Hands on with the OUYA

Hands on with the OUYA

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The OUYA (see Macho Man) is an Android powered game console that is about to join the fray. The system is small, compact and does not quite pack the punch of the current gen consoles. However, that is the not the point of this device.

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Size comparison to a beer can.

The controller is comparable in size to the Xbox 360.

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The OUYA packs the following specs in its rather small frame:

− CPU: NVIDIA Tegra 3 Quad-Core
− Memory: 1GB RAM
− Storage: 8GB Internal Flash Storage (Expandable via USB Port)
− USB: One USB 2.0 Port, One Micro USB port
− Connectivity: WiFi (802.11 b/g/n), Ethernet Port, and Bluetooth
− Output: HDMI (up to 1080p HD)

The controller uses a Bluetooth connection, is quite comfortable to hold and shares what has become a fairly standard button/joystick/trigger configuration.

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The focus for this console is game development with an open environment for creators to submit content and have it be reviewed an played by peers and consumers with minimal barriers to entry.

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As of this post they are approaching 200 games that are available for download for a demo and then a purchase to unlock the free version. Eventually there should be 3rd party software for the console as well to improve the experience, maybe even a Netflix app because that would really bring things to the next level.

I tried out the following games:

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Fist of Awesome is a crazy 8-bit styled adventure that hearkens back to the early days of beat’em ups on consoles. This awesome mix of simulated bear violence was great and the two levels I played through was just about tempted to go ahead and pull the trigger on the full version. I almost forgot to mention the oversized talking fist. Yeah.

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Next up was Saturday Morning RPG

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The title pretty much sucked me in, man was this full of 80s cartoon cliches and I couldn’t have been happier. Just take a look at the below screenshot.

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Puddle, again something else that suckered me in with the title.

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This game turned out to be somewhat challenging and seemingly mostly a free to play game. When it worked, it worked great. When it started crashing and putting me back to the mainscreen, it got a bit frustrating. Hopefully this gets an update soon. The idea here is to get a specific kind of liquid (coffee, water, oil, etc) past certain obstacles that can change the nature of said liquid (oil burns, water evaporates). Pretty straight forward and some of the level had a bit of a Sonic Genesis feel to them.

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BombSquad was up next.

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Pretty solid multiplayer here, anything with an Arnold sounded strong man as a character is more than OK in my book. Single or multiplayer the action is intense and keeps things interesting with different bomb style drops.

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Finally, Beast Boxing Turbo. Pretty standard boxing fair here, tough learning curve and the twist on the story is that you’re a human in disguise entering into mutant boxing league. Solid game with decent mechanics.

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The most interesting item in the games section right now are the emulators, this will take a bit of sophistication to get up and running but having a back catalog of older games really could do nothing but help this console. This experience reminds me a bit of the Wii HomeBrew channel, a great way to access additional content and possibly some emulators.

Final Thoughts

First and foremost I want to thank our good friends at Fabling Game Studios for the loan of the console. This was something I was quite interested in but never got around to jumping in for the kickstarter. Unlike a lot of folks currently waiting they were able to acquire theirs while visiting E3. This console does not substitute for any current or upcoming systems, but it does have a lot of potential for games that you are unlikely to see on either let alone established app stores for tablets. Best outcome is that this becomes a hot bed for development and experimentation and also part lexicon for the history of our beloved older games.

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About Charles Lynch, Reviews Editor

Charles co-hosts The Gentlemen Radio (podcast on this site) with J. Patrick Ohlde, Jeffrey Stephenson and one other gentlemen. He is a beard and beer enthusiast, enjoys short walks in the mountains and video games. He has a degree in Business Management from the University of Arizona that he is doing absolutely nothing with. He is an actor, voice actor, sometimes animator, rarely a homebrewer and hosts a show on YouTube about beer culture (youtube.com/spentgrains).

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One Response to “Hands on with the OUYA”

  1. jasonsf June 25, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    Nice review. See if Fabling can get their hands on a GamePop device to compare.

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