The Ouya: Making The Jump To Hardware Near You?

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Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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The Ouya: Making The Jump To Hardware Near You?

While the Ouya hasn't exactly made a big splash as its own game console--even news about it has been in short supply--a new development may prove to be a much bigger splash than some might expect. New reports suggest that the Ouya is set to make a jump that actually makes a lot of sense when examined more closely, specifically, to other consoles altogether.

Specific word about which consoles are to be involved in this, sadly, isn't really available yet, but Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman described plans in which Ouya officials were talking to other hardware manufacturers back during the Consumer Electronics Show. Reports suggested that the various hardware manufacturers were interested--Uhrman describes the "takeup" as being "so great that we're really jumping into the strategy with both feet this year." The Ouya itself will serve as a "reference device" for other manufacturers to put to work in bringing the software to other devices.

There are still plenty of unanswered questions to go with this news, like just which platforms will be ending up with Ouya compatibility, and just what form same will take. Now, the obvious and potentially best answer is "as many as possible," so as to allow the broadest possible experience and open the floor up. Android would seem to be a great stop for this as many of the compatibility issues would likely be easy to resolve, and if this could show up on iOS and Windows Phone hardware, well, that really opens up the floodgates. The likelihood that these two walled gardens would allow plants from a completely different walled garden, however, is probably pretty slim. So it's over to the consoles.

Putting Ouya software on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or Wii U--or the next-generation hardware equivalents Xbox One and PlayStation 4--might be an even better idea, as it would help open up the platform and give those eager for new games--particularly those who bought in on the newer platforms--a little something to chew on while waiting for the major triple-A entree, so to speak. Indie games have already done pretty well on the consoles, so introducing a whole new ecosystem of indie games could be a real draw. Issues of compatibility might be tougher to resolve on console ports, but given that Angry Birds has been seen working with Kinect, it may not be such an issue after all.

There's plenty of opportunity here for Uhrman et al to make the Ouya a huge part of gaming as we know it, but the question that inevitably follows is one of execution. The execution is going to be a big part of the whole equation, and seeing just how Ouya turns this possibility into a reality will be, indeed, something to see.
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