So what is an Ouya, much less how do you pronounce it? Well it’s the new kid coming to the console block but with some major differences. It’s built on an Android OS, it’s designed to be hackable, its price point will be $99 and all its games will be free. Huh? Yeah it’s a different breed than the current consoles.
The muscle behind the Ouya is an impressive who’s who of the tech world, like Julie Uhrman, former VP and GM of digital distribution for IGN Entertainment. The aesthetic, design and branding of the system fall to intellectual TED speaker and founder of Fuseproject, Yves Behar. Former VP of Microsoft’s game publishing Ed Fries. Former CEO of BillShrink and former VP of Photobucket Peter Phram and Muffi Ghadiali of Lab126 will advise.
The concept is that every retail unit will come with a TV hook-up and a developer’s kit. The evident rise of the Independent Game Developer will be embraced with Ouya’s open “hack” environment giving everyone the potential to publish their own games on it.
Having all games “free” is so nebulous at this point. Will games be bombarded with ads and/or in game purchases? Would A and B rate developers be attracted to publish on the Ouya without monetary incentive? As of the moment there are few specific details of its hardware or radical business model.
It’s a brave new world in gaming and something so empowering for gamers has the potential to make some really big waves out there. We anxiously await the Ouya to move in next door.