Julie Uhrman, the CEO of OUYA, the upcoming Android gaming console, has revealed her company’s strategy on hardware updates. In an interview with Engadget, she revealed that OUYA’s strategy will be similar to mobile devices whereby new models are introduced on an annual cycle.
OUYA plans to take advantage of better technology and lower costs, a common strategy among phone manufacturers but a huge difference compared with the 5 to 7 year cycles of the current game consoles. To allay nervous gamers, Uhrman reveals that all games will be backwards compatible and the games themselves are tied to the gamer like Steam, rather than to the hardware like a traditional console.
Looking at the current games that are available on the Android Play Store today and how Android game development has matured over the years, this strategy may backfire on OUYA.
Game developers tend to cater to as many users as possible. When you have a huge number of hardware variations for Android devices, you need to aim for a lower denominator. That means moderating on the hardware requirements.
Only a handful of developers will aim for only the top end of Android devices due to a much more limited market. On a traditional console, you can squeeze the max out of the hardware knowing that every one of your target audience has identical hardware.
This may not be so much of a problem in the OUYA’s first year. When OUYA 2 comes out next year, will the developers take advantage of the better hardware or just play it safe with a game that caters to OUYA 1 owners as well? If gamers do not see improvements in the new games, will they bother to replace their OUYA?
If developers do not bother to max out the hardware capabilities of the OUYA, will there still be a marked difference between normal made for Android games and those that are customized for the OUYA? If the games on your phone look and play the same as the ones on the console, will you still bother with the console?
I am undoubtedly an Android fan and I would like the OUYA to succeed but for now I am still not convinced. I still think that thing going for the OUYA right now is the low price.
What do you think of the OUYA’s chances? Leave your comments below.
Via Android Central