Ouya Review

Ouya Video Game System
Ouya Video Game System (Photo credit: KaR]V[aN)
It has only been a week since I purchased an Ouya, and I’m actually happy to have a gaming console in my home again. I have had a very strained history with gaming consoles as of late. I loved my NES, SNES, and N64. I then moved to the PS2, which was ok, but the majority of the available games weren’t as fun as they were in Nintendo’s ecosystem, so I picked up a Wii. The Wii eventually became old news and I picked up an Xbox 360, but I had the same trouble finding a game I really liked as I did with the PS2, so I picked up a Wii U, which was just one big mistake. The Wii U suffered from buggy software, slow hardware, and a complete lack of games. It’s hard to fall in love again with the Nintendo ecosystem of games when there is simply a lack of games period. Over the years, I picked up plenty of games that I enjoyed on my iPad, so I considered my days of console gaming to be over, until I picked up an Ouya.

I instantly felt at home on the Ouya. Not only does it feature a ton of games which harken back to the pre-Wii Nintendo era that I was so fond of, but you can also grab a wealth of fully functional emulators for the Ouya, all the way from arcade to N64. Speaking as simply as possible, the Ouya is a powerful Android phone with no phone bits that uses your TV as its screen. Plus, because the Ouya doesn’t run off a battery, it can crank the maximum performance out of its hardware while running anything that can run on Android, and that’s where its charm lies.

Games that run on Android or iOS are very similar to the size/scope and design sensibilities or what ran on the pre-Wii Nintendo consoles, because that’s pretty much what the hardware supports. It may not sound like much these days, but these devices are phones, not huge blocks of hardware that sit under your TV. The Ouya itself is no bigger than a coffee mug. Take a coffee mug and place it on top of your fancy Xbox or Playstation, then think about that for a second.

Will the Ouya ever run games like Halo 4 or Battlefield 3? Of course not, but it can run Towerfall, Knightmare Tower, Shadowgun, and 350 other games, including a variety of older console emulators. Why hunt for new games when you could just play all of the games you used to love, back on your TV with a controller in your hands, just like the old days? Well, it’s still worth it to try the new games. Just take a look at Towerfall for a moment.

That’s the type of fun, stylistic, and rapid local-multiplayer game that I miss. Remember local-multiplayer? If you’re fond of it, there are quite a few local-multiplayer games available for Ouya. Are you worried about trying games you’ve never heard of before? Don’t be! The Ouya marketplace requires that developers make a portion of their games free to play with an in-app purchase to unlock the entire game (though there are plenty of 100% free games). Curious about a game? Try it for free. Don’t like it? Delete it. Like it? Pay to unlock the entire game, sometimes for as little as $0.99. No more need to buy $50 discs that you can only sell back for $20 once you realize that you made a huge mistake.

Speaking of price, the Ouya is only $99 with the controllers priced at $49 (one comes with the console), though most games in the Ouya marketplace support the current Playstation or Xbox controllers, so you could pay less for a generic one of those. With a $99 console and free-to-try games for as little as $0.99, the Ouya vastly undercuts any gaming console on the market today as far as price goes.

If you long for the games of your past, or games like the ones from your past, grab an Ouya today! You won’t be disappointed.

8 responses

  1. Nice review. I’m tempted to buy one but it looks like Amazon.co.uk and Game are charging £99 for it. That’s $153! Maybe I can convince someone in the US to let me use their address and they can bring it to the grand meetup.. 😉

    1. Or just ship it to HQ for the grand meetup. We can all gather around for endless nights of Goldeneye, and you can take it home after. 🙂

      1. That’s a good idea! I already have 2 wired Xbox 360 controllers and 2 PS3 controllers so no reason to buy another controller. Now to convince my wife ..

        1. The Ouya only has one USB port, so it’ll only be able to support one of those wired controllers, but with the included Ouya controller, you’ll still have a set of four usable controllers.

          1. If I get it I’ll buy a USB hub to plug the other controllers in. 🙂

            1. Cool, I didn’t know if that would work, so I just did a quick search myself. It looks the Ouya can support multiple wired controllers with a hub, even if the hub is unpowered, which is actually quite cool.

  2. Thanks for this review. I’m tempted 🙂

    I read in some other reviews that the controllers are rather poor quality and that the keys have a tendency to stick. Did you experience that on yours?

    1. The controllers aren’t too bad. They fixed most of the sticking key problems in the retail release.

      The only problem I have run into is that I tend to mash the O button on racing games hard enough that it gets lodged below the casing, but it can be released with just a light tap. It’s slightly annoying, but not bad enough for me to replace it with a PS3 controller.