The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 11
Before I get to tonight's blog, I'm going to embarrass
myself with a story from my childhood. When I was a kid there was this brand of
tennis shoe all the cool kids were wearing called KangaROOS, aptly named
because they had a little zippered pocket stitched into the side. It was more for
cosmetics than functionality, but if you had KangaROOS, you were pretty cool. Alas,
I did not have a pair. No, what I had...was Wal-Mart's version, the Pac Rat. This
is a true story; I'm not even making this up.
They didn't have a zippered pocket, they had a Velcro pocket.
I told my mom I hated them, but she told me we couldn't afford name brand shoes...and
the only difference was the name. I suppose it was about two or three weeks
later when my cheap shoes busted a stitch and in no time, I couldn't wear them anymore.
In my experience, there is a degree of name brands having inflated prices, but
there is also a degree of you get what you pay for. Sometimes buying a name
brand gets you better quality.
Okay, moving on.
A few days ago marked an important event in the world of
video games. Unfortunately the event ended up being fairly lackluster. It was a
day many insisted would never come and a day others didn't really care if happened
On June 25, 2013 the Ouya was released to the public for
I was a bit skeptical of the Ouya but as a gamer and
blogger, I try to stay up on current events and new technology so I can be
informed when I write about them, if I choose to write about them. Truth be
told, I haven't heard much about the Ouya since its release, except maybe for a
couple news stories about how some of the supporters still haven't received their
products before it was available in the stores like it was promised. I've read
a few reviews and I have to say, most were not very positive. These were even reviews
from reputable websites like PC Mag and Mashable, not disgruntled customers.
I haven't seen the little cube yet, nor have I played it.
So, I'm not going to rehash what others who have played it are saying about it.
You can find plenty of write-ups for it if you're interested. But I am going to
discuss the fascinating dynamic surrounding the Ouya that I'm not quite sure I
The Ouya's Kickstarter project holds a number of records and
-It reached its fundraising goal in 8 hours.
-It holds the record for the best first day performance of any
project hosted to date.
-In the first day it attracted one backer every 5.59
-It reached one million dollars quicker than any other
-It was the eighth project in Kickstarter history to raise
more than a million dollars.
-It raised $8.5 million dollars, Kickstarter's second-highest-earning
Clearly thousands of gamers were interested in this initiative
and invested in the project.
I don't mean that sarcastically. I'm genuinely interested in
what the appeal was. And just as curious, what were those who purchased the
device expecting it to offer. I ask this because there were all sorts of
articles published during the development suggesting the Ouya wasn't trying to
directly take on Microsoft, Nintendo or Sony...but was trying to tap into the
same target audience.
If the audience is there, why aren't they talking about it
One of the biggest issues I've read about since the Ouya's
release is the launch lineup (or lack of). Yet, those who are critical of the
system praise its ability to load emulators, which allows you to play classic
arcade and early console games.
That leads me to wonder,
Do gamers want cheap
or do they want quality?
And just to clarify, by cheap...I mean a cheap price...not cheap
Really, I can only speak for myself and maybe ask others
what they think, but personally speaking...I would rather spend a little bit more
money, especially on a next generation console, and have access to AAA games
than save a little money and be able to play a handful of games developed for the
Ouya...and the ability to play emulators. For the record, you can also run
emulators on other devices, like your PC, iPhone and PSP for example.
A lot of money is invested into making cutting edge
consoles. When you think about the features Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony offer,
are you willing to sacrifice any of them for a price cut. For example, one of
the complaints against the Ouya is the controller feels cheap, the buttons
stick, the touchpad is practically unusable and overall it feels unresponsive and
lags a little. If you ask me, the Ouya controller has to be perfect for the whole
package to succeed. Nobody is going to want to play a game...any game...if the
interface is shoddy.
As far as spending the money, the same is true for the
actual games. I don't mind paying $60 bucks for a game, if it's a quality game.
If I play it and enjoy it, I don't even really think about the money I spent on
it. I certainly don't regret it. I'd like to think I'm a huge supporter of the
indie developers. Limbo remains one of my favorite games of all time, including
those developed by the big name studios. I don't buy indie games just because they're
typically cheaper - I buy them because they're sometimes more original and often
just as good.
The good news, at least for the Ouya, since it's hackable,
the community of hackers, modders and independent developers might be able to
release some content - games, patches, apps and drivers - that makes the low
price a worthwhile investment for those who might choose an inexpensive basic system
over a more expensive advanced solution. With $8.5 million dollars' worth of
investors, clearly there are quite a few interested gamers.