OUYA Review - More Whimper Than Bang

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OUYA Review - More Whimper Than Bang

An unfulfilled promise of revolution.

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That's a shame. I guess we really shouldn't have expected much for $99. An android stick pc with a duel core processor runs between $50 and $80 and a good android controller costs about $50 so I guess they had to cut corners somewhere. I still hope gaming on Android phones, tablets, and mini pc's takes off but I guess I'll hold out for official Google support for gaming or something like an Xperia Play 2. Still, the Ouya is the only Android pc I know of that has a terga processor in it, so maybe its still worth an investment as a small computer (not for me though)

I still stand by the fact that if the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy comes out for it, I will buy an OUYA, because Ace Attorney on the big screen? Come on people!

TizzytheTormentor:
I still stand by the fact that if the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy comes out for it, I will buy an OUYA, because Ace Attorney on the big screen? Come on people!

I should note that is already possible with the iPhone/iPad/iPod. The game has been released on iOS and you can stream it to your TV.

You could probably achieve the same thing with an Android Phone with a little tweaking, I think.

The OUYA might make it easier, but it's not necessary.

4RM3D:

TizzytheTormentor:
I still stand by the fact that if the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy comes out for it, I will buy an OUYA, because Ace Attorney on the big screen? Come on people!

I should note that is already possible with the iPhone/iPad/iPod. The game has been released on iOS and you can stream it to your TV.

You could probably achieve the same thing with an Android Phone with a little tweaking, I think.

The OUYA might make it easier, but it's not necessary.

Yeah, but I has no iOS or Android phone...

So a cheaper console with room to improve would be good.

Gonna post this here as well as the Facebook comments section.

Honestly, I find this review poor. Really hasn't done much research.

- Shrink wrap left on the controller? Really? Took me all of a minute to get it all off.
- Not sure why you were expecting there to be a toolset like LBP. That was never promised or planned. An SDK for developers to get their games on the platform was all that was expected.
- Agree that the library of games isn't great, but there are some decent ones. That is why the press playlists are all the same, because they all found the same good games.
- Not tried the wireless range, but I wired it straight away. Everyone I know who is serious about gaming has their machines wired. I don't know anyone who stored their Ethernet cables years ago :-/
- This review misses 2 real strong points of the system. a) The emulators. You can side load emulators for practically every old system. b) A media player. Install XBMC on this thing and it becomes an excellent and very inexpensive media player.
- The main menu seemed perfectly descriptive to me.
- Side loading apps gives you access to lots of additional content.
- The apps, like flixter, give access to additional movies and other items of functionality.

The OUYA is by no means perfect, but for $100 it is an excellent piece of kit and as the game library starts to grow it should get better and better. Frankly, if all it did was run XBMC as well as it does, I'd be happy with it! :-)

Yeah I never had much big expectations for it, at least no right out of the gate. It seems like it will only be good for playing games that have already been released in one form or another. I just don't have much confidence that there will be developers out there who make quality games specifically for the Ouya. Putting the payment wall up there before you can play anything free or otherwise was also a bad decision, as someone who is very well acquainted with Apple products and iTunes, as well as what people complain about regarding iTunes.

TizzytheTormentor:
I still stand by the fact that if the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy comes out for it, I will buy an OUYA, because Ace Attorney on the big screen? Come on people!

The HDness of Ace Attorney really does make it pretty awesome, especially if you haven't played the series in a while and don't distinctly remember the twists and turns. I can't imagine they won't release it for Android at some point. I play it on a tablet, but I can't imagine it would be that much more mind-blowing on the big screen, and it's not exactly complex in terms of operations, so it might be a but annoying to use a controller with it. Still, it speaks to the earlier point that the only thing the Kickstarter darling is good for at this point is playing stuff that we've already played.

Not a very good review. let me explain in a long-winded post.

1. Cables instead of wireless: many people use cables to connect to their internet. I don't know what the statistics are, but it's certainly not an insignificant group. Your criticism isnt invalid, but it's worded in such a way that you seem to think people using ethernet are some small obscure subset and the developers were stupid to think many people would be using them.

