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Ouya console to get annual successors

Ouya console to get annual successors

The Ouya console will be followed by a successor next year, and each year thereafter, as the company adopts smartphone market methodologies.

Ouya, the cut-price Android-based games console that smashed records when it launched on the Kickstarter crowd-funding platform - raising a whopping $8.6 million from its original goal of $950,000 - will be the first in a regular series of devices, the company has revealed.

At its heart, the Ouya is an Android tablet minus the display: the compact box packs an Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor running at 1.6GHz with 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage and an HDMI port supporting 1080p HD video and 5.1 digital surround-sound outputs. 802.11/g/b/n Wi-Fi is included along with a wired Ethernet port, while a Bluetooth radio connects the wireless controller and a micro-USB port allows for development, debugging and side-loading of apps and games.

If that sounds a little weedy for a console, that doesn't appear to have stopped developers announcing their plans to support the device. Numerous companies have come forward with announcements that they will be launching games on the gadget, with Double Fine's latest title Reds using the Ouya as its exclusive console launch platform. Troubled cloud gaming company OnLive has also announced its support for the console via its game streaming technology - little surprise, given that OnLive already has an Android app that will need little tweaking before release.

When you're launching as a $99 console using the same kind of hardware you'd find in a high-end - or, given it's a last-generation Tegra 3 chip and just 1GB of RAM, mid-range - smartphone, you can't expect the five-year-plus lifecycles of the big boys, though. Even so, the company's proclamation that it's planning an annual release cycle is likely to come as something of a shock to those who have already parted with their cash for pre-orders of the first generation units.

In an interview with Engadget, company chief executive Julie Uhrman explained that Ouya would be following the same development cycle as the smartphone and tablet market, rather than that of rival consoles. 'There will be a new Ouya every year' Uhrman admitted. 'There will be an Ouya 2 and an Ouya 3.'

That the tablet-inspired device should be following a tablet-inspired development schedule shouldn't really come as a surprise, of course: when you're packing the very latest hardware into a £400 games console, you can afford to over-spec the device and have it last for years to come; when you're dealing with last-generation parts and a strict $99 retail price level, however, it's time to take a different tack.

Uhrman was also keen to point out that existing games will not be lost: a game purchased on an Ouya 1 will work fine on an Ouya 2, an Ouya 3 and so forth. Each game is linked to a user's account, much like titles purchased through Google Play - not supported by the Ouya, incidentally, in favour of its own bespoke marketplace - follow a user through multiple phone and tablet upgrades.

Initial indications are that the Ouya is proving popular with an impressive number of pre-orders, but how it will fare post-launch - and in the face of Nvidia's own Tegra 4-based Project Shield gaming system - remains to be seen.

20 Comments

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Guinevere 7th February 2013, 11:44 Quote
Of course there will be new versions. They'll have to keep updating hardware to ensure a steady supply of chips, let alone to keep the hobbyists interested and away from rival systems.
jrs77 7th February 2013, 12:03 Quote
Still don't understand who's interested in playing games on a device like that. Additionally, the consoles are not the expensive part of playing games... the games themselves at $50 a pop are.
Icy EyeG 7th February 2013, 12:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
the games themselves at $50 a pop are.

This is my reason right there. That, and the fact that Ouya is android based (which means emulators support, for example) and supposedly easy to root.
Griffter 7th February 2013, 13:43 Quote
yearly?.. ahhhhh there's the catch.
Parge 7th February 2013, 14:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
Still don't understand who's interested in playing games on a device like that. Additionally, the consoles are not the expensive part of playing games... the games themselves at $50 a pop are.

What makes you think the games are $50 a pop. Evidence please.
IamJudd 7th February 2013, 15:00 Quote
Additional controllers are $49.99... Games will be free-to-try from which you can then pay to unlock full versions or buy premium upgrades like most iOS titles these days.
BLC 7th February 2013, 15:14 Quote
I'm more interested in using one of these as a low-powered desktop/net-top type device. The problem with that though is one faced by all (or most) ARM-based SBC computers: graphics driver support...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parge
What makes you think the games are $50 a pop. Evidence please.

I think he meant traditional console games; i.e. Devil May Cry, released around 3 weeks ago, is currently sitting at $58 on Amazon. And people wonder why I don't use my xbox any more...
rollo 7th February 2013, 15:15 Quote
To be blunt its already out of date.

The gpu on tegra 3 is 2 years + now will be more by the time its released. There is cheap tablets with better specs.( that are on andriod)

Theres games already out for andriod that struggle to run on anything but the latest and greatest tablet from the andriod platform. This will have lower hardware so will struggle even more.

Still think they will struggle to gain much support from developers, Without support will that controller even work?

