The developers of the Ouya won't try to compete with the billion dollar corporations battling for console dominance with the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii U. The makers of the protoype console powered by Google's Android OS are looking to play their own game, focusing on downloadable, free-to-play video games that can be experienced on a low-cost, high-power device. Follow along for every step of the console's creation — from its Kickstarter funding to its planned release in March 2013!
Jul 28, 2015
Yesterday, game hardware company Razer confirmed that it had bought former Kickstarter gaming sensation Ouya. Ouya's distinctive Android console wasn't part of the deal, but Razer is getting the rights to Ouya's software, as well as its technical and developer relations teams. It's a lifeline for Ouya, which will be spun into a publishing service for Razer's own Android console. It's a boon for Razer, which is getting access to 1,500 Android TV games and said publishing platform. But for some developers who bet on the console, it might be a disaster.Read Article >
Polygon and Motherboard have spoken to multiple developers who qualified for money from the Free the Games Fund, a $1 million initiative that supported Kickstarter-funded Ouya games. The fund was launched in 2013, and the money was supposed to be paid out after milestones that included releasing a beta, launching the game, and completing an exclusivity period of one to six months.
Apr 28, 2015
Embattled gaming company Ouya might be in even more trouble: according to a leaked memo, it's putting itself up for sale in order to cut back its debt. Fortune reports that Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman sent a memo to investors and advisers earlier this month, saying that the company had failed to satisfy one of its investors' conditions and that renegotiation over the debt had been unsuccessful. In order to make up the shortfall, Ouya would have to find a buyer quickly. "We are looking for expressions of interest by the end of this month," she reportedly wrote.Read Article >
In 2012, Ouya ran a phenomenally successful crowdfunding campaign for its tiny Android gaming console, raising $8.5 million. The Ouya's sleek design, low price, and promised "hackability" were all selling points, but early versions launched with a clunky interface and undercooked controllers, and the company had trouble building a catalog of TV-friendly Android games. Other non-traditional consoles had similar problems, and Ouya's attempts to fix them didn't always go well. It introduced financial rewards for developers who built Ouya-exclusive games, but early candidates ended up being accused of gaming the system, forcing an overhaul of the plan. Its most successful games expanded to other platforms, reducing the incentive to buy the hardware. Most recently, it dropped plans for a limited run of Reading Rainbow consoles.
Jul 25, 2013
On Monday, reports surfaced that Ouya is, so far, a console without any major breakout hits. For the most part, gamers are sticking to free games on Ouya rather than upgrading to paid titles. The evidence reported was anecdotal, with a handful of developers speaking on how much money they've made — from a couple hundred dollars to a few thousand. But while some might look at Ouya's software sales and say the console, which has been on retail shelves for about a month, is failing to catch on with gamers, CEO Julie Uhrman says things are quite the opposite. "Monetization on Ouya is so far better than we expected," Uhrman told The Verge in an exclusive interview. "It takes time to build what traditional consoles have had decades to build. But really, I think it's too early to draw such broad sweeping statements about how a platform is going to perform."Read Article >
"To say developers can't make money on Ouya — I take offense to that," Uhrman said. "I'm sure the creators of TowerFall and Hidden in Plain Sight would take offense to that. The console has only been out for a month, and developers have only had access to the hardware for about 6 months. We really like what we see so far, and so do developers and gamers."
Jul 23, 2013
On Kickstarter, Ouya was a blockbuster, raising more than $8.5 million in one of the most successful campaigns in the crowd-funding site's history. With critics, Ouya has so far been a dud, and the Android console has dealt with shipping problems as well. Now, it seems, Ouya is dealing with one more hurdle — gamers are reportedly largely sticking to free games, rather than upgrading to paid titles. According to reports from Edge, IGN, and Gamasutra, a handful of developers say they've seen slow sales on Ouya, and thus far, nobody has racked up breakout sales.Read Article >
Ouya has been in gamers hands for about a month — though Kickstart backers have had the consoles since March — and in that time, the best sales shared publicly so far have come from Matt Thorson, the developer behind the game TowerFall, Edge said in a report. TowerFall has consistently sat among the top of Ouya's download charts and to date it has been purchased on Ouya about 2,000 times, at a price of $15 per download, the report said. That brings TowerFall's revenue total to about $21,000 in just under four weeks, which Thorson described to Edge as "surprisingly high for a new game on a new console."
