Ouya is a brave device. Rather than offering a tablet or smartphone, the company has developed an Android-powered console that takes the experience of mobile gaming and blows it up. If you’re constantly fed up with the limited screen real estate of a Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HD, the Ouya lets you sit in front of your TV and game as you normally would, for much cheaper than if you bought a Wii U. But does that make the Ouya better than traditional consoles?
Aside from its gaming capabilities, Ouya was always promised to be a hackable little box with unlimited potential. At just $99, the console took everything people enjoyed about Android gaming and made it more open, and still relatively portable given its size. Sure, you can’t pick up and play the Ouya on an airplane, or on a long car ride. But it adds new possibilities to the growing market of Android gaming, which is getting better by the day.
The concept of Ouya is there, and the little box and controller certainly look nice. But what will ultimately drive this device is what’s running under the hood—Android, Ouya’s interface, functionality, games—and how Ouya shapes that experience against more traditional consoles. The device isn’t even available to consumers yet, so we’re in the very early days of Ouya’s life. There’s certainly room for growth, and we’re excited to see how it transforms over the next few months.