A company made an Ipad controller a few years back and its supported so few games it quickly disapeared from the market place. It was a major pain to code for was the official reason behind it. Most of the cheapo games work best under touch, Angry birds with a controller would be difficult.

Most of the driving games would benifit from a controller.

Games will likely range from minimum price to whatever they want.

On ios the price range is 69pence( angry birds ect) to i think £11.99 is what final fantasy 4 costs. ( basically the psp version of the game also includes the redone FMWs.)Major difference in quality between the titles though.

FF4 will last you 100 hrs. Angry birds will last you a few hrs at best.

I assume if major developers release games for it they will be charged at a higher price than the next tower defence or angry bird clones.
BLC 7th February 2013, 15:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
To be blunt its already out of date.

The gpu on tegra 3 is 2 years + now will be more by the time its released. There is cheap tablets with better specs.( that are on andriod)

Theres games already out for andriod that struggle to run on anything but the latest and greatest tablet from the andriod platform. This will have lower hardware so will struggle even more.

Going to have to go ahead and disagree with you there. Sure if you're looking at the latest and greatest stuff to be released, then yeah you can call it out of date (although there's no word yet on when Tegra 4 will make it into a commercial product, IIRC). But the Tegra 3 is no slouch; my One X phone runs a Tegra 3 clocked at a slightly lower speed than the Ouya (1.5Ghz compared to 1.6Ghz) and I've yet to see anything that it won't run. I downloaded Epic Citadel recently and was utterly stunned with the quality of the graphics; it was honestly better than some PC games I've seen in the last 5/6 years. I don't know how well that would scale up to a full-size TV (say, >32"), but the One X is already rendering at 720p. And that's just the 3D performance.
jrs77 7th February 2013, 15:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parge
What makes you think the games are $50 a pop. Evidence please.

Games currently released (PC/PS3/Xbox360) is what I ment. If these were sold for $24.99 a pop at release then there would be much more interest in traditional consoles or PC-games.

Look at all the higher quality games released for the tablets. They're usually dirt-cheap < $10 and basically just as fun to play like all the titles currently released for PC/consoles.
Malfrex 7th February 2013, 17:08 Quote
For the people who are saying that the Tegra 3 is going to suck - yes, it isn't bleeding edge for cellphone/tablet tech, but it still top tier for last generation. Also, they fail to recognize the fact it can be better utilized than in a phone tablet for a couple obvious reasons:
1) tethered power - they don't need to clock it down because it has a dedicated power source; this is done by phones/tablets to extend runtime but it isn't needed for Ouya.
2) Not a phone/tablet - Of course, a lot of tablets are not 3G-enabled and just use wifi, but compared to phones it doesn't need services like the dial, address book, etc taking resources. It will give incremental improvements that could be the difference between playable frame-rate and stuttering.
Gareth Halfacree 7th February 2013, 17:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malfrex
1) tethered power - they don't need to clock it down because it has a dedicated power source; this is done by phones/tablets to extend runtime but it isn't needed for Ouya.
True, but - as proven above - that has resulted in a chip running at 1.6GHz instead of 1.5GHz in a currently-available phone. That's a mere 6.6 per cent faster, which is hardly going to take the Tegra 3 to previously unheard-of levels of performance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malfrex
2) Not a phone/tablet - Of course, a lot of tablets are not 3G-enabled and just use wifi, but compared to phones it doesn't need services like the dial, address book, etc taking resources. It will give incremental improvements that could be the difference between playable frame-rate and stuttering.
Have you ever tried to get Android to stop thinking it's on a phone? Not easy. I can pretty much guarantee that services like the dialler will be running in the background on the Ouya, but hidden from view. Okay, so it won't be having to do network handshaking and the like - but that's what the Tegra 3's fifth 'companion core' is for. Without those kind of background tasks to handle, the companion core is going to sit there completely unused.
rollo 7th February 2013, 17:52 Quote
The GPU in tegra 3 already does not do the work that you mensioned malfrex.

GPU is the single biggest drawback of the tegra 3 platform as its just not good enough its bearly comparable to the ipad 2 for performance.

Asus transformer prime was one of the last major releases using the tegra 3 gpu. They tested it versus the ipad 2 and ipad3 when it was released.

In grand theft auto 3 the only major developed game on both platforms at the time it was unplayable on the transformer prime unless you reduced the settings. ( you could change settings on andriod) 40% draw distance and 40% resolution was how low they had to go to get it to work at playable fps.

HTC one X USA version uses a 1.5 GHz Dual Core Qualcomm Snapdragon last i checked, using an adreno 225 gpu, this is not tegra3.
Alecto 7th February 2013, 18:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
Still don't understand who's interested in playing games on a device like that. Additionally, the consoles are not the expensive part of playing games... the games themselves at $50 a pop are.

