Modern gaming consoles are becoming increasingly complex. They are constantly getting bigger, heavier and do all sorts of things besides only video games. The Ouya gaming console is trying to change this concept by having a small box sit in your living room and only focus on simpler and more original games. The Ouya had one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns in history and helped to raise more than $8.5 million.It's running its own version of the Android operating system. All systems can be used as development kits, allowing any Ouya owner and gamer to also be a developer without the need for licensing fees. Units started to ship to Kickstarter backers on March 28, 2013. The console was released to the general public on June 25, 2013. Let's take a look at some pros and cons to the PlayStation 4.

Pros:
-Sleek design
-Low price
-Open nature of the console
-Small size
-Easy to setup

Cons:
-Poor quality controller
-Hardware weakness
-Lack of software
-Not all games are free-to-play
-Cluttered store interface



The first thing that you’ll notice about the Ouya is its size. It’s a very small device and can easily fit in the palm of your hand. It’s a bad idea to think of this as a handheld device. It’s a small device that is meant to be small in order to fit easily somewhere on your entertainment table next to your television set. It’s got a nice shiny black color to it with a power button on the top that lights up the Ouya logo when powered up. All of the ports sit nice and tidy in the back and don’t interfere with anything. You’ve got a HDMI port and some USB ports in the back. The HDMI port makes the device simple to setup to your television and can output at 1080p which will be great for streaming media capabilities. The hardware is powered by a Tegra 3 processor (which is also used by Nexus tablets) and has 1 GB of internal RAM and 6 GB of internal storage. We were a bit skeptical of the low storage capabilities but then we realized that the games won’t be as hardware intensive as its competitors like Sony or Microsoft. The device can get hot after a couple of hours of usage and we hope that this doesn’t cause any of the hardware to burn out over time. We also noticed some frame rate issues in some games where multiple characters were on the screen at the same time.

Once the console loads up, you’re greeted by a simple splash screen with four menu options. They are ‘Play’, ‘Make, ‘Discover’ and ‘Manage’. ‘Play’ is the area for any games that you’ve downloaded. The screen puts each downloaded game in terms of the most recently played game. This can get irritating if you have many games and have to continuously scroll to find the game that you want to play. The ‘Discover’ menu is for Ouya’s store. Many games are placed into playlists instead of genres and there’s plenty of space for featured games by developers. There’s too much space in this regard as some games were featured multiple times and got in our way of trying to discover our own titles rather than what Ouya kept recommending that we play. In addition, once you’ve selected a game to download, there’s no queue to see the progress of any of your selections.



You can tell that this is a brand new gaming console concept by the mechanics of the console’s controller. While much was discussed about the design of the console and its emphasis on games; they forgot that you need a decent controller in order to have any fun with the gaming machine. The controller looks nice but your frustration will quickly grow once you begin to use the peripheral. The controller’s shoulder buttons are too stiff and we noticed a bit of lag when playing certain games. The controller also has distance issues. It’s fine if you’re up close to a computer screen but the device is meant to be used in your living room or basement where the television is meant to be further away from where you’re sitting. We also didn’t like the position of where the two batteries are situated and how easily the backs of the controller pop off to change the batteries. There are major design flaws with this controller and it looks and feels like a prototype rather than the real deal.



With most of these games, the attraction is being able to play them on your TV. The idea is for people that enjoy mobile gaming to be able to sit down and enjoy most of these games in the comfort of their living room rather than on a small screen on their phone. The ironic part is that more tech-savvy fans of the system will be able to use the device to create their own games with the system’s open-source concept or to mod games or play ROMs on their television screen. The open nature of the console will draw in every hacker, emulator, and tweaker from the industry to try to one-up one another. The price of most games is between 3$-15$. This price is much cheaper than other next generation titles from the other big gaming manufacturers. Almost all of the titles gives you the opportunity to try out the game for free before you make a purchase. We would have still preferred to see more titles be free only but the concept is to help out independent developers make some money for their original creations and we’re alright with that. Video game consoles need to have a large library of great games in order to be successful. Right now, most games on the Ouya are available elsewhere. The Ouya is going to need more original titles to separate themselves from their competitors. The one nice thing about the console is that it’s cheap and only costs 100$.

Overall, the console is a nice alternative to the larger systems and will benefit gamers who are tired of first person shooters and want to play some simpler, more casual games in the comfort of their living rooms. However, there ca be no fun to be had if you have difficulties utilizing the controller and experience lag with certain games. These problems were too much of a deterrent for us and the limited library of original games didn’t help to win us over when we were reviewing this system. We might be persuaded to purchase this device if they fix their controller and increase their library of games. But, at this moment in time, we can’t recommend anyone purchase this console even with its cheap price point. Let some tech freaks develop some cool and original titles for the system and give this device a second opinion in a year or two from now.

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