2. Entering your credit card information: A nitpick, quite frankly. Whether you do this when first starting it up or when first buying a game, you'll still have to do it within hours of getting the thing. I assume you're not buying an android console just to play FTP games.

3. Making games: did the ouya developers ever promise to provide game developing tools? Was anyone expecting them to have some sort of game making software included? I don't understand how you got the idea that this would be like little big planet. they promised you could publish on your console, and you can.

4. Shrinkwrap hard to peel/categories being too artsy: I'm sorry, what? Is this still professional consumer advice or just everything that bugged you about the ouya? Your annoyance at category names and inability to peel off shrikwrap hardly seem like valid critisism.

The points you made that are actually relevant, like games being hard to find and the controller being uncomfortable get much less space in the article than personal annoyances and nitpicks, and positive points are relegated to the introduction and conclusion. The positive points you do mention have to do with it being small and affordable, and don't, in fact mention the actual functionality of the thing, like whether and what the advantages of android games on a big screen in HD are. You wrote a review of a gaming console without discussing how it runs games. This feels less like a proper review and more like an angry internet rant.

The review seems a little off, second article today on the Escapist I've found to be very substandard with strong hints of an underlying agenda.

A lack of little big planet style app? Shrink wrap? Ethernet connections being redundant in this day and age? Even the highly regarded Edge magazine made a reference to plugging in an ethernet cable to the Xbone in their latest issue. Very, very poor show Escapist.

TizzytheTormentor:
I still stand by the fact that if the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy comes out for it, I will buy an OUYA, because Ace Attorney on the big screen? Come on people!

Didn't they already have a Wii release? Where you can dramatically point the Wiimote forward to OBJECT to things?

Pedro The Hutt:

TizzytheTormentor:
I still stand by the fact that if the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy comes out for it, I will buy an OUYA, because Ace Attorney on the big screen? Come on people!

Didn't they already have a Wii release? Where you can dramatically point the Wiimote forward to OBJECT to things?

I'm not sure about that, but what I do know that at least one of the older games is available in the virtual console.

I'm still going to buy one because of how much I support the idea. If digital distribution is the future of software, then we need open platforms. We really need them. Everything both being closed off and digital is going to be a nightmare for everyone involved.
See: Xbox One.

Xennon:
Gonna post this here as well as the Facebook comments section.

Honestly, I find this review poor. Really hasn't done much research.

- Shrink wrap left on the controller? Really? Took me all of a minute to get it all off.
- Not sure why you were expecting there to be a toolset like LBP. That was never promised or planned. An SDK for developers to get their games on the platform was all that was expected.
- Agree that the library of games isn't great, but there are some decent ones. That is why the press playlists are all the same, because they all found the same good games.
- Not tried the wireless range, but I wired it straight away. Everyone I know who is serious about gaming has their machines wired. I don't know anyone who stored their Ethernet cables years ago :-/
- This review misses 2 real strong points of the system. a) The emulators. You can side load emulators for practically every old system. b) A media player. Install XBMC on this thing and it becomes an excellent and very inexpensive media player.
- The main menu seemed perfectly descriptive to me.
- Side loading apps gives you access to lots of additional content.
- The apps, like flixter, give access to additional movies and other items of functionality.

The OUYA is by no means perfect, but for $100 it is an excellent piece of kit and as the game library starts to grow it should get better and better. Frankly, if all it did was run XBMC as well as it does, I'd be happy with it! :-)

There is still the issue of, "I already can play all these games as is on my iPhone/DS/[Insert Gaming System Here]. There is nothing worthwhile in buying this thing. Even as a collector, I don't think it is worth anything to even make the minuscule amount of space it would take to put it in my collection.

If you were hoping this would be like Little Big Planet, offering tools to create your own game, you'll be disappointed. You're simply given an avenue to upload an already designed and programmed game, which doesn't offer incentive to regular consumers.

