Ouya raised a whopping $8.5 million to bring its Android gaming console to market.It spurred loads of interest in the video game world – it’s an open source, hackable console that will retail for just $99.
On top of it all, every game for Ouya will be free to play (at least, initially).
But it will still have some ground to clear if it hopes to become a household name on the level of the Xbox or the Wii.
We asked some prominent developers for their takes on what it will take for the Ouya to catch mainstream success.
Ilkka Halila is the CTO of Boomlagoon, formerly with Rovio. He told us that “Ouya needs a killer app at launch, something that can show off what it can do. A game that really embraces the fact that it’s running on a TV instead of a tablet, and is controlled with an actual gamepad instead of a touch-screen. It’ll both show consumers why they’d want an Ouya as well as show other developers what they can achieve with it.”
According to Daniel McNeely, founder of armour Games, the developers will have to embrace it in a serious way before the public ever will. He told us that “the success of Ouya will be largely dependent on the developer community supporting it. Ouya has already done a great job of reaching out to mainstream and indie developers, so they will hit the ground running once Ouya launches.”
And Brandon Pollet, president of F5 Games, thinks Ouya still has to clear the public awareness hurdle.
“The main problem I see is that the only people who know about Ouya are developers and gamers who follow Kickstarter or are plugged into gaming news,” he said. “For Ouya to really be successful, and to start the kind of revolution they are shooting for, they are going to need a serious retail presence that will allow them to display the benefits of Ouya to the average consumer.”
So there are two goals to tackle – creating and flaunting great games, and getting more general exposure.
If Ouya can successfully inform the normals that it’s selling a $99 console that comes with loads of free games and the ability to play Xbox and Playstation games through OnLive, then the world will become its oyster.