Who would have predicted eight months ago that, on the tail of the big PS4 announcement, an independent Android-based upstart would be stealing the show? OUYA looks to radically change how consumers access and play games in the living room. With $8.5 million already raised, a super-excited audience, and a sleek, compact form, they are poised to give the big platforms a big bellyache.
From the perspective of console manufacturers, it must seem the largest threat to their primordial dominance of the Console Age are the tiniest of devices spreading faster than the “Harlem Shake”. Research from PlayScience being published by the Casual Games Association later this month (sign up to get your free copy) indicates children are fast adopting parent’s handheld devices as their preferred play device, and now the OUYA (and it’s competitor, GameStick – see a charming lecture from PlayJam CEO Jasper Smith) potentially takes another bite from the overall console games market. Even the mainstream press is picking up on the potential demise of “Big Console” despite millions spent each year on PR to suggest otherwise.
Even before launch, we’ve seen developers loving the OUYA platform. At the Indie Showcase at Casual Connect Europe this year, we happened upon a glowing OUYA box complete with a fun game named STALAGFLIGHT developed at the Nordic Game Jam.
Ready, set, go!
The long 9 month wait is over with Julie Uhrman’s announcement that games uploaded to OUYA, starting today, will be available on OUYA when consoles start to ship out on March 28th.
OUYA will select from the top games, uploaded before March 28th, to feature in a series of short documentaries about the game, the developer, and the story about making the game. These videos will be part of OUYA launch marketing campaigns starting in June. Since free promotion and distribution is pretty hard to come by these days, you better get going if you want to take advantage of a considerable head start in the mini-console market.
OUYA was created in 2012 by Julie Uhrman, a video game industry veteran who saw an opportunity to open up the last closed game platform — the TV. Julie and an initial team of game developers and advisors brought the concept to life, with the help of Yves Behar and fuseproject, and took OUYA to Kickstarter in July of 2012. It became one of the most successful Kickstarter projects ever, with tens of thousands of backers pledging to help bring OUYA to life. OUYA’s first consoles are planned to ship March 28th.
In case you missed it, more about the beginnings of OUYA directly from Julie this past summer at the IGDA Summit at Casual Connect: