Thursday, July 12, 2012

Project Spotlight: OUYA


Mobile games have really taken off over the past few years.  It's not just the big hits with simple gameplay mechanics, like Angry Birds and Words With Friends.  There are some games that have a high production value and are crazy good, too, like Anomaly Warzone Earth, Shadowgun, and Infinity Blade.  There are a few reasons for this - they're cheap and convenient for consumers, and open platforms like Android make things easy for developers.  Traditional console gaming isn't dead, though.  Even as companies try to innovate (motion gaming, anyone?) they still have tried-and-true winners with series like Madden, Halo, and Call of Duty.  But what if these two worlds combined, and the openness of Android was available with a legit controller and television.  That's what's happening with OUYA, and people are taking notice.

OUYA is an open game console powered by Android.  It will remove the roadblocks normally associated with console development and give games the classic console feel.  The only limit OUYA has put on developers is that some gameplay has to be free, but really, is that really a limitation?  Team Fortress 2 does it, as do many other current blockbusters, and it's worked out well for them so far.

From the screenshots and images provided, the OUYA is going to be sleek.  Everything from the simple and uncluttered UI to the wireless controller is stylish and functional.  The games look great, too.  While OUYA won't just be ports of Android games, it has a handful of familiar titles planned, including Canabalt and Minecraft, and Android apps will be supported as well.

You can get your very own OUYA, available next year, through the Kickstarter campaign.  If you're a developer, they've got you covered with a bunch of helpful extras.  You can even get your username etched into the controllers if that's your thing.  There are a ton of cool rewards, so be sure to check them out.

This type of open development, even for consoles, which have a history of being traditioanlly closed, could be the future - or even the present.  Don't believe me?  OUYA is the fastest Kickstarter project to reach a million dollars, and with 27 days to go they've hit $3.9 million.  It's gone up $12k just in the time it took to write this article.  OUYA is going to be big.  How big?  Well, that's up to you.



ouya.tv

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