A new game system is incoming. This time, its main pull isn’t big AAA support or cutting-edge graphics. It’s openness.
Yes, I’m referring to the Ouya (pronounced like “boo-yah” without the B). It’s apparently a game system running on Android, with specs that place it as likely to be weaker than its competitors in the eighth generation game industry (but stronger than the Wii), and will cost a mere $99. It will render at up to 1080p with its HDMI output and come with a devkit. The sole stipulation to getting a game onto the system (aside from potential quality standards) is that every game must offer some elements of being free to play, be it being freemium or simply having a free demo.
I can’t be the only one to say that this sounds extremely interesting. The system is currently backed by people such as one of the Xbox co-creators, as well as an entrepreneur who makes cheap devices, Mojang (the creators of Minecraft, in case you’ve been living under a rock) and Unity Technologies.
Yes, a proposed game system that will likely be dominated by indies will have one of the top indie engines as a partner at launch. As such, creating a game for it will be a walk in the park for any indie developer who uses Unity, they just have to click on the Ouya option for exporting their game and it’s done.
It has managed to raise $2589687.77 on Kickstarter in 24 hours. All prerelease devkits for any developers who want to be there at launch are sold out. It took them less than 8 hours to hit their target of $950000.
This is reminding me of a plot point from Archenemy and Hero that recently came up in the manga. Hero was in a situation where he had to decide how to fight the church, who wanted to monopolize power by mobilizing the people. The course of action he took was to create a new church to give people another option. It spread like wildfire.
Likewise, this gives indies an option to get into people’s living rooms easily. I can only hope that they manage to get this into stores and onto the shelves. This could seriously revolutionize the industry by reminding everyone that the most important thing behind a game is the gameplay.
The system will be coming out in March 2013. I believe I have previously stated that my current project, Turtles all the Way: A Shell Game will be released in the first April after I feel it has been completely finished. I am starting to wish that said release date would be April 2013, to catch the eighth generation in its infancy, since the Wii U (being the only other game system announced for that generation so far aside from the 3DS and Vita) is coming out in Q4 2012.
That said, I read an article earlier today (which I subsequently found myself unable to track down again) about a developer who spent 8 months after their game was done, polishing it, only releasing a single trailer 6 months prior to release. This was apparently quite useful for polishing their title. As such, taking that advice, my title won’t be out until 2014 at the earliest. This means I’ll completely miss the launch.
Oh well. A solid release takes priority over reaching a single platform at launch.
For the time being, just in case the system becomes big, I’m adding an additional sub-category to my “Games” category for my post. The “Ouya” category.
Yes, I do find it ironic that this appears just after my previous post, why do you ask?