Jun 25, 2013
The $99 Ouya gaming console was one of the most successful Kickstarter projects of all time, raising over $8.5 million. After a three-week delay, the console launched at a number of retail outlets today, promptly selling out at Amazon and Target. But some early backers are still waiting for results. When Ouya posted on Facebook to celebrate a Reuters piece about the console, supporters responded in the comments, complaining that they were still waiting on pre-orders or Kickstarter rewards. "It's available at Best Buy down the street from me but I'm still sitting here waiting for my pre-order," lamented one person. Others wondered whether they could cancel their pre-orders and buy through Amazon. "Those consoles you sent to Best Buy? Those are ours."Read Article >
Ouya hasn't made a public statement, but it's apparently told backers about the issue. As Kotaku reports, a June 8th letter said that because of problems with a shipping partner, approximately 7,500 backers had not yet received their Ouya, and getting them sent out could take weeks. "I am pissed," wrote CEO Julie Uhrman. "I did not promise to ship to most of you before we hit store shelves. I promised to ship to all of you." Earlier today, Ouya's Ken Stephens sent another update, which has been posted on Facebook. While he didn't say how many people were still waiting, he promised that many consoles had been shipped from a holding facility in Hong Kong, where they could arrive in a little over two weeks.
Apr 30, 2013
When we tried out the pre-launch version of the Ouya console, we were disappointed with the catalog — there was plenty to play, but it was still distinctly lacking any halo titles. As Ouya prepares for a retail launch in June, one of its long-awaited exclusives has been unveiled: it's by Quantum Conundrum and Portal developer Kim Swift's team at Airtight Games, and it's called Soul Fjord.Read Article >
As you'll see in the trailer, the hook of Soul Fjord right now is its aesthetic, described as a fusion of '70s funk vibes and Norse mythology. If you haven't guessed the premise already, perpetual pulp villain Loki is attempting to start Ragnarök, and the game's blaxploitation-influenced protagonist must fight "smooth trolls" and "disco wizards" to join the party. The mix makes more sense given the gameplay, which blends procedurally generated dungeon-crawling with rhythm-based combat. You can find a few quick shots of Soul Fjord's combat in the developer diary below, but we're guessing it's still very much a work in progress.
Apr 6, 2013Read Article >
Since its inception, the Ouya team has said that the console’s software will constantly evolve, and we don’t doubt its ability to improve the experience for current owners. But by the same token, a lot of our specific criticisms, like the fractured UI and difficulty of sideloading apps and games won’t be easy to fix, at least not in the next month. As we said in our review, "it’s going to need to work fast."
Apr 4, 2013
Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo may no longer be the only names that matter in gaming, but the "big three" is still very much alive in people's minds. Even as iOS and Android have gotten better games, and better hardware to run those games, capital-G Gaming remains something done with a controller and a console, and something we do on our big-screen TV.Read Article >
Maybe that's why Ouya struck such a chord when it hit Kickstarter last July. Basically, the company described a $99 box that would take the many great Android games off of your 4-inch phone and put them onto your TV. Ouya shattered its Kickstarter goal (and a few records for the platform) en route to 63,000-plus backers and more than $8.5 million in funding for the Ouya, and now nine months later is getting ready to drop its namesake console on the market.
Mar 27, 2013Read Article >
Ouya is positioning itself as a hackable, Android-based gaming console — so now it's letting users modify its case as well as what's on the inside. Thanks to a partnership with Makerbot, the 3D-printing files for the Ouya console enclosure are now available; users can download the files, modify them as they see fit, and then 3D print their own custom cases. You can download the 3D printing files right here and also see a variety of brightly-colored Ouya cases. While it remains to be seen exactly what kinds of modifications to the tiny Ouya enclosure the 3D printing community will come up with, we don't think it'll be long before something unexpected is created thanks to this partnership.
