Can the Ouya Overcome its Rocky Start?

Serious gamers will likely feel that the Ouya doesn't offer enough variety. As a new system, it just doesn't have that many games. Using an emulator opens a new world of possibilities. Instead of waiting for new games, players can enjoy older ones desi

When Boxer8 announced a Kickstarter campaign for its Ouya microconsole, it took less than 12 hours for the company to meet its $950,000 goal. Money continued to pour in, adding up to more than $8.5 million.

Despite this initial support, a lot of people find Ouya underwhelming. That's left a lot of early supporters wondering when the Ouya can overcome its rocky start. After more than half a year of retail sales, developers and game players have finally found reasons to like the console, again. Here are four reasons some see a bright future for the Android game system.

Emulators Let Ouya Revive Old Games

Serious gamers will likely feel that the Ouya doesn't offer enough variety. As a new system, it just doesn't have that many games.

Using an emulator opens a new world of possibilities. Instead of waiting for new games, players can enjoy older ones designed for consoles like the Nintendo Game Boy, SEGA Dreamcast, and Sony PSP. The gamer just has to shut their window blinds and begin the gaming marathon. Whether they are a real estate agent in Albuquerque or a doctor in New York, they can enjoy this new world of possibilities. 

Anyone who misses older games can install emulators on their Ouya systems. This alone could make Ouya worth its $100 price.

Controller Upgrades are Easy

Ouya comes with its own controller, but plenty of people find it cumbersome.

If you have an older game system sitting around the house, you might have controllers that'll improve the Ouya's playability. The PS3's controller, for instance, works with Ouya via Bluetooth or USB.

Some controllers only function properly while playing games with emulators. The Wii controller, for instance, only works with Wii games. Others, like the PS3 controller, work with or without emulators.

This gives players more options than they have with any other system. That's a big reason to see a brighter future for Ouya and they might need a quick moving company like for their new plush office if the future plays out well.

(Ouya says that it has designed an improved version of its native controller. At the end of 2013, though, buyers didn't know which version they got with their systems until they opened their boxes. The new controller should become the standard in 2014.)

Indie Game Developers Offer Plenty of Variety

Most companies that build game systems expect to make money from games. They can keep console prices relatively low because they expect a flood of profits from popular titles.

Ouya takes a different route by opening development to indie game designers.

Expect to find a lot of games that obviously weren't made by professionals. That means you'll encounter a lot of buggy software. It also means that you get to play experimental games built by people who want to push boundaries.

Some games worth noting include:

  • Polarity
  • The Secret of Universe Alpha
  • Riding Rhodri
  • No Brakes Valet

Keep in mind that these are not polished games. They have their issues. But they're still fun to play (and many are free).

Since these games aren't as complicated as those created for newer, bigger consoles, you can download them quickly. Just make sure you have a fast Internet connection, the faster it is, the smoother your Ouya experience will be. 

Sideloading Possibilities

Ouya has a limited library, but that doesn't mean you can't sideload apps to get more out of your system. Since Ouya uses a version of Android, you can potentially install any app created for Android devices.

Not every app will work with Ouya. Some of them don't work well with the controller. Others just don't respond well to the version of Android that Ouya uses.

Some of the most important apps, however, will change the way you think about your microconsole. Consider installing:

  • Netflix
  • Spotify
  • Pandora
  • NOVA Launcher
  • Dropbox

Suddenly you have a cheap game console that also works as a DJ, video player, and file sharer.

Ouya might not have revolutionized the gaming industry overnight, but it has changed the way that many people look at what inexpensive consoles can do when paired with good apps.

What apps, modifications, and hacks have you used to improve your Ouya? Does the system's low price make you feel more comfortable when you modify it to suit your needs?

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