The console industry has been running pretty steady for quite some time. Originally you had Atari, and then fast forward a few years, and you had Nintendo 64, Sega, and Playstation. Then X-Box came in and booted Sega out of the console industry, so now you really just have Nintendo Wii, PS3, and X-Box 360. Not too much industry interruption there. But OUYA, plans to change all that.
Coming in as the first console that you can get for only $99 (and given the current state of the economy) OUYA could not have possibly positioned itself better. There will be over 200 games available at launch, including all the big names in gaming that people have come to know and love. If Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft aren’t shaking in their boots at the thought of this new system hitting stores, they certainly should be. Originally, it was thought that no major stores would bother carrying OUYA, but today, we’ve found out that it will be available at Amazon, Target, Best Buy, and Gamestop. If people were originally laughing at the idea of this new console changing the gaming industry, they’re not laughing now…
Recently, in an interview with the Wall St. Journal, Julie Uhrman (the founder of OUYA) discussed their plans for releasing the new console. Apparently, those who backed OUYA during they’re major crowdfunding campaign, will be rewarded, with the very first copies of the console, this is even before Pre-Orders will get their copies. After that, you’ll be able to walk into one of the major outlets, and pick up your very own console in June. While we don’t know the exact number of people who pre-ordered the console, we know that over 68,000 people joined in on the kickstarter campaign, and that’s what made it all possible.
While OUYA is an excellent choice for the solo-gamer, if you’re planning to play at one physical location with multiple people, you won’t really see the great savings that you’d otherwise get if you were by yourself. The reason for this being that the controllers for this console, are going to run you $49 apiece, and when you buy the console for $99, it comes with just one controller (and the console supports a maximum of 4). Obviously there are cheaper options out there for buying controllers on the other gaming consoles, such as X-Box. If you want to max out on OUYA controllers, you’re looking to spend about $250 (still not entirely a bad deal, considering how long the X-Box 360’s been out, and that still costs $200 with one controller, and additional controllers will typically run you about $38 apiece).
Will OUYA revolutionize gaming? Maybe. Considering the fact that indie games will be available, and would-be game designers will get to try their luck at designing their own games for the console, possibly creating countless opportunities for the little guys to get their games out there, without having to join a large company, or get $1,000’s in investments to start their own. This could lead to a major playing field leveling in the gaming industry as a whole. We’ll see how this one does, but if the history of gaming consoles tells us anything, it’s that there’s only room for three, so Nintendo, X-Box, and Playstation better watch their backs, because it’s quite possible that one of them may be focusing solely on game development pretty soon, (see, Sega/Atari).