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nofear360 (User)

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OUYA: Dead on arrival

nofear360 | 1302d ago
User blog

From my Wordpress blog: http://zantoplisek.wordpres...

The game industry is currently abuzz with the Kickstarter success of OUYA, “a new kind of video game console” as described by its creators. It reminds me a lot of how Apple started out in the early days – rebels in the world of Orwellian corporations. What it fails to do in my eyes, however, is convince me of being able to reach its lofty goals – revolutionizing the suffering console market. When you take a split-second glance at it, you see disruptive innovation written all over it. Look harder, though, and the mask starts to fall apart piece by piece. Here’s why.

Open platform, no gatekeepers = anarchy at its best

The company says it will let developers release whatever their hearts will desire. That means there will be no curation and ill-intentioned developers will be able flood the store with drivel, no questions asked. Want to make a quick buck and sell trash to consumers? Go ahead, there’s nobody stopping you! Yes, each game (or app) will require developers to give away a sequence for free, but what if that sequence is not indicative of the final product? What if the whole thing is orchestrated so as to mislead the consumer? Potential voting systems, you say? Those can easily be abused. Lack of curation is clearly not the answer.

This also begs the question: How will gamers find the good games in the midst of a sea of apps? Don’t forget, the sea which includes trash that other platforms ditch at first sight (or at least aim to do that).

And then there is piracy which will likely be a big problem from the get-go. Android is known to have a high level of piracy as it is and OUYA seems like it will only take it a step further.

This bring us to the most troubling hole I personally see in OUYA’s strategy – its target audience.

Target audience not interested

Clearly, the core gamer is the voluptuous woman (or man, whatever floats your boat) OUYA is wooing here. And, as we are all well aware, core gamers are not the biggest fans of social/mobile games, especially those associated in any kind of way with the three dreaded letters – F2P (free-to-play). The company makes a big mistake describing their games as “free to play” right on their introductory Kickstarter page, even though this definition of theirs also includes paid titles with demos and subscription-based games.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s a much bigger problem for F2P games on OUYA. It is said that around 10% of the total user base consists of paying users when it comes to F2P titles. That’s if you are GREE or DeNA which most companies aren’t. Not even Zynga can get that number. Zynga, the Facebook dominator, enjoys “only” 1.2% of paying users from its dropping number of MAU (monthly active users) which, at the time of writing, sits at 235 million users. Here’s the catch – the majority of these users consists of the casual users who don’t mind paying up to refill their energy bar.

Don’t forget, core gamers don’t like the F2P rule book. Even if a developer, say, decided to make a AAA F2P which would respect the user and would focus on fun first, monetization later, it still wouldn’t be viable, as such a project would cost a lot of dineros. Therefore, to even consider the option of going big in the F2P space, the developer would first need an established audience of large proportions which I don’t see materializing due to the open, free-for-all nature of the platform touched upon earlier.

Yet another problem with the core market, the kind which supports the traditional business model, is that they already own either an Xbox 360 or Playstation 3, both of which offer a plethora of fantastic indie games available from closed, but heavily curated digital stores. Of course, that’s in addition to the more popular high-budget retail titles and supplementary entertainment media services, like Netflix. And let’s not forget that both of these consoles are heavily rumoured to soon go down in price, given the disappointing sales numbers in 2012.

And that’s not all. Also threatening is the eventual arrival of next-gen successors which are rumoured to be unleashed in Fall 2013, at the earliest. You can bet your bottom dollar that quite a few core gamers are heavily anticipating the arrival of this eight console generation and have no problem waiting until they hit store shelves.

Accessibility plays a crucial role too

All throughout the post so far I intentionally ignored the core PC audience. PC gamers are known to be heavy supporters of indie titles, especially the Steam community. They were the ones who gave rise to the incredible success of Minecraft. One might point to them and say they are THE target audience for OUYA, but that would be wrong. PC offers something which OUYA doesn’t and that’s accessibility. Desktops and laptops are EVERYWHERE. People buy them to do indispensable tasks, such as watching cats doing all sorts of crazy shit and, duh, watching porn. That and play video games. Housewives seek relief in going on shopping sprees in FarmVille and core gamers immerse themselves in recreating Westeros in Minecraft. There’s a reason why many of these gamers don’t want consoles – they don’t need one, because PC serves all of their needs, gaming-related or not.

