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Ouya's Unsung Strength: Multiplayer For Parties

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the shades-of-the-wii dept.

Android 54

An anonymous reader writes: "Ouya, the Kickstarted, Android-based gaming console, had a much easier time selling people the idea of a mini-console than selling people on the console itself. Once people got over the excitement of seeing an indie console break into the market, they asked, 'Wait, why would I want to play Android games on my living room TV?' Almost a year has passed, and we're finally seeing an answer to that question: party gaming. It's one thing to play a console against your friends online, but when you get a bunch of people in the same room, most console games are too deep and complex to just pick up and play in a fun, semi-competitive way. The person who owns the fighting game is going to mop the floor with everyone else. Mobile games, on the other hand, are often incredibly simple, and Ouya forces every game to have a free trial, so you can easily weed out the ones that aren't good for groups. For example: 'In Hidden In Plain Sight, your character is one ninja lost in a sea of CPU-controlled ninjas with exactly the same texture. In the first few seconds, you have to walk left, right, up, down, anything that will let you understand which of the characters on the screen is yours. Once you've got that, you have to figure out your opponents. Any move that doesn't look like it's performed by the AI could give you away.'"

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Unsung? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47022071)

This is its only strength, something that is trumpeted from the mountaintops.

That's good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47022079)

I mostly use my Ouya to research bestiality and sexual defecation.

It's not really a multiplayer activity unless your mother is around...

She loves the taste of my lumpy shit in her mouth.

This exists (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47022083)

it is called nintendo

Re:This exists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47022313)

First time I've seen a first post that I'd +1

Re:This exists (1, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 5 months ago | (#47022729)

Yup, you can get a Wii with MarioKart [futureshop.ca] for $99. Same price as the Ouya, and has a great selection of party games.

Re:This exists (1)

Zurd3 (574979) | about 5 months ago | (#47025795)

What other games beside MarioKart? I have Worms and Bomberman but didn't found anything else. I find the Mario Party very boring.

Re:This exists (1)

Bugamn (1769722) | about 5 months ago | (#47026207)

There is also Smash Bros, WarioWare, Just Dance.

what in the fuck ? (3, Insightful)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 5 months ago | (#47022089)

NES, SEGA, SNES -- simple, fun games that have been playable at parties for 30 odd years now.
Or the WII -- which is pretty much tailor made for this kind of stuff.

have we really gone full circle with "everything old, is new again"

Re:what in the fuck ? (2, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 5 months ago | (#47022111)

But this allows you to use a whole new device instead of the thing you already have!

Re:what in the fuck ? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#47022219)

The difference is that unlike the historic policies of the major console makers, the "whole new device" doesn't use size of business as a proxy for assumed quality of product.

Re:what in the fuck ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47022255)

It sounds like it was you who made the assumption. Tough shit, retard.

Re:what in the fuck ? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47022137)

But.... but... but.... It's teh Open Sores!!!!!

Re:what in the fuck ? (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 5 months ago | (#47022261)

That is a load of crap. Each platform has games that both breed experts and are both so simple that they are playable at equal levels by all.

The summary talks about fighting games. K.O. Boxing for the NES comes to mind, but then so do any games which require any kind of skill like racing games such as Micro Machines on the SEGA. The Wii is far from free of this kind of problem too with one of the classic cases being Super Smash Bros. A great and fun game until you play it with someone who is actually good at it.

It's about the games, not about the platform, and the summary talks about the Ouya's strength being try before you buy, nothing more.

Re:what in the fuck ? (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | about 5 months ago | (#47022601)

I used to love my Ouya. Now, after installing ClockworkMod I can't update the damned thing, which means whenever I'm hooked up to the WAN I can't play half of the apps that I have installed because I'm not up-to-date on the system firmware. I have to reboot the damned thing without the Ethernet plugged in just to fire up a round of Mega Man II.

Re:what in the fuck ? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47022661)

mods console.
complains that mod broke functionality.

Re:what in the fuck ? (1, Interesting)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | about 5 months ago | (#47022697)

It would be one thing if the mod itself were responsible, the Ouya developers have intentionally crippled the console that without being up-to-date I cannot even start an app/game that has an updated version.

