Just Three Small Things About the Ouya Review...


The analog sticks are the hardest part to get right, and Ouya nailed it — they're not too stiff or too loose, and flow perfectly with your finger.

Oh, they're perfect! So the analog sticks are concave like gamers everywhere have been asking Sony to do...


...ok so if by nailing it you mean the video game equivalent of this, then sure. Let's roll with that.


The buttons made me angriest, though. Instead of labeling them A, B, X, and Y, like every other manufacturer ever, Ouya went with O, U, Y, and A. The A button is where B should be, and O is where A typically is — so every time the Ouya said "press A to go back" I pressed O and went forward. Every. Single. Time.

Someone is going to have to tell David that the Xbox 360 is not the only console to exist. He did this same mistake on the Wii U Review.

The buttons themselves have great travel and good feel, but they're laid out in the common Japanese style, and to me it just seems... wrong. On Xbox, PlayStation, and most other recent consoles, the most commonly-used button (both in games and for advancing and selecting in menus) is on the bottom of the diamond. On the Wii U, it's the A button, and it sits on the right side — in dozens of hours of playing I never got used to that, and never stopped pressing B when I was trying to press A. The buttons are relatively far away from the analog stick, so I assume the layout was chosen to make the most-used button easier to hit, but Nintendo should have just found a way to get the buttons closer together. If you've ever played video games before, on any console, the Wii U's going to be frustrating to use for a while.

Yeah, I don't know why Nintendo picked such an odd order for their face buttons for the Wii u Gamepad... or the Wii classic controller... or the SNES controller. If anything, we should be thanking Nintendo for coming up with a standard instead of completely switching it up every generation like the N64 and Gamecube. When Sony went from Triangle being the predominant "back" button to Circle taking that role, it's not something frustrating. In fact, it's easily a difference you could forget until you change back. Yet even when comparing that to the OUYA problem, a matter of the button name, I can't complain at all. If anything, it's painfully obvious that there is no "Correct" button naming scheme; it's all fair game, because at the end of it all, when gamers read "Press A to go back," gamers quickly learn to read it as "Press __ to go back" and immediately know it's supposed to be the button on the right. Without even looking at the controller to confirm, I'm assured that's where the A button is, isn't it? Let's hope I explained this well enough.


But every gaming console or platform needs a halo game, whether it's something like Angry Birds or, well, Halo. Ouya's best "exclusive" at the moment is Final Fantasy III, a game that came out in 1990 and is also available on a variety of other platforms. That doesn't count. This platform desperately needs a game like Grand Theft Auto, or Shadowgun, or Assassin's Creed, or Bioshock... or something. Thing is, you could plug your Android phone or tablet into an HDMI cable and play a bunch of those games on your TV, often with a controller. Shadowgun, Grand Theft Auto, Asphalt 7, and a surprisingly large number of other high-quality games are available in the Play Store. But Ouya's going its own way with the Ouya Store, and it pales tremendously in comparison.

This is a problem I've seen with many reviews, getting the Theory of Console Purchase Psychology messed up. Oh, the first one is widely well-know amongst people of all kinds:

When you buy a console, you expect to find at least one great game made for that console that another doesn't have..

But people always tend to forget the second part of the Theory:

...just never expect that game to be there at launch because Launch games NEARLY ALWAYS suck.

The Killer app for the Xbox 360 was Halo 3. The Killer app for PS3 was Metal Gear Solid 4. Those games were not in the launch lineup for those consoles. The time between 360 release and Halo 3 release was 22 months. The time between PS3 and MGS4 was 18 months. Even the Vita, which may have had in terms of quality the best launch lineup of any console, didn't get its Killer App until outside of its launch window (I consider that game to be Gravity Rush, in case you're wondering). I'm not sure why he was looking for a Halo 2 months before the console is publicly available.

Those points aside, fair review I'd say.