The same goes for iOS and Android platforms. They are mobile phone platforms and their primary use is communication. The games that are available in the app stores are just a (big) plus, nothing more. Mobile phone buyers don’t go “It has Angry Birds, GOTTA get one of those!” prior to purchasing the device. Therefore, equating the iOS/Android user base and potential with OUYA’s Android-based platform in any kind of way is a HUGE no-no.

In short, games available for PC and mobile are highly accessible, because these two consumer electronic devices are so damn wide-spread. EVERYBODY has them. And their primary/sole functions are not gaming. In contrast, OUYA is a dedicated game console.


My conclusion is that OUYA will not enjoy anywhere near the level of success expected by so many people. It will cater to a really small niche of consumers, offering nothing more than a hacker-friendly platform filled to the brim with a plethora of futile games/apps. The capital-lettered console clearly got the attention of the industry, but don’t hold your breath for it to get anything more than that.

Ranma1  +   1302d ago
Lol, You just stole/copied this from here

#1 (Edited 1302d ago ) | Agree(5) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Sephris  +   1302d ago
Wow, you're right. Even down to the pic they used. Plagerism is such a misunderstood thing.......
nofear360  +   1302d ago
That's me actually. It's my first or second time using N4G and I'm still learning the ropes :).

I wanted to post the Wordpress article directly, but couldn't since it's a blog post.

Thanks for reading though! :)

[Posted at the bottom as well]
Sephris  +   1302d ago
I laughed when I read my first article about the Ouya. It seemed to be little more than an over-glorified cell phone, but without the ability to call anyone.

As I read further, I saw who their real target audience was. Hackers. The makers of the Ouya have given the public complete rights to mod the system, and if you screw up your mod...even if you were trying to mod the OS, it doesn't void the warranty. In other words, you could be the crappiest hacker out there, and every time you ruin your Ouya, they just send you another one. It is less of a gamer tool as it is a modder training camp. If it offers any form of multiplayer options, no one but modders will buy it. It's bad enough they interfere with multiplayer on the big consoles. These are at least moderately policed. But who is going to want to pay $99.00 just to play games where everyone but you is cheating?

I agree that the Ouya was just a bad idea all the way around. But if you look at the history of consoles this is commonplace. They way this one is set up it almost looks like they want it to fail. Think of it Like the Dreamcast or Odyssey, but with a mean big brother and his friends that come in and take control of the game you are playing whenever they feel like it. And they feel like messing with you every time you start to play.

Suicide has a name, and it is the Ouya.
nofear360  +   1302d ago
That's me actually. It's my first or second time using N4G and I'm still learning the ropes :).

I wanted to post the Wordpress article directly, but couldn't since it's a blog post.

Thanks for reading though! :)
Sephris  +   1302d ago
Ok...just read what you wrote on your other site. I'm convinced. lol! I'm a Nazi when it comes to plagerism, especially because I don't want to see this site catch hell for what a lazy indie writer does. THANK YOU for showing me you are who you are. After you told me you only wrote for one other site I was coming out all guns blaring.

You are a fantastic writer. I would not want to see your work compromised by a 12 year old wanting to look good.
#4 (Edited 1302d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
nofear360  +   1302d ago
Haha, thanks man! :)

I appreciate your alertness, N4G should be proud to have you.
Sephris  +   1302d ago
Ranma1 was the one that actually noticed it. I just know what it would do for the site if it had been stolen works. So I took over from there.