I am, but I won't settle for Tegra 3 in 2013. I want Tegra 4 (or something similar from Snapdragon/Exynos lineup).

I'm not as much interested in [Android] games as I am in the prospect of having SILENT computer that is OPEN (so no blocking of "other OSes" by the manufacturer), runs normal desktop OS (I expect few Linux distributions running on Ouya soon after its launch) in a SMALL package, plugs into monitor or TV plus it costs less than $100.
BLC 7th February 2013, 21:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Asus transformer prime was one of the last major releases using the tegra 3 gpu. They tested it versus the ipad 2 and ipad3 when it was released.

Transformer Prime = Dec 2011
Nexus 7 = June 2012

Granted the Nexus 7 isn't any more powerful than the Transformer Prime, but I'd argue that the Nexus 7 was a more significant/major piece of hardware than the Transformer Prime.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
HTC one X USA version uses a 1.5 GHz Dual Core Qualcomm Snapdragon last i checked, using an adreno 225 gpu, this is not tegra3.

Looks like a Tegra to me...

http://forums.bit-tech.net/picture.php?albumid=1825&pictureid=31928

The one you're thinking of is the LTE variant; all other models - including non-LTE US models, AFAIK - use the quad-core Tegra 3.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alecto
I'm not as much interested in [Android] games as I am in the prospect of having SILENT computer that is OPEN (so no blocking of "other OSes" by the manufacturer), runs normal desktop OS (I expect few Linux distributions running on Ouya soon after its launch) in a SMALL package, plugs into monitor or TV plus it costs less than $100.

This is exactly what I want out of it... The trouble is, I tend to agree on Tegra 3 vs. Tegra 4, and the reason for that isn't necessarily the faster speed, architecture revisions, etc; it's the fact that Tegra 4 supports full-fat OpenGL, rather than just OpenGL ES.
Xir 8th February 2013, 06:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
Games currently released (PC/PS3/Xbox360) is what I ment. If these were sold for $24.99 a pop at release then there would be much more interest in traditional consoles or PC-games

Correct, it's what keeps me from buying a console.
PC games may start this high (but they rarely do) but they go down after a year or so, not console games, heck even the oldest LEGO games cost a fortune on consoles :|
Gareth Halfacree 8th February 2013, 09:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
PC games may start this high (but they rarely do) but they go down after a year or so, not console games, heck even the oldest LEGO games cost a fortune on consoles :|
Eh? I usually wait for a console game to drop to £15 - or £10 if I'm not sure I'll like it - before taking the plunge. It rarely takes as much as a year. ShopTo will, for example, happily sell me Mass Effect 3 for the Xbox 360 for £16.85 - which is actually *cheaper* than the boxed PC version at £17.86. Although, I'll grant you, that price is higher than average: Amazon has the PC version for £9.99, while charging £17 including delivery for the Xbox 360 version.

So, it's taken less than a year for Mass Effect 3 to drop from its purported £49.99 RRP on consoles - a price you'll likely never see unless you frequently buy release-day games from Asda or the like - to under £17. Sure, the PC version can be had for under £10 - but I still wouldn't call £17 a 'fortune.'

As for the Lego games? Lego Batman PS3, £11.99. Sure, that's about double the cost of the PC version, but it's still only twelve quid - and the Lego games tend to hold their value more than most on consoles, as young kids don't really care about the latest and greatest but just want to see their heroes on-screen and they tend to play on console rather than PC.

Grand Theft Auto IV, released in 2008 just like Lego Batman, tells a different story: the PC version costs £13.16, while the PS3 version costs £14.77 - only £1.61 more expensive.

Are console games more expensive than PC games? Indubitably, thanks largely to publishers having to pay a licensing fee to the console manufacturers that is absent on PC releases. Do they "cost a fortune?" Hardly.
rollo 8th February 2013, 12:59 Quote
if you head into Asda or Tesco for major release titles you can save a fortune on the games you buy.

We do our weekly shop at either so if i ever want a major title on release can get them for £25 ( you have to spend so much in the shop to get that price usaully)
Xir 11th February 2013, 08:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Do they "cost a fortune?" Hardly.
You're right, not a fortune.
I get 2-3 PC games for one (equal) WII game here in Germany.
Shopto.net is (sometimes) a bit cheaper, but not always.

Got great deals via shopto.net on the raving rabbits partygames, but the lego ones and Zelda aren't coming down, most are ~25-30€ while their PC versions are 10€
Gomfs 13th August 2013, 19:59 Quote
50$ a game or less at release? damn i want games that cheap up here in Norway in local shops too...
instead its more like 85 to 105$ for a new PS3 game here. x360 usualy a little cheaper but not mutch
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