We love console games.
There's something about a big HD TV and digital surround sound that fills up a living room. Shooters, platformers, sports games, arcade classics and experimental indie games just feel bigger on a TV screen. It's how most of us grew up gaming.
But maybe people are missing out.
We get it – smartphones and tablets are getting all the new titles – they're "what's hot.” The console market is pushing developers away. We’ve seen a brain drain: some of the best, most creative gamemakers are focused on mobile and social games because those platforms are more developer-friendly. And the ones who remain focused on console games can’t be as creative as they’d like.
Deep down, you know your best gaming memories happened in the living room.
You busted your ass just to find out the princess was "in another castle." You fought bosses that told you repeatedly how much "you suck." You taped a blanket to half of your screen so your friend couldn't see where you were. You traded the best players onto your team just so you could have the perfect season. And you did it all on the TV.
It's time to upend console gaming.
Let’s open this sucker up! It's time we brought back innovation, experimentation, and creativity to the big screen. Let’s make the games less expensive to make, and less expensive to buy. With all our technological advancements, shouldn't costs be going down? Gaming could be cheaper!
We're handing the reins over to the developer with only one condition: at least some gameplay has to be free. We borrowed the free-to-play model from games like League of Legends, Team Fortress 2, Triple Town, and many others. Developers can offer a free demo with a full-game upgrade, in-game items or powers, or ask you to subscribe.
OUYA: The revolution will be televised
OUYA is a new game console for the TV, powered by Android.
We've packed this little box full of power. Developers will have access to OUYA's open design so they can produce their games for the living room, taking advantage of everything the TV has to offer.
Best of all, OUYA's world-class controller, console, and interface come in one beautiful, inexpensive package. All the games on it will be free, at least to try.
Great games come from great developers.
Developers can wave farewell to the roadblocks of bringing a console game to market. Anyone can make a game: every OUYA console is a dev kit. No need to purchase a license or an expensive SDK. It's built on Android, so developers already know how it works.
That doesn't mean OUYA is an Android port. You can create the next big title in your bedroom – just like the good old days! Who needs pants!?
OUYA could change AAA game development, too. Forget about licensing fees, retail fees, and publishing fees.
And developers agree:
"This has the potential to be the game developer’s console. It's about time!" --Brian Fargo (founder of inXile)
“Who wouldn't want a beautiful piece of industrial design that sells for $99, plugs straight into your TV, and gives you access to a huge library of games?" –Jordan Mechner (creator of Prince of Persia, Karateka)
“If OUYA delivers on the promise of being the first true open gaming platform that gives indie developers access to the living room gaming market, yes that is a great idea. We will follow the development of OUYA and see how it resonates with gamers. I could see all current Mojang games go on the platform if there's a demand for it.” – Mojang (developer of Minecraft)
"I'm excited for OUYA! I am a firm believer that there is always room to challenge the status quo." -- Jenova Chen (thatgamecompany, creator of flOw, Cloud, and Flower)
“The prospect of an affordable, open console -- that's an idea I find really exciting.” -- Adam Saltsman (Semi Secret, creator of Canabalt)
"Our games will work so well on a TV, we just need an easy way to get them there. OUYA could be it." -- Marek Rabas (Madfinger Games)
"An open game console that gives independent game developers the flexibility to experiment with their games and business models on the TV, is something that's long overdue." – David Edery (Spry Fox, creator of Triple Town)
We believe a great console requires a great user experience. We are working with the award-winning designer, Yves Behar, and his firm fuseproject (designer of the Jambox).
We designed the controller to be a love letter to console gaming. It has everything you've learned to love: fast buttons, triggers, laser-precise analog sticks, a D-Pad – and we've added a touchpad for any games making the trek from mobile or tablet to the TV. It's just the right weight. Everything just works. We call it 'the Stradivarius of controllers,' and we hope developers will be inspired to take gameplay to a new level with it.
Have at it: It's easy to root (and rooting won't void your warranty). Everything opens with standard screws. Hardware hackers can create their own peripherals, and connect via USB or Bluetooth. You want our hardware design? Let us know. We might just give it to you. Surprise us!
- Tegra3 quad-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 8GB of internal flash storage
- HDMI connection to the TV, with support for up to 1080p HD
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
- Bluetooth LE 4.0
- USB 2.0 (one)
- Wireless controller with standard controls (two analog sticks, d-pad, eight action buttons, a system button), a touchpad
- Android 4.0
Because OUYA is based on Android, any app developer could publish their Android app to OUYA. The possibilities are limitless, and conversations with potential partners are already underway. Here’s our first: do you like watching StarCraft, or League of Legends? Watch Twitch.TV on your OUYA.
We've come a long way already. The user interface and industrial designs are far along. Our prototype is up and running. What we have left to do is simple, but it's expensive. (We’re looking at you Mark Cuban! Woz! Help us out.)
All we need is you.
With your help, we need to:
- Convert our prototype to production-ready models and get all the regulatory approvals (yeah, we need these to sell them)
- Deliver developer kits (for early developers so we can have games on day one, though every console will include an SDK once we launch)
- Place our first production orders (we are working with a manufacturing firm with lots of game hardware experience, but we need to know how many to make!)
- Ideally, fund some initial game development (i.e., 1st-party games)