I look forward to more of what you put out. that article was wonderful.
nofear360  +   1302d ago
Thanks to both of you, much respect! :)

Thanks, I'm glad you liked it.
StayStatic  +   1302d ago
" core gamers don’t like the F2P rule book"

Define a core gamer , because all the hardcore gamers I know play F2P(tribes ascend , BLR , Smite , LOL) AND non f2p as in BF3 , Counter Strike , Starcraft and Diablo whats it matter if you pay $60 now or later if you like the game and enjoy it ? :S

One could define modern warfare 3 as pay 2 win $60 upfront so you can access everything eventually anyways which is even worse considering you may not end liking the game , it's all a matter of perspective ... pay now or later still the same result.

Feels very console centric which is just one portion of the market but nice to see another perspective , just think there is more to be said for an open platform and the f2p market which can be a pain if you don't have a credit card at the ready ... or paypal :D.

Then again a PC will probably suit all the needs the OUYA provides so I'm still on the fence about this one , good article in that respect :)
#6 (Edited 1302d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
nofear360  +   1301d ago
Those are the core gamers I had in mind, yes. The reason why I think they won't be interested in OUYA (like I say under the Accessibility point) is that the games they play are on PC which everyone living soul has basically. That is why core F2P titles work on PC. They don't want a console, because they don't need it.

Whether it's $60 upfront or not matters, because the former presents a much higher entry cost, whereas the latter (or F2P) doesn't. Casual players don't buy $60 games (with exceptions, of course like Wii Fit; most casual Wii buyers were perfectly content with Wii Sports).

You're right in saying that $60 now basically unlocks what your would pay gradually over time with a F2P title. But most F2P titles don't work in such a fair way. Titles, like FarmVille have muddied the F2P image quite a bit.

The credit card/PayPal part is another problem, exactly :).
Bladesfist  +   1301d ago
I agree with StayStatic. F2P does appeal to core gamers (at least on PC, but that only means it will take a few years before its mainstream on consoles as well). The way I see it as a developer is this. To release a game on the consoles you will generally need multi millions however your games will not always bring back multi millions unless you iterate the same game over again and take parts from the top selling games. This leads to more innovative studios closing doors or going independent.

The idea behind Ouya is great. It seems a bit twisted that people see it as targeting hackers. Here is the truth. They are allowing you to use your hardware. Current consoles only allow you to do what they want you to do on their hardware. Try and do something else with what you have bought and you may receive a lawsuit.

Its great for gamers like me who do not see the point in buying a console as we already have a high end PC. My PC is the central hub for entertainment, development, work and gaming. Ouya is a cheap console so I will not feel like I'm wasting money on a console I will hardly use. Casuals and parents alike when they see a console at such a low price they will buy it.

I believe that Ouya will be a great experiment. Its a console with a lot of the ideology behind PC gaming, open and not dominated by a single company. Most of us independent developers do not have the resources to make a good console game, we can't afford to make those levels of visuals but we can make small fun games and that is where Ouya comes in.
mechlord  +   1301d ago
THis kickstarter thing...ill set up a free-porn for 10 years project. ANy chance anyone is interested?
mechlord  +   1301d ago
But really, i wouldnt mind paying some for the PS4 though...
Bladesfist  +   1301d ago
Kickstarter is for stuff that needs funding as its innovative or different and that means no publisher funding. Sony do not need funding.
mechlord  +   1301d ago
the ps4 will be in a way innovative....and sony isnt necessarily not needing public funding

am messing with you though. what i meant was that i would take the ps4 over any other non handheld console anyday
mechlord  +   1301d ago
ive got a question for the ones into hw specs and whatnot: how powerful is a tegra3 chip? i believe it was mainly made for smartphones and other small devices, im i wrong? can it do 1080p@60 fps will all sorts of effects and whatnot?

to make it a fair fight, given the 720 specs, how does ouya compares?
Bladesfist  +   1301d ago
This may help you make up your mind. The specs are not high end. and this You can not say will it do 1080p @ 60fps because that is up to the game. It does support 1080p though I believe.
#10.1 (Edited 1301d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
angelamills   1300d ago | Spam
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sounld  +   1296d ago
Please, can anyone tell me who the lead singer for the band Dead On Arrival is. I need this info asap, so please help.

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