Most current video game consoles are locked down tighter than a drill sergeant’s daughter. If you try to hack any part of the system, you could even face the full brunt of the console maker’s fury. That’s where the OUYA is different.
The maker’s of the OUYA want to throw a big middle finger to the three main console makers by allowing their console to be rooted. They’re also looking for the OUYA to be the home of cheaper, more experimental games, something the bigger consoles lack. One of their main bullet-points on their Kickstarter page is that any game on the system needs to offer something free, while while supplementing it with micro-transactions. If this system is successful, it could set the precedent for the next Microsoft and Sony consoles if they decide to dabble in free-to-play games.
The reason why this system is so easy to hack? It is based on Android firmware. Having the system based on Android is also beneficial to indie developers, many have already released games on the platform. What makes this system more appealing than other android devices is the controller. One look at the OUYA’s controller, and you can definitely see a resemblance to other well-known controllers. But it has one unique feature: a touchpad in the center.
The group that can see the most benefit from the OUYA is the indie game crowd. Right now it is simply not viable for most indie game developers to try to target the home console demographic. This is especially true on the Xbox, where it takes multiple menus to even find an indie game. It has already gotten the support of many indie developers, such as Mojang, creators of Minecraft.
The OUYA definitely seems like something to keep an eye on, and at $99 it seems like it could find a place in my entertainment system. The OUYA has just passed its goal of $950,000 on Kickstarter, so I am interested to see what happens next.
Source: The OUYA Kickstarter