Absolutely no one anywhere was expecting that so I fail to see why it's even being brought up. Even acknowledging that the general consensus on the Ouya is that the first release is far from perfect (but considering yearly updates to the hardware are the plan, I'd expect that to change), some of the stuff in this review is questionable. At best comments like these show an utter lack of research making me call the qualification of the reviewer into question. At worst it may demonstrate some intentional bias, but I'll give the benefit of the doubt and attribute criticism's like this to simple ignorance rather than malice.

Although we don't recommend shaking it intentionally, the OUYA is actually durable enough to be jostled during gameplay without crashing your game.

Considering there are no actual moving parts the only thing I can think is "duh."

Capitano Segnaposto:
There is still the issue of, "I already can play all these games as is on my iPhone/DS/[Insert Gaming System Here]. There is nothing worthwhile in buying this thing. Even as a collector, I don't think it is worth anything to even make the minuscule amount of space it would take to put it in my collection.

It's a brand new Android console offering a controller, en masse, for the first time to the platform. Of course there's not much more than some quick ports and the like. Give it some time and I'd imagine we'll see some developers putting out games meant to use the controller that you can't do on things like the iPad.

If this were the PS4, Wii U, or Xbone, would you take a look at the launch lineup only and write them off for good? Because launch lineups always suck. Always. I think it's actually a rule to be honest.

PlasticTree:

Pedro The Hutt:

TizzytheTormentor:
I still stand by the fact that if the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy comes out for it, I will buy an OUYA, because Ace Attorney on the big screen? Come on people!

Didn't they already have a Wii release? Where you can dramatically point the Wiimote forward to OBJECT to things?

I'm not sure about that, but what I do know that at least one of the older games is available in the virtual console.

All three games of the trilogy are on Wii's virtual console. Yes, you can point dramatically with the Wiimote to object. And it's better, IMO, than the buggy HD trilogy version.

Why did anybody think Android was a suitable OS for a game console? That's a mind-boggling decision.

Saxnot:
Snip

Xennon:
Snip

Wow, looks like you guys beat me to the punch

I've been pretty thrilled with my Ouya. Spent the first night with it playing Towerfall for hours with friends
Love the side-loading & dev support
Personally, I've had no problem with the wireless, but then again I'm an offline gaming kinda guy (albeit one that doesn't mind digital distribution]

Both of these guys brought it up in their posts, but this bares a lot of repeating: Who exactly thought this was going to be a Little Big Planet box? Not gonna rail on the writer (much) because maybe people they knew had this impression (somehow) & they're just dispelling the notion, but again, I have no clue why anyone would have that impression.

I'll be back with more, once I hammer out the setup of a good VNC so I can play Skyrim on my Ouya at full spec... just cuz ;)

The review itself has some pretty poor points, which a few people have already said so I won't elaborate.

On the console itself, I'm not...really surprised. I mean seriously, anyone who thought this was going to be the next big thing are likely the same people who thought gaming was going to move to purely Zynga-esque facebook/mobile gaming. ie: Totally fucking clueless. I remember the newspapers hyping it as something sure to put a dent in MS, Sony and Nintendos user base. Even if you didn't think it was going to be a big thing, it's an entirely superfluous investment in both R&D and cash. I'm still not sure why it got funded in the first place.

Anyone who wants to play android games or mobile games, you know what they already have? A fucking smartphone. What can you plug that into? Your TV. Heck I can already get angry birds on my xbox if for some strange reason I feel like playing it on my TV, god knows why I'd want to stick games designed for a tiny screen on my huge HDTV in the first place, but I see no reason why I'd want to spend $100 dollars on console that plays what are essentially browser games. Yeah sure the games are fun, but they're /mobile/ based games for a reason.

That may come off as overly aggressive towards the thing, it's just more I'm confused as to why the thing /got/ so heavily funded and hyped as it did.

I am aware of the goodness of an open source console, I really am, but I feel like this was a wasted opportunity, why bother with something like this when really what needs to happen is a beefy console that can actually compete with the big boys, baby steps and all, but this feels like more of a stumble than a step.

This doesn't surprise me in the slightest. The more I heard about the Ouya, the less interested I became.

