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Why I will just "wait and see" if the OUYA delivers

by Sergio Rosa on 07/16/12 02:12:00 pm   Featured Blogs

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The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
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This is part of a blog post I made this weekend on my blog, where I touched on different subjects including the OUYA (I just changed this a little because this is not my personal blog :) ). For this reason, this is a short post, because it's just a part of a longer post.

I’m betting almost all of you have heard about the OUYA. Well, basically it’s an Android-based console, and the makers are aiming to make it an open platform where all developers can post their games as long as they are either free to play, or have a demo version. To tell the truth, a new device is always interesting to me, but there are a few things that make me rethink everything about this new console.

The most obvious concern to me is the fact that it’s an open platform. According to my definition, an open platform is a platform where everyone, and I mean EVERYONE can publish their games. To me this is a concern because open can mean there’s no quality control.

I know the PC is THE open platform, because anyone can make a game and put it out there. There are a lot of good and bad games for the PC, but the system "just works" (no pun intended). However, mobile game stores can't seem to deal with the problem, although I think there are way more games for mobile than for the PC. Just to clarify, I'm talking about the PC, and about finding any game in the dark corners of the internet. I am not talking about game online stores like Steam (after all, Steam is not an open platform).

I am not old enough to know all the ins and outs of the 80’s game crash, but I do remember part of it was caused by ATARI’s open platform, because many wanted to just "cash in" and develop quick not-so-good games (ok, bad games). Many have said this can be a serious problem for mobile stores, so I don't see how this can't be a problem for the OUYA since it wants to be an open platform.

Also, you can’t just take your Android game and publish it on the OUYA. This is obvious if you know the differences between designing for mobile (touch-screen based) devices and devices with controllers. There's also the screen size issue. Having a bigger screen at your disposal means you can design the game differently, and these elements can add to the cost of developing the game.

By the way, I don't develop Android games, but I've heard piracy is a big problem in that platform? I've also seen console emulators that run on Android, no need to say more, these issues are not good at all.

So, what do you think? Ouyay or nay?

To tell the truth, I’m interested on the device, but I’m taking a “wait and see” approach, because the console may not actually deliver.

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