Re:what in the fuck ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47023727)

I still can't get over the fact you purchased something named "Ouya." That's an automatic "NO SALE" for me. Never mind the fact the CEO is a butch lesbian.

Re: what in the fuck ? (2)

Pithawat Vachiramon (3428413) | about 5 months ago | (#47024705)

When it restarts and you get into clockworldmod menu, plug in a keyboard and select update with zip file. Works fine.

Re:what in the fuck ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47023631)

Umm, it is not like shard multiplayer games were forgotten about and became old before becoming new again, they never left. And are we not supposed to make new things once someone in the past did something vaguely similar? Might as well say:

NES, SEGA, SNES -- simple, fun games that have been playable for 30 odd years now.... we're still making new games? We really have come full circle...

Couch co-op (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47022103)

I'm always looking for good couch co-op games (Fat Princess, etc.) although I'm not yet familiar with any current Android titles that do this well. Still, if developers start seeing this as a market with the Ouya, perhaps we'll see some more good news on this front.

\Forced Demos? Not anymore.... (4, Informative)

djsmiley (752149) | about 5 months ago | (#47022109)

Last I heard they don't have ot provide free demo's anymore either....

Reinventing the Wii (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about 5 months ago | (#47022143)

'In Hidden In Plain Sight, your character is one ninja lost in a sea of CPU-controlled ninjas with exactly the same texture. In the first few seconds, you have to walk left, right, up, down, anything that will let you understand which of the characters on the screen is yours. Once you've got that, you have to figure out your opponents. Any move that doesn't look like is performed by the AI could give you away.'

Yeah, there's a Wii U party game disc that has about a dozen variations on this; along with a dozen variations on a dozen more mini-game archetypes...

http://www.nintendo.com/games/... [nintendo.com]

Not to rag on the Ouya, but if this is the Ouya's niche, they're taking on Nintendo on their home turf, without Mario, Metroid, Zelda, or Pokemon... not even a Pikman or Skylanders to back them up.

The Ouya's about half the price after you get some extra controllers relative to a WiiU with a few extra wiimotes. But the value proposition of the Wii U is far greater... not to mention unlike the other current gen systems... they kept back-compat with the original Wii.

Game prices between platforms (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#47022223)

It's not just the cost of the hardware. How much does an OUYA game cost (the price of the main entitlement [devs.ouya.tv] ) compared to the average Wii U game?

Re:Game prices between platforms (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 5 months ago | (#47022373)

How much does an OUYA game cost (the price of the main entitlement) compared to the average Wii U game?

Yeah, comparing Batman Arkam Asylum or Lego Lord of the Rings to "CandyCrush" clones isn't exactly that informative.

Silly party minigames vs silly party minigames? Well the WiiUpartyU is $30 bucks including a controller... so basically free assuming you want a controller, which if multiplayer in-room gaming is the goal... you do.

Still your point is made. I think a lot of WiiU's virtual console stuff is overpriced relative to equivalent content on other platforms.

But I think if Nintendo ran a more open store and an android emulation layer on their platform, including the 3DS, they could make a killing and wipe out the inroads tablets etc have made into their market.

About time (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 5 months ago | (#47022193)

Maybe now tepples can stop rehashing the same point on every article in games.slashdot ;)

Re:About time (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 5 months ago | (#47025797)

I suspect he's the Anonymous reader.

Some people think split screen is obsolete (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#47022207)

I've been saying this for years: party multiplayer is historically the big strength of consoles over PCs because very few people have a gaming PC in the living room. But there is a persistent console fan on Slashdot who likes to tell me that local multiplayer with friends is obsolete. Apparently unless you're still in K-12 school, it's hard enough to coordinate schedules for a friend match with your IRL friends, let alone actually getting together for LAN or same-screen multiplayer. He claims that the vast majority of gamers are adults, and the vast majority of adult gamers have moved on to online multiplayer with pickup groups of strangers.