Mar 11, 2013
Ouya's $100 Android game console will begin shipping to Kickstarter backers in just over two weeks, but it will be missing one potentially important feature. Here at the SXSW Interactive festival in Austin, Texas, company founder Julie Uhrman tells us that the device
won't support online multiplayer games— not even by the console's retail release in June. It's coming, though: she says that the feature will arrive "sometime this year."Read Article >
Mar 11, 2013
Today at SXSW Interactive at 3PM ET / 2PM CT, our very own Joshua Topolsky will be interviewing Ouya founder and CEO Julie Uhrman. Her hardware startup plans to launch its hackable $99 gaming console to retail stores this June, and will be delivered to Kickstarter backers by the end of March.Read Article >
Feb 28, 2013
$99.99 gaming console Ouya will be shipping to its Kickstarter backers on March 28th, the company has just announced. A full retail launch is still planned for June, but the console will be shipping soon to more than developers, who started receiving kits late last year. We're also hearing about some potentially exciting new Ouya projects. While we already knew a bit about what was coming to the platform, the company has announced that designer Kim Swift (of Portal and Left 4 Dead fame) and her team at Airtight Games will develop a new title exclusive to Ouya. An announcement with some real details should be "coming soon," but the game is supposed to have a "completely unexpected, imaginative slant."Read Article >
Minority Media, which developed Papa & Yo, will also be bringing an apparently non-exclusive title that's "designed to take full advantage of the Ouya touchpad and buttons simultaneously," and a new title from The Ball developers Tripwire will be coming, as will RPG ChronoBlade. To cement its relationship with developers, the Ouya team is also hiring Kellee Santiago — co-founder of Flower and Journey's thatgamecompany and Indie Fund partner — to serve as a liaison or "Developer's Best Friend" for Ouya.
Feb 13, 2013
We're getting ever-closer to the launch of Ouya, the $99, Kickstarter-backed, Android-powered gaming console, and the company's CEO Julie Uhrman has been making the rounds to give eager buyers more info on what they'll get when the console launches this summer. While we already knew Ouya was powered by Nvidia's Tegra 3 processor and that it would run faster stronger than other devices (since the console plugs into the wall and isn't reliant on a battery, unlike most Tegra 3 devices), it sounds like Nvidia is working directly with Ouya to optimize performance. "The partner that we've worked the most with, that is incredibly supportive of developers, NVIDIA, they have multiple people on their team dedicated to our account," Uhrman told Engadget in a recent interview.Read Article >
Thanks to that strong support, Uhrman said the Ouya would be the "best Tegra 3 device on the market" — not surprising, considering the device won't have to manage power usage as aggressively as other devices running the chip. Nvidia also had a few things to say to Engadget about the partnership — senior VP Tony Tamasi said that the Ouya team has "been amazing to work with." He also confirmed that Nvidia has a dedicated team working with Ouya to optimize the console's performance. While it surely won't be as powerful as most home consoles, it sounds like Ouya is doing all it can to squeeze as much power out of the $99 box.
Feb 7, 2013
"I'm obsessed with how little I sleep," says Ouya founder and CEO Julie Uhrman, touching her Jawbone Up. She says her kids are to blame. However, it might also have something to do with another child of sorts, another Yves Behar-designed product: her company's $99 Android game console. Once a Kickstarter project, the Ouya will now be sold at Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and GameStop this June, a tall order for a company as new as hers. And yet, Uhrman is thinking much further ahead than June. She tells us that her team is already planning to introduce a new version of the Ouya — with as much mobile processing power as possible — each and every year.Read Article >
As you might be aware, new mobile processors come fast and furious these days — as Qualcomm's Raj Talluri pointed out in a DICE keynote this morning, we've gone from single-core to dual-core to quad-core chipsets in just two years. And while the Ouya's Nvidia Tegra 3 chipset is no slouch, there's already a Tegra 4 inbound, and at least one developer is already questioning the Ouya's hardware limitations. But what if there's a Tegra 4-based Ouya next year? It's a possibility: "Our plan is to have a yearly refresh of Ouya where we leverage the best-performing chips and take advantage of falling component prices to create the best experience we can at the $99 price point," Uhrman tells us.
