Ouya: $99, Android-based Gaming Console Reviewed

By Stephen Totilo on July 9, 2013, 1:33 PM

We are immersed in video games. They are everywhere. If you're reading this, you're probably currently using a device that plays good games and you're probably within shouting distance of a second or third one that does, too. What draws me or you from one to another is the same thing that draws anyone to a device that plays games: the games. What draws people to new game devices is the promise of new games. Day one—hell, year one—of owning a Wii U or a PlayStation 3 might be a drag, but you know Nintendo and Sony are eventually going to deliver some instant classics. You can look past the year one clunkers.

The Ouya doesn't promise a brilliant future. It sells at $99 using a less than top-level Tegra 3 quad-core processor. As an Android device, it signals that it'll probably be displaced by a better iteration as chip prices go down. Ouya execs have said as much. There's no 10 year lifecycle on Ouya 1.0.

You get the Ouya for the now. You get it for the summer of 2013 and the fall. You get this to wedge it in the gaps of your gaming life. There are some good games, but not many, and they're hard to discover. The Ouya is a fascinating experiment and can be fun for those for whom $99 isn't much to plunk down.

Read the complete review.




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Jesse Jesse said:

Very disappointed in my Ouya. The best part is definitely the emulators. Being able to play NES and SNES games on my TV without a mess of cables is awesome.

cuerdc said:

No info on torrents video streaming internet browser flash? Keyboard mouse possible? There are many android devices around at diff prices and this more aimed at gaming with pads provided but not pulling it off even with the extra investment maybe they should of used that to make a higher spec one as well.

JC713 JC713 said:

So disappointing to see a small kick starter company getting horrible reviews. They should have delayed the launch.

1 person liked this | Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

So disappointing to see a small kick starter company getting horrible reviews. They should have delayed the launch.

I'd say a delay would have been the end. The Kickstarter backers were already squawking about not getting their pre-retail units fast enough, a delay would have completely undermined any momentum they had. Instead, I think this opening round is going to be an interesting one. It's like you are pushing your car up a hill, and you are pretty sure the crest of the hill is really close, and then there is a loooong downhill run that you can enjoy the ride. So far the Ouya launch is bumpy, and the big games aren't here yet (what happened to that Human Element exclusive prequel game?)... But, if they get through the initial growing pains, get some killer apps and games, and have all of their ducks in a row by the first hardware refresh, it could have some serious momentum boosted up within a year. They just have to get that car over the crest of the hill... And hope it really is a hill, not a cliff...

JC713 JC713 said:

@Vrmithrax, well said. The team is hard at work improving, and that is what we need. Hopefully they can make this console a hit through improvements.

1 person liked this | Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm pretty sure you can get a PSX for WAY less than $99 and play AMAZING games... this console looks crappy.

Guest said:

Looks ok but like said a lot of money (kickstarter) for basically a smartphone in a box, what are they actually doing with all that backing.

cmbjive said:

I'm pretty sure you can get a PSX for WAY less than $99 and play AMAZING games... this console looks crappy.

You can get a Wii for that price. I was excited for the OUYA because at heart I'm a gamer and capitalist and competition is healthy, but it seems that the OUYA is not even bringing a C game to the market. Even if there is no standard for Android the makers of OUYA could have implemented their own standards to show a commitment to quality.

So far the initial reviews of OUYA are not pointing in a positive direction. I hope they can turn it around, but I wouldn't say I would be surprised if they didn't make it.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

What do people expect, it was a failed product from the start. The only way to make it good is opening up entire Google Play store and invest millions into developers to make decent stuff. No content, no win.

...Wait, that's familiar! 4K TVs and monitors! Where's all the bad reviews for that? Why do people defend 4K as a step forward and "need the chicken before the egg", while they go ahead and diss on OUYA?

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Based on the review I see the main problem as games which aren't well tailored for the platform and inability to find good games (maybe because 99% of them aren't that good).

I do think that a cheap Android console is a good concept, but the Ouya suffers from being first. I think that once Google enters the market with its rumoured console things could become better, and that NVIDIA's push with the Shield will help get some better games on Android consoles. In the end, it should become a viable platform, at which point I'm sure we'll see a lot of cheap Ouya style clones.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Based on the review I see the main problem as games which aren't well tailored for the platform and inability to find good games (maybe because 99% of them aren't that good).

I do think that a cheap Android console is a good concept, but the Ouya suffers from being first. I think that once Google enters the market with its rumoured console things could become better, and that NVIDIA's push with the Shield will help get some better games on Android consoles. In the end, it should become a viable platform, at which point I'm sure we'll see a lot of cheap Ouya style clones.

Also I'm quite sure that they would make way better use of that money if they had wired controllers, I remember a while back they said each controler sets you back US$40, WAY too expensive

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Time to take out my old ColceoVision Game Console from 1982 that still works. Even ZaXXon and Time Pilot plays a lot better than these games do. Even better if I started up old Coleco Adam Family Computer System which plays games from Cassette Tapes 250 KB at lighting speed gives you better graphics and games are called Super Donkey Kong an etc..

This is Android Game system why the heck the stunning graphics like Angry Birds Rio, Star Wars. Someone at this company is not thinking inside the box.

OortCloud said:

These review always miss the mark. Ouya is what you make it. I don't think many people are buying them expecting to play next gen (or even current gen) GTA or Call Of Duty.

Some people get them for casual gaming, some for getting all their old favourites emulated in one box.

I got mine solely for xbmc and it's awesome. I'm using the latest pre-release XBMC Gotham Alpha that came out a few days ago with hardware accelerated playback. It's connected through LAN to my NAS drive and HDMI to my TV. It plays everything - SD/HD AVI's,MP4's,MKV's even now full DVD ISOs with all the menus. I have hundreds of movies and tv shows on there and xbmc presents them and plays them so slickly and smoothly with overlays etc even using complex skins like NOX. As a cheap super-low-power media server than has built in LAN and HDMI I cant recommend it highly enough. I have finally finished burning all my DVD's losslessly, so they can now be parked in the loft forevermore.

Only criticism is the dreadful control scheme they set up for the controller, but I have switched to using the XBMC remote on my phone and that's fine. Oh and they need to make it auto-start apps better so it swaps straight to xbmc on startup

Happy days!

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