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...
Despite still being in the final stages of its Kickstarter campaign, the Android-powered Ouya console is gathering serious momentum. Square Enix is the latest publisher to back the brave attempt to shake up the console market, pledging that the iPad/DS revamp of Final Fantasy III will be available at launch, and they'll follow it up with more games and content. With luck, they'll also start to throw some of their other IPs at the device - and other publishers will follow suit. [via Square Portal]