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OUYA: Coming soon to a living room near you

Posted by on August 10, 2012 – 12:06 pm

Kickstarter has produced some pretty amazing things. One of the most recent, funded today with over $8 million contributed, is the new Ouya home entertainment system. Powered by Android, and not much bigger than a Rubik’s Cube, the Ouya aims to change the way we game forever. The “Big Three” console giants have reason to be worried.

Imagine an console where developers large and small are not only encouraged to produce free-to-play games, but they’re required. As part of their developer contract, all Ouya games are required to have free-to-play content, just like you would find on many smartphone games in the virtual app stores. However, instead of being forced to play these games on a 4 inch screen, Ouya brings the experience to your television.

Gaming has changed dramatically since the smart phone graced our pockets. Gamers are no longer defined as nerds. Well, at least not all of them. Games have become more mainstream than ever before. Just look at Angry Birds, for example. How many millions of households were introduced to virtual gaming because of that $0.99 game? Games that are easy to play will reach across vast demographics. Yet these same games can also be very difficult to master, which broadens the appeal across the gamer spectrum.

The team behind Ouya aims to bring everyone from indie game developers and big-name brawlers (Square Enix ring a bell?) to the livingroom. Free games, dirt cheap 10-minute thrills, and full-fledged adventure titles will be but a few of the options available to casual and veteran gamers alike.

Ouya is scheduled for release in March, 2013. It will be priced at $99, comes with 1 controller, and has support for up to 4 controllers. For hardware, the Ouya will feature a Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1 GB RAM, 8GB onboard flash storage, HDMI out with up to 1080p support, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE 4.0, one USB 2.0 port, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), and an Ethernet port.

Will Ouya be the David against the Goliaths known as Xbox, Playstation, and Nintendo? Or will it flop like so many consoles before it? Only time, and developer support, will tell.

Ryan BiggsRyan Biggs is a regular contributor to Nerdvana, the East Valley Tribune’s science and technology website. Nerdvana focuses on the East Valley’s semi-conductor, defense, aerospace and bio-science industries as well as fun stuff for nerds. Ryan’s passion is cars.