Re:Some people think split screen is obsolete (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 5 months ago | (#47023461)

Let him talk. I like to get together with my friends to drink and hang out, and party multiplayer is a wonderful addition in that context.

Re:Some people think split screen is obsolete (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47023477)

I would agree with that guy. If you look at the number of people who play MP online vs the number who gather around a screen, desperately trying to make out their postage stamp sized portion, the former greatly outnumbers the latter.

Re:Some people think split screen is obsolete (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47024175)

Such nonsense you've been repeating. Basically the only good split game screens are fighters and shooters...the first is a dated genre and the other is way better individually. Sure, consoles are better for some 2 player street fighter action, but who gives a fig.

Re: Some people think split screen is obsolete (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about 5 months ago | (#47024295)

Playing online with consoles requires a dedicated subscription. I never quite understood why I should pay to be allowed to use my internet connection, and I suppose a lot of other people like me cannot play online with their console.

Re: Some people think split screen is obsolete (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 5 months ago | (#47025971)

Playing online with consoles requires a dedicated subscription.

Well no, it didn't with the PS2 and PS3. And even now it doesn't for every game. With the PS4, F2P online games can be played without PS+. (Examples being DCUO and WarFrame) Also asynchronous games don't need it either, SCEfoo uses the example of a chess game that lets you "send turns" a la PBM/PBEM Chess for that.

Re:Some people think split screen is obsolete (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 5 months ago | (#47025919)

Well if you count number of hours then yes:
1) Playing single player/multiplayer with strangers
2) Playing multiplayer online with friends and headset
3) Actually getting together in front of the same screen

The value is pretty much inverse though, playing alone is for the game. Playing online with friends is mainly because they can do that while the kids are asleep, it's a good way to chat and have fun while doing things "together". Actually meeting is best, but happens quite rarely and when we have the chance it's often a party or cabin trip or something else not a game night. The good news though is that we're adults and money is not really the limiting factor. I want to play "The Walking Dead" by myself? I buy it. We want to play "Payday 2" online together? We buy it. We want to play "Wii Party U" together in real life? We buy it. We've had some hysterically fun game nights (okay the beer helps) so in bang for the buck it works out just fine. But by that reasoning the winner is probably Angry Birds whenever I got five minutes to kill.

Re:Some people think split screen is obsolete (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 5 months ago | (#47025933)

But there is a persistent console fan on Slashdot

That would be me, I think.

who likes to tell me that local multiplayer with friends is obsolete.

It is, for most genre's. Oh sure, you might have some school age kids, college guys in a dorm room, or people pulling out a Wii at holiday get togethers...but haven't you noticed how much people are playing games online? Oh, that's right, you got your PS2 late in it's life so never did much online gaming.

He claims that the vast majority of gamers are adults,

They are, and have been since the PSone days. The average gamer is 31 years old. Didn't you read the ESA's 2014 report? Head to page 5.

http://www.theesa.com/facts/pd... [theesa.com]

Remember, once you're past 18, you're an adult, and there are a lot more people older than 18 than under it.

and the vast majority of adult gamers have moved on to online multiplayer

They have. I don't do PC gaming, but check the steam stats for what's being played sometime. But in the online console games I've played over the years, you could pretty much find someone to play with 24/7.

with pickup groups of strangers.

I didn't exactly say that. I said that you CAN play with whoever is online at the times you are, but you also CAN friend them. Most online games and game networks like PSN and Xbox Live have "friends lists" or guilds or clans, so you can friend someone that you enjoyed playing with and play more regularly with them. You know how have built up onine friendships over USENET, IRC, Instant Message, and message boards? Gaming works the same way. people have been forming online friendships via gaming ever since the BBS, Quantumlink and Compuserve days.

Where have you been the past 20 years, playing SNES games with babysat kids on a SNES and obsessing over the Tetris infinite spin thing?

The gamer age trend is downward (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#47027421)

Yes, I agree with you that online gaming has become important in the market. The question for this article is to precisely what extent it has obsoleted in-person multiplayer.

Oh, that's right, you got your PS2 late in it's life so never did much online gaming.

