By Jessica Heitzman
SC Staff Writer
A new generation gaming console was revealed in California on July 10. The Ouya is “an open-source Android-based console that promises television-based gaming,” says GameInformer magazine. “We think it’s time to rethink the way we do business,” says CEO Julie Uhrman.
The gaming world has been under heavy fire for the past year and it’s not getting any better.
Androids and iPhones are making a run for it in the high-tech world. The newest iPhones can do more than just make calls and text messages. Cell phones are now able to download apps and play games like Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja.
Ouya had help to get into production from a funding website, Kickstarter. They raised five million dollars to help the console get itself off the ground.
“The current pricing is still too high for gamers,” says Uhrman, “and it’s becoming expensive for developers to bring games to the TV.”
Because gaming consoles and even games themselves are extraordinarily expensive, the system will only cost $99—compared to a PS3 that’s already six years old or an Xbox 360 that is seven years old for over $200 each.
Usually, new games cost the same flat rate of 60 dollars; however, for the Ouya, developers will be setting the prices for the games, and every game for the console will be in an app store that allows users to play a free demo or a free-to-play model.
“It’s allowing us to bring experimental gameplay to the living room earlier and easier than we could ever do before,” says Robert Bowling, President of Robotoki.
Some of the first games to be released on the Ouya are prequel games based on a new Zombie Franchise, Human Element, created by Bowling himself. Some existing games will be Minecraft and Angrybirds.
Not every gaming company is as enthusiastic as all the people who helped raise the money to develop the system. “I think Ouya is a lot more pipe dream than game changer,” says Jeremiah Slaczka, CEO and creative director of Scribblenauts.
Twisted Pixel’s lead designer, Dan Teasdale, put it more bluntly: “All I see is someone putting an under-powered mobile board in a box and calling it a console.”
Michael Pachter, Wedbush Securities Analysist, believes the console will have no chance of taking players away from famous console manufacturers like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, says GameInformer magazine.
The new console seems like a bust, but only gamers will have control over whether the console lives or dies.
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