Android games for your TV!
The OUYA Gaming Console uses Android 4.1 with a TV-friendly OUYA skin on top.
It runs on a 1.7GHz Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of Flash Storage, HDMI connection outputting 1080p for maximum resolution, USB & Micro USB, wireless controllers that connect via Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n protocols provide internet connectivity or Ethernet port.
OUYA was just an idea form Boxer8 that found its way to KiskStarter. Wanting to upset the 3 power-players they promised a console for cheap, upgraded often, it’ll be totally hackable for users and developers, small, simple and filled with games people want to play.
The OUYA KickStarter campaign reached its goal of $950,000 in only 8 hours breaking funding records. The entire duration of the campaign raised 8.5 million dollars, from 63,416 backers.
During the campaign some developers crawled out of the virtual web to get on board, like Namco Bandai, Square Enix, Cliffhanger Productions, Rapture Games Studios and many more.
The campaign set a release for early 2013 and the console met its ambitious launch date, with stiff reviews from experts to users to backers.
Small can be POWERFUL!
A small 3” cube houses the entire console, and a controller the size of an average Xbox controller.
The ports are located on the back, which includes the power jack, HDMI, USB, Micro USB and Ethernet. You will find the U power button in the center of the glossy top and a fan vent on the bottom. Even with a constant cooling and the continuous streaming the console is very quiet.
The controller isn’t small (about average size), but packs a big punch.
With 2 analog sticks, D-pad, 2 bumpers, 2 triggers, a diamond of buttons and a U power button in the center it’s all standard stuff. The coolest things start with Bluetooth connectivity for wireless play, a trackpad for handy navigation of menus and switching between text boxes.
The button diamond has been given a facelift, instead of A, B, X, Y they have use O, U, Y, A. The A button is where B should be, and O is where A typically is.
Along with good looks the controller has cool functionality. The side panels are removable and house the AA batteries.
Note: Make sure the panels are sealed properly.
On to the gaming!
There are four selections on the home screen — Play, Discover, Make, and Manage — though you’ll only really use two.
Play is your game library, two rows of icons filling the bottom third of your screen — it’s a nice-looking menu, but leaves a lot of unused space on your TV and requires a lot of sidescrolling if you have more than a dozen or so games. This is where the touch pad on the controller comes in really nicely.
Discover is where you go to find more games, through another series of submenus. Featured, VIP Room, Showcase, Our Founders, Trending Now, Genres and Sandbox. “Featured” is where the best games live, chosen by OUYA based not on how many times they’re downloaded, but how much they’re played — we really like this metric, though its success is hard to measure at the moment.
Make is for developers to track builds and apps they’re working on, and it’s also for some reason where the OUYA’s browser resides.
Manage is for settings, pairing new controllers, and the like — there aren’t very many settings, even for things like video resolution, so you won’t use either menu very often unless you’re a developer, in which case, well, you’ll probably use them more.
Currently the best games are Stalagflight, Saturday Morning RPG, and Wizorb, Final Fantasy III, Beast Boxing Turbo, The Ball, Puddle, Cannabalt, Flashbolt 3D, League of Evil, Ice Rage and others.
The Company Boxer8 has teased a handful of partnerships, from XBMC to OnLive which would be really cool.
You will be able to play any game for free. If you then like the game you will be able to donate $ .99 or make a purchase that range from $4.99 – $15.99.
Making a purchase can be very easy, leading to unwanted purchases, so be careful if your controller has any lag.
The OUYA store is on its own when it comes to developers, mostly because Android games don’t work well with the controller. They do work but may have issues with the button configuration or the resolution is set for a smaller screen.
We mention this because you can sideload apps, which is no easy task, let me tell you.
To sideload an app –
Download an APK of a file manager. Upload that APK to a website, ideally one with an easy-to-type URL. Go to the OUYA’s browser, go to that URL, and download the file.
Go back to home, then hit Manage, Advanced Settings, scroll down the Android menu to Storage, then click Downloads, then scroll to the APK you just downloaded. Click on it and install it.
Once you have a file manager, it’s just a matter of finding APKs for all the apps you want adding them to a USB stick or hard drive, plugging it into the OUYA, then going to Make, then Software, opening up your file manager of choice, then navigating through a million menus to get to your APKs.
Once everything’s installed, of course, it also lives in an entirely different place than the games you get straight from OUYA.
Oh, and the ones that do often aren’t compatible with controllers, or require a lot of tweaking to work properly.
You can also look for emulators for old Super Nintendo & Nintendo 64 games in the store.
• 1.7GHz Tegra 3 processor
• 1GB of RAM
• 8GB of Flash Storage
• HDMI connection outputting 1080p for maximum resolution
• USB & Micro USB
• Bluetooth 4.0
• Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n protocols
• Ethernet port
• Wireless Controller
• OUYA store
• OUYA updates
• Emulators – Super Nintendo & Nintendo 64 games
• Hackable – Sideload apps
• Free games or purchase – your choice
This opens a door for total hackability but falls short of an open platform. I couldn’t imagine the average users will be sideloading apps, since there will be updates.
If the updates from OUYA are not cutting it, here is a list of Sideloadable apps and if you are having trouble please leave a comment. We will respond with the most information we can, as soon as we see the comment.
Thank you for reading our review and Enjoy your OUYA!