If console games' online servers get taken down faster, how isn't that an advantage for PC games and their often player-run servers?

He claims that the vast majority of gamers are adults

They are, and have been since the PSone days. The average gamer is 31 years old. Didn't you read the ESA's 2014 report? Head to page 5.

That's interesting. In the 2011 version of the same ESA fact sheet, the average gamer was 35. I wonder what has been causing this downward trend. And that's still not a vast majority in the sense that the minority are an edge case not worth serving:

29% under 18 years, 32% 18-35 years, 39% 36+ years

Just because 29% are a minority doesn't mean 29% aren't a market. Besides, don't a lot of parents game with their kids at least in part?

with pickup groups of strangers.

I didn't exactly say that.

Would "with pickup groups of strangers or with friends plucked from pickup groups of strangers" be any closer?

Where have you been the past 20 years, playing SNES games with babysat kids

Brawl is not for Super NES. Is PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale any better?

Super Bomberman (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about 5 months ago | (#47022235)

One of the best multiplayer games I've ever played.

SB II added way too many special bombs or whatever. Took away the 'simplicity' part of the game.

Not normally a social gamer, but ... (1)

MacTO (1161105) | about 5 months ago | (#47022605)

I was in unusual circumstances a few years back, which made social gaming not only necessary but desirable. (Necessary in the respect that there were very few alternatives for socialization, since we were working in an isolated area.)

I learned an important lesson from that: accessible multiplayer games can be a lot of fun. The only requirement is that there are a bunch of people in a room, and that those people want to have a good time. Once the games become online multiplayer, the lack of face-to-face interaction removes huge chunk of the fun. Once the games become too complex, skilled players do all of the winning and novices do all of the losing. (And how many people have fun when they are consistently losing?)

Now I can't speak for Ouya since I've never used the platform, but Nintendo did a good job of it with the Wii. From what I've seen of Android games, developers have done a good job of creating accessible games. (But since I've only ever played Android games on tablets, I don't know what face-to-face multiplayer is like.)

Re: Not normally a social gamer, but ... (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about 5 months ago | (#47024303)

Even for simple games, skilled players do all of the winning. I consistently win at Mario Party for example.

XBMC (1)

xlsior (524145) | about 5 months ago | (#47023195)

Combined with a USB MCE remote, the Ouya makes a fantastic XBMC media player -- there's a free 'official' XBMC release in the Ouya store which supports hardware video decoding, and plays back 1080p video without a hitch.

Re:XBMC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47023907)

Or you could just get a Pi, install Raspbmc and use your TV remote via HDMI CEC. Fewer remotes, win. Also plays 1080p without a hitch.

Re:XBMC (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#47024577)

Or you could just get a Pi, install Raspbmc and use your TV remote via HDMI CEC.

Sure, if your TV supports CEC. Mine has the hardware but is configured not to use it, and nobody who knows Sharp TV hacking is forthcoming on the subject. I even sent messages to some of the people who sell TV hacking codes and they didn't bother to respond to let me know if they had a code for me.

Also plays 1080p without a hitch.

If you've got the 512MB model.

Re:XBMC (1)

WWE-TicK (593858) | about 5 months ago | (#47025509)

Also plays 1080p without a hitch.

Latest stable of XBMC, Gotham, now works completely out of the box on Ouya. 1080p, AC3 and DTS decoding, AC3/DTS passthrough, everything. And as a bonus, you get a silky smooth XBMC interface experience unlike on the Pi.

You have a point about the CEC thing tho. Just get a remote with an IR learning function so you can use that to turn the TV on/off and control the volume on your receiver. Everything else will be used to control the Ouya.

wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47024017)

This is probably the very first time words "console games", "deep" and "complex" are used together in same sentence.

Re:wow (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 5 months ago | (#47025985)

There are plenty of complex and deep console games, they just don't get the attention on Slashdot like the dudebro games like CoD and Battlefield-foo do.

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47029837)

Could you name some? Someone gave me a PS3 years ago and it's been collecting dust ever since because, as a PC gamer, I haven't seen a single game worth playing on any console.

For example, is there anything like Total Annihilation, Company of Heroes, Jagged Alliance, Sins of a Solar Empire, Nexus, MechWarrior 2, Battlezone, Ultima VII, Civilization, Alpha Centauri, Frontier Elite II, Falcon 3.0, Freespace 2, EVE Online, X-Plane, Silent Hunter or CROBOTS on a console?

Re:wow (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 5 months ago | (#47031775)

Okay, it looks like you like strategy games and mech games. do realize that just because the PC based strategy games aren't often on consoles, the consoles have their own games and you won't recognize the titles.Now you're not going to be able to find ports of most of those... so you'll have to settle for stuff like:

RTS: Head over to PSN (You do have the PS3 net-connected, right?) and pick up the PSone ports of the C&C games: C&C, C&C Red Alert, C&C Retaliation If they're not on PSN, you can get the disc versions, they work in a PS3. There's also the RA3 for the PS3. Plus Warcraft II, Dune 2000, and Warzone 2100.

Strategy: head on over the Games>Genre>Strategy section on PSN. Enjoy. You might like PTO IV, the History Channel game series (Legends of War). Disgaea is a "strategy-rpg". And take a look at the Front Mission games, Nobunaga's Ambition and the like.

You might also like the Armored Core series, some of them are more action-y than strategy.

Since you mentioned Ultima, you should try the classic console RPG series, Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior, and the Dragon Fantasy homage to older RPG's.

You can pick up a copy of the PSone version of Civ II, and Civ: Revolution is on the PS3. Yes, it's simpler than Civ IV/V, that's a good thing because it's more "approachable", and it doesn't take forever to play a campaign. Essentially it's the "good parts" version of Civ, without the tedium.

As for "Elite space-sim" trader style games, you're out of luck on the PS3...I think. While there are the colony wars series (check PSN for those) and Iron Sky on the PS3, they are more combat oriented. Though some do have RPG elements. There is one upcoming indie game called Drifter like that for the PS4.

As for flight sims on consoles, the Air Combat series, and IL-2 are there. Plug in your HOTAS for those. Yes, it will work for the later Ace Combat's and IL-2.

If you like Eve, try Dust514 which is a part of the EVE universe, yes it's a shooter, but a very very very complex one with the same deep learning curve as EVE. And yes, you could turn on your Dust514 team-mates because some Eve corp bribed you to lose a game. Or you could turn on the corp that hired your entire team, when another corp makes an offer. (it's more like a shooter crossed with MMO and RPG elements)

If you like Crobots, then the Carnage Heart games are right up your alley, you will have to find the discs, because the only version of the game on PSN is the Carnage Heart EXA for PSP/Vita. You program robots to fight using "chips" in a board. Apparently it helps if you know about loops and boolean logic. Really, the manual for the first game mentions boolean logic.

They could advertise better (2)

ConaxConax (1886430) | about 5 months ago | (#47024327)

This is an Ouya avertisement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
It contains cartoon vomit and a cartoon man beating himself to death with his own spine while up to his wasit in his own vomit. They could probably advertise better.

I like the Ouya (1)

gatkinso (15975) | about 5 months ago | (#47024449)

Some of the games are great fun. Ballistic in particular. Not a lot of thinking involved, but fast, fun, and pretty.

Draw Rider is good on the Ouya as well. A couple of others come t mind.

My kids refuse to play it for the most part - they are too into their Xbox.

4 players is so last decade ;) (1)

greggman (102198) | about 5 months ago | (#47026161)

I've been working on a framework/library for party games. Players use their phones as the controller but look at the same TV for the display. I've had 14 player bomberman, 17 player space wars, more coming.

http://greggman.github.io/HappyFunTimes/ [github.io]

Need an Internet connection to play anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47027633)

Ouya tracks which apps you use and you can't use any without an Internet connection. I asked them to stop this, and they told me they don't really care what I think. They are dicks.

Re:Need an Internet connection to play anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47029857)

Get a refund and buy a real console then.

I knew from the beginning that Ouya was going to be shit. Looks like I was right.

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