Vivi22:

Capitano Segnaposto:
There is still the issue of, "I already can play all these games as is on my iPhone/DS/[Insert Gaming System Here]. There is nothing worthwhile in buying this thing. Even as a collector, I don't think it is worth anything to even make the minuscule amount of space it would take to put it in my collection.

It's a brand new Android console offering a controller, en masse, for the first time to the platform. Of course there's not much more than some quick ports and the like. Give it some time and I'd imagine we'll see some developers putting out games meant to use the controller that you can't do on things like the iPad.

If this were the PS4, Wii U, or Xbone, would you take a look at the launch lineup only and write them off for good? Because launch lineups always suck. Always. I think it's actually a rule to be honest.

They do? At least with the Wii U's launch line-up, I had a lot of fun with Zombi-U, NintendoLand, and New Super Mario Bros U. I thought they were all excellent.

I didn't buy a PS3/360 at launch as I didn't have the money, same with PS2/Xbox/Gamecube. However, each console should have "exclusives" and a "Killer App", which the Ouya does not have at the moment. I will chalk this up to them being new to this whole business, but generally you want to at least have One AMAZING thing that your console has that others do not. For Microsoft, it is Halo/Xbox Live. For Sony, it is Playstation Plus (with its exclusives), and for Nintendo it is its huge list of first-party titles that generally never fail to please in some form or another.

Vivi22:

If you were hoping this would be like Little Big Planet, offering tools to create your own game, you'll be disappointed. You're simply given an avenue to upload an already designed and programmed game, which doesn't offer incentive to regular consumers.

Absolutely no one anywhere was expecting that so I fail to see why it's even being brought up. Even acknowledging that the general consensus on the Ouya is that the first release is far from perfect (but considering yearly updates to the hardware are the plan, I'd expect that to change), some of the stuff in this review is questionable. At best comments like these show an utter lack of research making me call the qualification of the reviewer into question. At worst it may demonstrate some intentional bias, but I'll give the benefit of the doubt and attribute criticism's like this to simple ignorance rather than malice.

Although we don't recommend shaking it intentionally, the OUYA is actually durable enough to be jostled during gameplay without crashing your game.

Considering there are no actual moving parts the only thing I can think is "duh."

How many people move their xbox 360 while playing it?

I did... ONCE.. then I had to try to get a new Rockband disk as mine had a massive trough dug in it from where the reader hit it.

This was a terrible review which stank of bias and elitism.

I truly, truly cannot fathom how anyone thought that this thing would be a good idea.

Honestly, even the "but it's cheap" argument doesn't hold much water, most everyone gets their phone with a plan, and you could get an android phone that's more powerful than this thing for probably around the same price if you get it with a plan, and that way you'd also have, you know, a good phone.

I just don't understand what purpose this thing serves.

Vivi22:
Absolutely no one anywhere was expecting that

Oh ho, is that so?

Considering some of the things that some people obviously expected of this thing, I find that quite a tall claim.

Do you remember that hilarious list with the games that the backers would most like to see on the Ouya? You know, the one with fucking Skyrim at the top.

Xennon:

- Not tried the wireless range, but I wired it straight away. Everyone I know who is serious about gaming has their machines wired. I don't know anyone who stored their Ethernet cables years ago :-/

That would be cool if people weren't having a myriad of problems with the Ouya outright ignoring wired connections.

Vivi22:

Absolutely no one anywhere was expecting that so I fail to see why it's even being brought up.

Except for the Ouya people themselves. Who in their KS video talked about toppling the big 3? Yeah. Nobody expected that. Except that's what they were selling.

TizzytheTormentor:
I still stand by the fact that if the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy comes out for it, I will buy an OUYA, because Ace Attorney on the big screen? Come on people!

Or you could just use the Wiiware version. That would work.

saintdane05:

TizzytheTormentor:
I still stand by the fact that if the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy comes out for it, I will buy an OUYA, because Ace Attorney on the big screen? Come on people!

Or you could just use the Wiiware version. That would work.

I was talking about the HD releases and to not have that that obnoxious banners at the side.
image
A full HD version that is optimized for widescreen would be wonderful.

