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DanCooper

How would you change the OUYA (founding backer edition)?


OUYA was one of Kickstarter’s biggest success stories, and in a way, we all felt a little chunk of pride. After all, this was a console that the community had created, which would topple Sony and Microsoft’s duopoly at the top of the gaming market, all for just $100. The higher the promises, and our expectations rose, however, the further they had to fall. When our Tim Stevens reviewed the first edition of the hardware, he found that the controller and UI fell far short of what was expected. The game library was nothing to be excited about, and the company is now offering its games store on other platforms -- somewhat negating the point of the console in the first place. So, our question to all of you is this: had you been sat in those initial meetings with Julie Uhrman and Yves Behar, what would you have told them to do differently?

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8 replies
junior261

They just barely put YouTube on it, but for under 100 bucks how can you complain? I bought it for an XBMC machine, and so it fit my needs perfectly for very little money. At the time it came out, it had really good specs for the price. The controller was not all bad. Some people just like to complain. Since I used it for mainly XBMC, the games were just a plus to have a little fun with. It achieved that, plus I used it to play older roms from games of past consoles. If I did have to some feedback, I would ask to put more effort into getting more mainstream media apps made specifically for this machine, like Netflix and Hulu. The YouTube app needs some major fixes. But how can you not like the appeal of a cheap media/small game machine?
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JyveAFK

Better controllers. The feel of these never did live up to what should be offered for 50bucks.
Play Store. Yeah, I get what they were trying to do, but nothing wrong with admitting you're making a hardware games device. Get a cut from the play store perhaps, but trying to make your own market ended up pushing many devs away I suspect.
Hardware. I wasn't sure if the comments at the time saying it'd be underpowered were true. With a power supply, I was hoping it'd be able to crank up everything. But in practice, the limit to what's being pushed around the screen is evident. I like retro games, but we should be able to get beyond Commodore64 quality games now.
Thinking about it, back to the controllers. Dunno what it was, but always had such a pain getting them paired up. If I didn't play it for a month, the pairing would go, and it'd be so annoying trying to get them re-paired. Rebooting/pressing/resetting. Eventually it'd take, but when just wanting to fire it up, play 5 mins of something, and spending that time getting the controller working, ended up being a pain.
Speaking of lack of 'insta' play. What is it with the time it takes to patch? Did others have it take forever to load up and patch? At least in the end it let you use external storage, so it's worth doing, but again, always seemed to be at that odd time I wanted to play, it'd force me to patch (and re-pair controllers). Think I spent longer patching/pairing than playing.
I'm hoping this coming week Google announces a revamped Nexus Q like device that's a 150buck gaming device with all the lessons learned from the Ouya on what works/doesn't work, and thus is a big push for games on Android to support controllers better.
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Professorpoptar

I am a kickstarter backer and have 2 units myself and have bought a couple for presents. I think the ouya needed one major thing, support from Goole play store games and controller support for those games... I have bought a ton of games on the play store... I don't want to buy the "ouya" version of those games too... Example ff3. We (not me...) were able to get play store working on xda via the repackaged exposed framework play store but almost every game I tried had really crappy controls via the ouya controller. I wonder why since other controllers like the moga pro work fine on my phone... Anyway the only games that work well are the official ouya store apps but those I can only run on the ouya. So what do I do, I buy the games from google play so I can play on all my android devices (about 10). And when I want to play on the big screen I just plug one in HDMI. It's a shame really like the article says it had so much potential, it was supposed to be the hackers console... In reality its just another closed source console system. I haven't even turned the thing on in about 6 months now. That being said it was fun to tinker with for a few months to try and get Google play and cyanogen mod working on it... But for officially supported stuff I think they dropped the ball trying to make a buck by trying to force the ouya store... In short I think they should have focused more on solid open hardware then the user software side... It would be cool to see a terga k1 ouya!
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scottg3

Easy:

Big-name game titles and lots of them, especially those new and most anticipated games (that would be found at E3). Along with reasonable installation and operation of those games on the platform.

The fact is that the OS and the hardware is simply the "cart" (in a horse/cart paradigm). People don't buy any console/platform for the console itself, rather they buy it to enable them to play games: those games are the "horse".

Don't put the "cart" before the "horse".
1 like dislike
dbc00p

You 100% didn't get what the Ouya is/was. Don't feel bad because their own marketing department didn't get it either. They never had the money, industry clout, or hardware to attract or support the big titles. They only possible way AAA games can be played on the Ouya is via a streaming service, which they have managed to attract. Their main selling point was an open and cheap platform. That's all they had to sell, and that's all they could sell, which is why all you heard about was the hardware and OS. They had to put the cart first and hope developers saw the potential.
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FlipFlop

The one thing that completely kills it for me it the laggy controllers.. The connection can get seconds of delay from button press to response..

HOW COULD THEY MAKE LAGGY CONTROLLERS .. IT HAS TO BE THE HOLY GRAIL FOR GAMING THAT INPUT WORKS FLAWLESS !!!

I know its the controllers because playstation controllers work just fine but are only supported in some games and generally behave a bit wonky.. The kids always get into some kind of trouble with the playstation contoller..
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aphoneconissour

They should make it so existing controllers like the ps3/4, Wii, Xbox should just work without doing anything. In fact make it when you plug in a USB controller then have it send a prompt tothe user to add the specific updates and apps so the controller will work. For Bluetooth controllers have the same thing happen as well. Other then that its not a bad little system.
Oh I also think giving the users more home screen custizations would be nice.
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GorillazKingLTD

Honestly, I still have some love from OUYA. However, I don't think their doing enough on hardware & software. My belief is OUYA is not a hardcore gamer platform, rather I believe it is a platform to create, inspire, discover, and PLAY new innovative games.

First & foremost, OUYA on the hardware side needs more partners. Some of these partners should be those that create new ... lets just call the "controllers", that give gamers and developers something new to try with there games. Controllers have and continue to evolve from your basic two buttons & "+" controls. If developers & hardware platforms worked together people could have a plethora of options for different games.

Also, controllers can be an open platform that would give people like MadCatz and others a chance to make controller devices that work with cellphones and OUYA. One more thing on hardware, why aren't OUYA doing contest or work with there open community to make these device come to life on there site. They could set it like a kickstarted and customers an vote from the website or game console on what they would like as options.

Second, software! SOFTWARE! OUYA should have more gaming developer competitions. They should have them posted on the website, and the console. I should want to know about a game or get excited about them. E-mail just don't cut it.

Another thing, which people may not like, BUT I would like OUYA to learn my habits, if anything my interest with game genres. I don't think anyone is really working on ways to promote similar games to gamers just as Netflix recommends a movie you might like. It would keep me turning on my console just to see if there is anything in my "Might Like" section!

Also, I agree with "Professorpoptar" that OUYA needs to work with google or work on a code to port not only game purchases from Google Play but game history as well. If anything OUYA could go to Google and be like "We could make you a gamer community, if you help us become apart of your network of devices!" Having strong ties with google could be a mutual befit since google is making IPTV Box (like an Apple TV). Then if OUYA is making ground who knows, Google could buy them than we could even more stuff!

All in all, OUYA still has potential. They have worked with hardware developers, yet they don't promote it. They have cool one off games, yet you would need a different controller for some to enjoy it. They have a network of developers, although they could promote better to clusters of games in their network. If OUYA does this, and update their console hardware, they might grab the attention of customers. I truly believe that OUYA is a new "pillar" in the realm of game consoles, they just have to give me and others the want to turn on the console and explore.
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