OUYA is starting to look like the little console that could. The new, tiny piece of hardware has been gracing blogs and even big news sites for the last few weeks on the regular. When other Kickstarter projects in gaming were mentioned, they were usually mentioned alongside OUYA. Is this thing really going to make it? With an official grassroots backing of $8.5 million, its starting to look like it may have some legs after all.
One of the major challenges we’ve seen with OUYA is obvious competition with other consoles, which will be fierce. We’re willing to bet that OUYA will be smeared left and right when it gets down to release time, not just from competitive consoles like the Xbox 360 or PS3, but from gaming blogs and perhaps even Apple itself. After all, this is a console based on mobile tech that you would see in competitive tablets, Apple’s bread and butter. Industry critics and gamers themselves are usually resistant to new products and are understandably skeptical.
Amongst early criticism was a complete lack of actual game support, which has changed over the course of the campaign. Armed with a lot of fresh industry attention, OUYA was able to secure an exclusive title from Robert Bowling’s new game studio and a Square Enix classic: Final Fantasy III. There will be many more titles, mostly ports of existing android games. A lot of new titles will likely depend on the ease-of-development and the strength of the install base.
Currently OUYA will have around 60,000 consoles to ship. Not a huge number by industry standards, but a good starting point. There is already a pre-order form available from the OUYA site, but now we won’t be able to watch how many are backing in real time. I would venture that it will be a fairly tepid install base come the expected delivery date of April 2013, but one with quite a few gaming fans ready to develop and spend on the console. If the console is good, there will also be a lot of community support and fanfare, which is one of the major strengths of the hardcore gaming community.
Whatever the skeptics say and challenges that will certainly lie ahead, the wheels are now in motion for OUYA officially. This thing is really happening and we hope for the best of luck to their risky venture. If and when OUYA becomes a “thing” in the industry, it will be a huge milestone for some desperately needed change in this stale console generation.