This really isn't surprising, they just don't have any software for it. No only that, the hardware is terrible.

Aardvaarkman:
Why did anybody think Android was a suitable OS for a game console? That's a mind-boggling decision.

The Dreamcast used Windows CE. OS has nothing to do with it.

Aardvaarkman:
Why did anybody think Android was a suitable OS for a game console? That's a mind-boggling decision.

Theres no reason Android as an OS can't be used on a console, it is after all basically Linux which PS3 also used as a basis for their OS. The hardware though is where the big questionmark lies. Personally I see the potential and honestly have no issues with a small console for older and graphically simpler games, its what the games are like to play that matters. The potential is there and I hope it takes off (if it does the next one would be more powerful and they'd quickly catch up to the big 3, baby steps mate). Not to mention for $100 it's not exactly a big risk, I've spent more on that for 1 game so really....

PoolCleaningRobot:
That's a shame.

I disagree, mostly because of the rest of what you say. It was never going to be a good product barring magic. The only shame is that people were swept up by grandiose and unrealistic premises. But that's gaming as a rule, and Kickstarter almost by definition.

RicoADF:

Theres no reason Android as an OS can't be used on a console, it is after all basically Linux which PS3 also used as a basis for their OS. The hardware though is where the big questionmark lies.

There's also the issue not of "can," but "will." I question the wisdom of an Android console because the primary development is still going to be for tablets and smartphones. It could be done, but there seems to be little incentive to do so.

Although bringing my Droid library to my big screen would be cool.

Actually, it is cool, but I can HDMI out in the first place. And I can attach bluetooth devices, so I can play wirelessly. AND, it's truly portable, because I don't need a big screen. Now, my setup was more expensive, but it seems most of the people this would benefit HAVE a tablet or smart phone. I know it's not exclusively so.

Anyway, I'm rambling. Blame the late hour. I think my brain dribbled out my ear and into bed an hour ago.

RicoADF:

Aardvaarkman:
Why did anybody think Android was a suitable OS for a game console? That's a mind-boggling decision.

Theres no reason Android as an OS can't be used on a console, it is after all basically Linux which PS3 also used as a basis for their OS.

That's not the problem. Being "Linux-based" means almost nothing. Android is a terrible gaming OS because programs are forced to run on a "virtual machine" rather than the actual hardware. While this is good for stability (if a program crashes it doesn't take the system with it - you can just force-close the program in question) it's terrible for efficiency. Where just about any other OS will let programs interface directly with the hardware components, Android only lets programs interface with the virtual machine, then Android interfaces with the hardware. This causes a lot of unnecessary overhead and why emulators tend to suffer from audio lag. There's just too much unnecessary shit going on under the hood that prevents games using the hardware to its potential.

Shit, even I am not much into the OUYA but expecting a Little Big Planet type of feature and seeing if you can play while shaking the console, wtf?

Just buy it if you are into retro games, the emulators alone are worth it (although sadly it isnt powerfull enough for the PS2 era, and the PS1 shows some struggle). The android games are just a plus.

Slightly strange review.

I didn't think they were promoting the Ouya as being suitable for non-techys to make games for, so the Little Big Planet comment seems a little off. Then again, Ouya have been rather strangely promoting their console as a direct competitor to the Big Three, when both the price and capabilities make it far more a complementary device like a tablet.

Asking for credit card details before allowing access to the game library seems a little bit cheeky after all the "everything is free" promotion they did. At least Google let me try loads of free games before sucking my card details off me in exchange for non-free ones.

A warning to anyone with children: The parental controls were added to the Ouya very late and (based on the comments) still appear to be a little flaky. Left unsupervised, your kids may be able to ring up huge bills with in-app purchases.

Just been to check out the Ouya website. The front page says this in large letters:

Once you're in - it takes just $99 - every game on OUYA is free to try, free to love and absolutely free to brag about.

"But we'll insist on taking your credit card details before letting you use the console anyway. Because we don't make any money off you playing games for free, so want to convert you to a paying customer as smoothly as possible." ;)

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