Ouya - new £100 quad-core console makes some noise
Steve O'Rourke | 13 July 2012
It seems like every week there’s a new gaming hardware announcement. Last week we got our hands on the new 3DS XL, a bigger, better version of the 3DS. But this week it’s an entirely new piece of kit. Say hello to Ouya, a prototype console that promises to retail at around £100 and breathe a breath of fresh air into the world of console gaming.
Ouya is a prototype games console running on the Android operating system that is intended to connect to your TV and download largely free-to-play videogames direct to the console.
Why do we need another games console? The development team wants to give independent games designers, who would be otherwise confined to small screens like your smartphone or a browser window on your computer, access to the biggest screen in the house. They are also opening up all their tech secrets – allowing the console to be ‘hacked’ and modified and letting anybody with a good idea and enough talent, develop games that others will be able to download and play. In many ways, it is a games machine designed for gamers to explore new ideas and techniques rather than a single manufacturer chasing profits.
At the moment, it is virtually impossible to get a console game developed and manufactured without a budget that resembles something similar to a space mission. This is why we are seeing fewer and fewer original titles coming from the same small band of big-money publishers. Ouya promises to change that and gamers are getting behind it in a big way.
In the couple of days that the project has been on the Kickstarter site, which is a website where anyone can pledge money to help a project leap from the drawing board to reality, the fund has racked up nearly $4 million from 30,000 supporters. The company only needed $950,000 but there seems to be little end in sight for how much gamers want this machine to do well.
As for the tech specs Ouya is no slow coach, boasting a quad-core processor running on Android 4.0, 1GB of on-board RAM, 8GB of internal flash memory, full wireless and Bluetooth connectivity and the all-important HDMI connections for crystal clear high definition playback on TV. Quite how they’ve managed to accommodate all those components and still keep the price at less than a handheld is astonishing. Now all we need is a release date, which they have also kindly provided so expect Ouya to hit the streets in March 2013. A game changer? Watch this space…