With the blossoming of tablet and Smartphone-based gaming and apps, wave after wave of micro-platforms have surged forth in a, perhaps futile, attempt to seize control of the nascent mobile gaming industry. The Ouya is the latest and most renowned of these micro-consoles, produced by an upstart development company of the same name; this console was conceived by the company’s desire to provide gamers with a console that is a compromise between a standard fare living room game system and a smart phone. The journey has been a tragic one and the Ouya will, in all likelihood, be but a footnote in the annals of gaming history.
The Ouya, despite its modest and rather sleek cubed appearance, is decked-out with an impressive array of hardware. With a 1.7 GHz Quad-core processor, an Nvidia Tegra 3 graphics chip and 1GB of DDR3 SDRAM, one would think that the little piece of tech would be more than capable of running all but the most demanding of applications and games. However, when phones equipped with 6-core processors are readily available to the public, and 8-core processors are being unveiled, the Ouya’s hardware looks comparatively weak. Admittedly, the underwhelming ensemble of hardware is understandable when the product is being sold for a paltry $100. Nevertheless, the very fact that the average consumer can just as effortlessly procure a Smartphone from a retailer, one with notably more features and the same library of available games, for only an additional $100 is a sufficient enough reason to avoid the Ouya entirely.
The developers of the Ouya had proclaimed that the console would play host to numerous triple-A, exclusive titles. Unfortunately, and to the detriment of Ouya owners and prospective owners everywhere, this proclamation has yet to be seen through. The Ouya’s source of games is largely limited to the Android market and as such, the games available for purchase can be just as easily obtained from the Android Market via any other device that runs on Android firmware. Without worthwhile exclusives, a console cannot expect to remain viable for but so long. Potential customers will be sizing up the console, and consequently, the library of games. Other living room-bound consoles can likely afford the aforementioned customers with a substantially greater selection of games.
The Ouya’s assets are few and far between. The cubed-console has only a single USB port, which severely restricts the number of controllers and external devices users can connect to the console at any one time. The controller is widely heralded as being an oversized, cumbersome disaster, the original model already having been discontinued entirely. To make matters worse, the Ouya has a measly 8 Gigabytes worth of native storage, and anyone without access to an external drive is forced to simply make do with the unimpressive amount of storage space.
When it boils down to it, the Ouya is a rather unremarkable platform with few, if any, redeemable qualities, save for its aesthetic appeal. It offers nothing new and can scarcely be considered a worthy substitute or companion for a living room console or PC. The Ouya is nothing short of pointless, as this reviewer audaciously predicts every future micro-console whose sole purpose is to play mobile games will be.