet. :(

I'm betting part of the delay is to ensure that all early backers get theirs BEFORE it hits retail. That was promised from very early on.

Good move for a "console" that will bomb (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year and a half ago | (#43677069)

I'd delay it too and take in more VC money while I can and before it's exposed that consumers think it's cheap junk.
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