A little over a year ago, an Android-powered console named Ouya told gamers and developers that it would change console gaming. Those same gamers and developers pitched together $8.5 million to make it a reality. Now the console that could has to convince everybody else that it's a worthy contender in the console space.
The $99 Ouya console launches today across the U.S., Canada and UK at Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Target and GAME. For those just joining us, it's a tiny games console that's powered by Nvidia's Tegra 3 chip and outputs in 1080p. It's a completely open system that allows anybody to develop and publish games for the system. As for consumers, all games must have a free option to encourage engagement and sales.
“It’s incredible to think that a little under a year ago Ouya was just an idea -- we wanted to do something completely new in console gaming: build a $99 game console, with no discs to buy, open to all developers, and affordable to all gamers,” said Julie Uhrman, CEO and co-founder, Ouya. “Today, Ouya is real. Console gaming has never needed something new more than it does now.”
Even at $99, Ouya will have to convince people to buy the console on the strength of its software. A lot of the titles are ports of mobile games, but the console is getting a few exclusives in the form of Chronoblade and Towerfall.
Despite some skepticism, it seems that the Ouya is already doing pretty well for itself at launch. The console has already sold out on Amazon and GameStop. The console was originally delayed from its original June 5 to meet "greater than expected demand" but that seems to have been an understatement. We've reached out to Ouya to ask when gamers can expect more units to arrive at retail and we'll update as soon as we hear back.
Until then, start up a debate on whether or not the Ouya can compete with the PS4 and Xbox One later this year. I guarantee you'll ignite a few hours of solid debate.