I’ve been racking my brains these past few days (and unpacking a lot of stuff) on what to put for my first true blog post. On my old blog I tried to write too much about a single topic that I knew little about and so got a little afraid to post new content and it’s happened to me here again. I think of a cool topic, do a little research and then start thinking too much into it creating something I can’t really do a blog post on.
Then I saw a tweet about the Ouya and my brain started thinking.
As you may know the Ouya is a small Android based console that has now been crowd funded into production, it boasts truely open framework for developers and hopes to revolunize the industry.
I really don’t think it will.
I’m all for brand new experiences and letting creative hit the market, but the Ouya is going to struggle to do so. A lot of developers seem interested in the idea of working with the console but only a hand full have actually committed to doing so, as with any games console launch a strong line up will help shift units (see the 3DS) and if little is there to show off what the console can do then sales will plummet after the initial rush. Word of mouth may help, but to be sustainable and actually compete against the giants of the industry it will need to shift a lot of units. The lack of advertisement (I don’t expect to see giant billboards and TV adverts promoting this) will not help either.
Another problem I see is the lack of innovation with the hardware, yes it’s open ended but it’s just a general console with pretty poor specs and a controller. What can someone make that can’t already be created with current services on consoles like Xbox Indies and on PC like IndieCity? Some popular mobile games could be ported but without the usual touch screen controls they could suffer in the controls department.
The final concern I have it how secure the console is going to be and the risk of shameless rip-offs, if it is as open source as it claims then piracy will end up being through the roof! It there is a way to get a game for free regardless of that games RRP then some people will pirate, it’s just human nature sadly. Developers will be weary to create something for a platform fulls of pirated software or will introduce over-the-top DRM that will just hinder paying customers.
Finally with no governing body to regulate what goes on and what doesn’t the market can and probably will become clogged with rip-offs trying to scam people out of money and copies of existing popular games. This already happens on both the Android and App Store but will become a much larger ball ache on Ouya.
I’m gunna cut it there for now, these were only a few concerns for a console we still know little about it. Hopefully now that it has been given the green light some of these issues can be addressed before it is released. A part of me does hope that it proves me wrong and goes on to help change the industry and games, but at the current moment I really don’t see it happening.
Thanks for reading my first post, hopefully it didn’t send you to sleep and was interesting. Still finding my feet with this stuff 😀