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Game developers discuss the Ouya's hardware limitations and the future of indie gaming

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Ouya Prototype
Ouya Prototype

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.

"The machine is clearly not a powerhouse, but it's not a slouch either."

Nathan Fouts of Mommy's Best Games and Sheepstacker developer Jerrod Putman also share concerns about the Ouya's hardware limitations, and Fouts says it's "clearly not a powerhouse." Although the Tegra 3 chipset is powerful, newer and better mobile chipsets are already being introduced, and Putman says the console is "underpowered" compared to the current generation PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Despite the Ouya's shortcomings, all three developers told Engadget that they have high hopes for the future of indie developers on the console, citing the platform's openness and ease-of-use. "The Ouya represents a real way for indies to truly join the console world, without needing to sign abusive publisher contracts or compromise on their vision," says Putman. The console's future, Ismail says, depends on the quality and quantity of games designed for the platform. If Ouya's curation is too strict, the company could alienate developers, but if it's too lenient, Ismail warns, "you could end up with a minefield of terrible apps similar to the Android Play Store." The $99 console is expected to ship to Kickstarter backers in March.