Can an open gaming console like the Ouya succeed?
All of this sounds like an absolute dream, but there's a reason it's been only a dream to this point. The cheap, open console idea has been tried before, most notably with the Indrema over 10 years ago. Game companies have traditionally sold their systems at low margins and then made their profits though the games (either by making their own games or selling other companies licenses to make games). If Ouya is going to be open to developers and hackers, and offer free games, then they're going to have to turn a profit on hardware sales, but will enough people buy one? Systems like the PS3 and Xbox 360 may cost more, but they are also fully-featured entertainment systems, while the handheld market has been hit hard by mobile gaming.
Despite my doubts I do think the concept sounds interesting enough. It has the potential to put Android in more living rooms, and maybe take some of those phone users and convert them into living room gamers—if enough developers bring good and popular games to it.
If you think back to the "Other OS" feature of the PS3. This was brilliant, but removed because of what Sony called "security concerns" or the fear that players would cheat in multiplayer. (Or other unknown security problems)
There are a lot of scary things that could also be done when you get an internet community behind it. Sometimes moving things open source is good (Think WebOS, although it never recovered really) but generally it doesn't go mainstream
I think they'll need to do more than just have it be a gaming console. Perhaps combine the idea of the Nexus Q with this.
As for game app devel, there are so many "click here to make for all" IDE's for games at this point. That's why it's pretty hard to find a game that exists for only one platform or another. I've toyed with the idea of getting back into development to make a few bucks, and I'd definitely do it with a "make once for all" tool that just pumps out the iOS and Android versions in one click.
There is also huge potential here for getting non-developers in the door to make games. THe success of iOS is that a 12 year old kid in his bedroom can get the development tools, make something and boom put it on the market place. No worries about a publisher, overhead, whatever. The gatekeeper is eliminated for all of the good and bad that brings. It is already happening on the XNA indie games section on the Xbox, it is just unfortunately relegated to the darkest corner of their market place. There are some great games in there actually.
The fear of course comes for the idea that they want this to be open and hackable. We have no idea what that will do to the market place moving forward. The obvious fear is cheating in multiplayer games, but if we look at what mobile gaming is doing, you don't exactly see a lot of synchronized multi-player gaming.
This post has been removed.
This post has been removed.
Sure touchscreen virtual control pads have gotten better in recent games, but there is still no comparison to an actual physical game pad in your hand. For this reason I also bought an Xperia Play. But Sony has basically dropped the ball twice now 1.) by not fulfilling their promise of bringing their game library to Android and 2.) Deciding not to bring Icecream Sandwich to the Xperia Play. The games that do take advantage of the physical controls of the Xperia Play work wonderfully, best examples are Cordy and Dead Space. Now take these games and put them on an HDTV for play at home, I love this concept, thus I have backed them.
In the worst case scenario I look at it this way, if Ouya ends up not succeeding at the very least I get a $100 Google TV with Tegra 3 driving the video/graphics. If you compare that to say the the price of the recently released Nexus 7, it also has a Tegra 3 but is twice the price. Yes somebody is sure to point out that the Ouya isn't planned to have initial shipments until March 2013, but I doubt the Nexus 7 would be down to $100 in March next year.