The OUYA released worldwide last week, and that fact alone is worth raising a glass to. Flying in the face of conventional wisdom, Julie Uhrman and company proved that you can create, manufacture and launch a console on the kindness of strangers; promising to disrupt the staid conventions with affordable hardware, free-to-try games and an open approach to ownership. Having backed the campaign myself, I'm genuinely proud to have been a part of this grand endeavour.
Now, however, we have to evaluate the OUYA as a viable console rather than a lovely idea.
Turning up is only half the battle. The Kickstarted cube now faces several tough challenges to cement its place in the living room, and to prove its worth as a £99 investment in gaming pleasure rather than a niche curio. Over what we hope will be an exhaustive review, we're going to look at the OUYA hardware, software and even dismantle the whole thing to come to a final verdict.
Please note that the 'Build Quality & Specifications' section has been transplanted from our OUYA pre-launch review because its still relevant (and I don't bill by wordcount).
In terms of initial impressions, OUYA plays an absolute blinder. It's a devastatingly elegant machine; a simple yet complex minimalist shape that leads the eye with subtle rounded curves thanks to input from veteran designer Yves Behar. Sure, the OUYA is essentially a cube, but somehow manages to look utterly gorgeous when you're able to appreciate it first-hand.
Once emancipated from the box, the stunning good looks are accompanied by solid, rattle-free build quality and a pleasing sense of weight and heft (admittedly due to some metal plates screwed to the interior of the case as ballast, which I discovered when I disassembled the unit - more on that later).Click here to read more...
OUYA is set to hit retail at the end of this month, and as a backer, I've already had an extensive look at the Kickstarted cube both inside and out. This cut-price alternative promises to distrupt traditional consoles with an inclusive take on homebrew and free-to-play development, with every title available to download for free and playable in some form (whether a timed trial, or via microtransactions). Though the pre-launch software lineup is a little on the anaemic side, there's still a number of completely free applications on the marketplace, both in terms of games and handy applications that allow you to make the most of the little cubic contender.
So, to get you started, here are ten fantastic free OUYA games and applications that should net you hours of fun without having to pay a single penny (though a donation to the hard-working developers probably isn't too much to ask...).
Whether you're a Kickstarter backer or are thinking of hopping on the bandwagon at launch, hopefully you'll be able to hit the ground running.
If Vector looks great on Android phones, its big-screen debut is something else. Sporting gorgeous visuals and plenty of unlocks, this Canabalt-inspired parkour platformer packs fluid animations, detailed backdrops, involving gameplay and loads of content for absolutely free.
Hardware optimisation needs work, though, as evidenced by a stuttering frame rate.Click here to read more...