Feb 5, 2013
Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman has announced the first details of retail availability for the Android-powered games console. If you missed out on Ouya's successful Kickstarter campaign and wanted to pick one up in stores, you'll be able to do so at Target, Best Buy, and GameStop, and the console will also be sold through Amazon and the company's own website. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Uhrman says that Kickstarter backers will get their consoles in March, orders from the Ouya site will go out in April, and the retail launch will be in June.Read Article >
Retail pricing is $99.99 for the console with one controller, and an extra pad will set you back $49.99. That's a little different from Ouya's site, where an extra controller is just $30, although you do have to pay $10 more to get it (or the console itself) shipped. Uhrman admits that $49.99 is a "premium price" for a controller, but says that the inclusion of a touchpad makes up for it.
Feb 1, 2013
Since developers began receiving their Android-powered Ouya consoles late last year, several have demoed the non-final software and hardware online and shared their thoughts on the highly anticipated device. In an interview with Engadget, Super Crate Box developer Rami Ismail says that issues with the controller's trigger buttons and analog sticks are being resolved before the console's final release based on his team's feedback, but this doesn't address other complaints about the controller's touchpad and lack of start and select buttons.Read Article >
Jan 29, 2013
The $109 Android-powered Ouya gaming console garnered a lot of attention when it raised $8.5 million on Kickstarter earlier this year, blowing past its initial funding goal of $950,000. With an expected release only two months away, everyone’s anxious to see what indie developers will be able to pull off with the new hardware, and we’re now getting our first look at the results of this month’s 10-day online Ouya "game jam." Judging from what we’re seeing of the 166 prototype games produced so far, the answer is, predictably, all over the map.Read Article >
There are a couple of standouts, notably Television from Laboratory Games (video above), which the developer describes as "part WarioWare, part Myst," but for the most part, there isn’t much to separate what’s available from the average free mobile game. Breath, a multiplayer platformer from Setentia has an attractive, shadowy art style, and Color Thief from Trouble Impact takes advantage of a handful of novel color-based mechanics. If your taste runs toward the absurd, you may be better served by the likes of Car Jumper from BFA Games (video below), or Pikpiak’s GIGAR — a multiplayer spin on QWOP that requires each player to control a limb, adding auxiliary abilities like flight and rockets.
Dec 31, 2012
Ouya's Android-based gaming console is reaching the hands of developers this week, and some lucky recipients have taken to YouTube to share impressions of the early hardware and its user interface. Code Zombie Games has uploaded a lengthy overview of the entire kit as the studio works to port an existing Android title to the TV screen. The developer version of Ouya features a frosted, see-through build that provides a glimpse at the silicon in both the controllers and console itself. Ouya makes clear that devs are dealing with non-final hardware as soon as the machine is booted up, with a note warning that the current experience as "not ready for gamers."Read Article >
And while it's admittedly rough around the edges, the preview reveals a sleek menu design that almost bears a closer resemblance to Windows Phone than Android. But jumping into certain apps like the built-in web browser — which performs admirably at this early stage — or settings exposes Ouya's Android underpinnings. The primary complaints seem to revolve around Ouya's controller. In particular, the integrated touchpad is described as merely adequate, and the controllers lack dedicated "start" and "menu" buttons. Still, Ouya still has time to refine its groundbreaking console before more than 63,000 Kickstarter backers start taking delivery a few months from now.
Dec 27, 2012
The first developer kits for the highly-anticipated Ouya gaming console are shipping out earlier than expected. As pointed out by SlashGear, one customer has posted the text of their shipping notification in a thread over at the Ouya forums, with several individuals on Twitter also remarking that their devices are on the way. Ouya had originally announced that the first batch of developer kits would be shipping out tomorrow, December 28th — but an Ouya spokesperson has informed us that deliveries will actually begin tomorrow, no doubt making a few early backers very happy. The software development kit for the gaming console will be available as a standalone download for those that don't want to purchase a hardware kit as well; it is scheduled to be released tomorrow.Read Article >
Update: As promised and teased, December 28th is here and Ouya boxes are making their way around the world, alongside the launch of the Ouya Dev Portal.
Nov 30, 2012Read Article >
This first batch of units precedes the expected March delivery for users who purchased the console but didn't seek early access for development purposes. The Jelly Bean-based console garnered attention this summer when it launched on Kickstarter because of its $99 price point, hackability, and its attractive design from Yves Béhar. Ultimately, it raised over $8.5 million.
Aug 9, 2012Read Article >
Ouya's crowdfunding campaign just finished, and now the project is letting would-be owners pre-order the miniature console outside of Kickstarter. For those in the US, you can pre-order an Ouya along with one controller for $109, while the rest of the world can expect to pay $119 for the controller/console set (bundles with additional controllers are also available). Back in July Ouya managed to reach its initial funding goal of $950,000 in just eight hours, and since then has garnered support from a few notable game developers and content providers — and you can learn more about the console itself right here. According to the website, those who pre-order now can expect delivery of the Android-powered console in April 2013, just after the March launch for Kickstarter backers.
Aug 9, 2012
Ouya's Kickstarter campaign ended today, with the project raising $8,596,475 from 63,416 backers at the time of publishing, exceeding their target goal by nearly 805 percent.Read Article >
The Ouya also attracted independent developers like Cliffhanger productions, who announced they are developing Shadowrun Online (a game that is only halfway towards its own Kickstarter funding goal at the time of writing) for Ouya and Linux, and Rapture Games Studios, who have announced that their upcoming game, Gunblitz, will be an Ouya launch title.
Aug 7, 2012
The team behind XBMC — the iconic cross-platform, open source media center which recently made its way on to Android — will receive early access to prototypes of the much-anticipated Ouya games console, making sure that the app provides a smooth experience on the platform. The two organizations claim a natural affinity based on their shared reliance on Google's open source operating system. According to a joint announcement posted on the XBMC blog and Ouya's Kickstarter page this morning, "many of Team Ouya support XBMC, and nearly a third of Team XBMC members are Ouya backers."Read Article >
First announced at the beginning of last month, Ouya aims to undercut traditional consoles, retailing for just $99 and offering an open, hackable system, including a developer kit with every retail unit. In recent weeks, the project announced partnerships with cloud gaming platform OnLive and music service Vevo, and XBMC will provide an added level of open, DRM-free media functionality. With just under two days left on its Kickstarter page, Ouya has raised more than $6.8 million, and may seek further funding as production progresses.
Jul 11, 2012
The $99, Android-based Ouya game console Kickstarter project reached its goal in less than eight hours and as of this writing — just over day since it launched — it's closing in on three million dollars in support. The designer behind the console, Yves Béhar, took the stage at the Mobile Beat conference today to talk about how it all came together. The Ouya is up against the biggest players in the consumer electronics industry — Sony and Microsoft — but Béhar thinks that the gaming console business is ready for disruption from the bottom:Read Article >
The gaming community [...] wants to be engaged, wants something new, wants it to be open. There’s lots of programmers, hackers, [and] game developers that don’t want to pay the huge fees that it takes to get a developer kit [for a major console].Earlier in the conference, another speaker called Android "Charmless," but Béhar doesn't believe that the platform needs to be so robotic forever. "There’s just not a lot of attention, of love and care and attention, on the platform. But that’s changing." Don't expect skeumorphism on the platform, though, Béhar calls it "bad design" that's "lazy."
Jul 3, 2012
We don't often report on startups without a physical product to their name, but when you've got sponsors like Ouya does, it's hard not to pay attention. According to a posting on AngelList, Ouya has recruited the talents of Yves Behar to build a $99 Android game console that you can connect to a TV, with a high-concept developer ecosystem that's as free as can be. Any developer will be able to publish games, claims the listing, and all games will be free to play. Even the underlying hardware is "built to be hacked" — every customer who buys a retail box will get a dev kit in the bargain, the site claims.Read Article >
As we alluded to earlier, though, it's not just Jawbone Jambox and One Laptop Per Child designer Yves Behar who's on board. The project's advisors also include Ed Fries of Xbox fame, Amol Sarva of Peek, Peter Pham of Color, and counts Julie Uhrman of IGN as its founder and CEO. There's also a gentleman named Muffi Ghadiali, who appears to be leaving Amazon's Lab126 where he helped ship Kindle. At $99, the Ouya would be playing in the same space as Google TV boxes like Vizio's Co-Star, but we're eager to see what games Ouya might attract. We're on the lookout for more details and hope to have them for you soon.