Android takes a bite on console gaming with Ouya

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OOOOOOUUUYA! The masses have spoken, and an Android related Kickstart program goes live. With 28 more days to go, the team behind the OUYA project has been overwhelmed with more than triple their goal amount. They planned to start off with a goal of just $950,000. In just one day, the world shocked the OUYA team with a whopping $2 Million pledge. The Android powered console now has a pledge of $3,142,508.

The world is currently in the smartphone revolution. iOS, Windows 8 and Android operating systems are battling it out to gain supremacy. Of the three operating systems, Android remains to be Open source. Because of this open nature, projects such as this can come into a realization.

The OUYA team realized a need, a need that far outweighed their expectations. Console gaming is not yet dead, just dormant. Now it is about to get disrupted.

We know that people love to play on their phones and tablets. Often times, people would have that silent desire to play those games on a larger screen. There is an urge to put those games on a TV and play like good old fashioned consoles. People have always said that we have barely been able to scratch the surface of the gaming potential of these mobile operating systems. Now might be the time to tear that surface open.

With the Android powered OUYA, people can play their regular Android games on the big screen just like their consoles. It is just about the size of a Rubik’s Cube and it comes with a full sized controller that is comparable to console controllers today. The controller itself is armed with touchpads, buttons, and analog sticks, and possibly more in the future.

The OUYA is apparently going to be powered by a Tegra 3 processor, with 1GB of RAM. What version of Android it will run is still up for debate, but many would argue that it has to run the latest and greatest Android Jelly Bean.

Because of the open nature of Android, and the immediate availability of Android Games in the market, there shouldn’t be any trouble for OUYA to find games that will run on the “console”. Devs won’t have to worry about creating games for new operating systems. They just have to port the games over to Jelly Bean and it will take care of both Console Gaming and Smartphone Gaming.

While the specs are pretty standard, with the abundance of pledges and backers, there is certainly room for improvement. The OUYA team announced a “stretch” incentive, which allows us to suggest added features to make the OUYA even more of a success in playing these Android Games. There are those who were quick to respond.

Since this is a console now, and not a phone that we need to tot around, there is room for a bump in specs that no longer worry about the slimmest figure. One thing that many Android users complain about is the lack of available RAM in the operating systems. That is why there is a request for added RAM.

One thing I could suggest was to increase the memory capacity, which is currently just 8GB. Since games that will be optimized for the OUYA will need to play well on a large screen, it would make sense that downloaded game data for each of these android games might be a lot larger than its smartphone counterparts to accommodate larger textures so that it won’t look too pixelated on screen. Feel free to visit their Kickstart page to put in some awesome suggestions.

While the OUYA is advertised as a console gaming solution, it is far from capable of overturning current generation consoles. There are still some limitations on the capability of a Tegra 3 processor, as well as the overall capability of a mobile OS. Android games cannot replace console games yet, but this is going in a pretty good direction. With a price like $99, there is no other home gaming solution that can match it at this time.

The success of such a project may be anyone’s guess right now, but the sheer amount of pledges they received is enough to say that people want this, and they are throwing money at it like crazy. Hopefully this will finally add another dimension to the growing gaming industry, and finally increase the amount of games being produced for the Android operating system.

Are you excited about this new development as well?

Image sources: tegra3.org, Wired.com, kickstart.com, giantbomb.com