Ouya, the Android gaming console that was once the darling of Kickstarter, has largely sunk into anonymity since its actual launch. However the little device continues to launch new games and update its operating system to improve both performance and user interface.
Now the company is rolling out its latest update, this one taking the OS to a version known as “Jackalope”. The update contains a number of improvements, including a new 5-star rating system for all games, the ability to postpone system updates, altered functionality of the “O” and “U” buttons on the controller, better support for navigation with Bluetooth and IR remotes, rank numbers for the “Now Trending”, and a number of bug fixes.
If you don’t get this update right away, please go to MANAGE -> SYSTEM -> SYSTEM UPDATES to grab it. You can also watch the video below to get an idea of what to expect.
My Ouya finally came late yesterday afternoon. First a little background from me, I am not a gamer, I have no hand to eye coordination so I am not very good, but I enjoy playing them. I have been without a gaming console for a couple of years now and I miss not having one. I had thought about buying a Xbox 360 or a Playstation 3 but I couldn’t bring my self to pay $400 to $500 on a console that I knew was going to be replaced in a short time. When I heard all the noise about the new gaming console that was a Kickstarter project called Ouya I became intrigued. So, at the beginning of April after the Kickstarter project had become successful I preordered one. The email I received from Ouya stated that I would not receive the console until June, which was fine with me. I was aware how Kickstarter worked. However I have to admit when yesterday rolled around and I started seeing articles that the Ouya would be available for purchase at places like Amazon, Best Buy, Target and more I was a little upset that I hadn’t received mine yet. I was therefor very happy when my husband came in with it, saying it had been thrown in the bushes.
The Ouya comes in a small box about the size of a shoe box but slightly narrower. In the box you get the console, one controller, a power cable, a HDMI cable and a brief instruction book. The Ouya console itself is quite small. It is only three inches by three inches by three inches and is square with a rounded front. The console is made of plastic, but feels fairly solid and heavy for it size. There is a fan on one end and the power button on the other end. On the back there is a HDMI port, a power input, an ethernet input and a USB input. I was actually pleasantly surprised that a HDMI cable came with the console, although it is fairly short. The controller, which is bigger then the console does feels cheap. You can tell that it was made from a mold. The buttons on the controller are placed similar to how the Xbox controller is set up. Because it is so large and I have small hands (although normal I think for a women) it does feel a little awkward to me.
The setup went fairly smoothly after and initial hiccup. Because the Ouya is black I didn’t see the power button on the front, so when I first plugged the Ouya in and connected it to my monitor and nothing happened I was quite upset. I even tried a different outlet and still nothing. I was getting ready to send it back, when I took a closer look at it and noticed the indentation on the front face and when I pushed it the power came on. A simple red line around it to indicate power would have been appreciated. That problem solved the rest of the set up went fairly quickly and without a hitch. It does take some time since it has to be updated with the latest firmware. During the setup process you do have to provide a credit card number so you will need to have one available. Once setup is done you have to pair the controller. I had no problem with that once I figured out that the batteries went into the wings of the controllers. I have noticed also that the controller loses its pairing with the console occasionally. Not when playing a game but when I restart the console I will sometimes will have to reconnect the controller to it. Once you fire the Ouya up the first screen you will see is the management screen on it there is an option to play the games you have already chosen, discover new games, make a new games (if you are a developer) and manage your account, and the system.
Most of the games you will find on the Ouya are not ones you will recognize, unless you play a lot of independent games. However there are some that will feel familiar to you even if the names are different. There is one called Polarity which is a lot like Portal and another one called Puddle which reminds me of World of Goo my iPad. There were a some games I did recognize like Final Fantasy III, You Don’t Know Jack and Canabalt. I played a little bit of a couple of games, including Polarity and Puddle and everything seemed to work fine. The reaction time between when I pushed the button on the controller and the movement on the screen was a little slow, but not terrible. If this had been a $500 machine I would have said it was pretty bad, but for $99.00 it is fine. That is the one thing I would tell anyone who buys a Ouya to remember is that this console only cost you $99.00 and if you compare it to an Xbox 360 or a Playstation 3 you will be highly disappointed. However if you remember that it is a $99.00 console I think you will have a lot of fun playing the games that are available on it. You may even find some independent games that you really like. Overall despite the few problems, so far I am happy I purchased the Ouya. If you are looking for a gaming console you can play on your TV and it will not break the bank, then the Ouya is worth a look.
Ouya, the much anticipated Android game console that took off on Kickstarter, moves closer to launch. Early backers are already receiving their boxes — word to Ouya: I am still waiting. Now the company announces a new round of funding and an official launch date next month.
Company CEO Julie Uhrman tells us the console maker is “thrilled to share that OUYA has raised $15 million in funding from new investors. This is a really important step towards being around for the long haul”.
The company has also pushed the console release date back. Originally scheduled for June 4, Ouya now announces an official launch date of June 25. Uhrman also tells us “this change in ship date does not affect backer shipments. We’re still on track to have units shipped to our early backers – from both Kickstarter and OUYA.tv preorders before the end of May”.
I expect I shall receive my console soon — I pre-ordered very early on, the day that pre-orders opened, in fact. Stay tuned for a full review when I finally receive my device.
Ouya was the darling of the tech news cycle not long ago as they rocketed up the KickStarter charts to (likely) record donations (no real records seem to exist). If you aren’t familiar, Ouya is a proposed gaming console that will be based on the Android operating system, and is expected to launch in early 2013. The box has been highly anticipated and netted $8.5 million in donations after looking to solicit only $950,000.
After the KickStarter funding round closed, the console became available for pre-order to those who didn’t donate, but wanted to receive an early edition of the product. This is where I bought in. I ordered a device, expected to ship sometime around next April, and threw in a second controller because, after all, what fun would it be if I couldn’t play against my wife, daughter or son? The price was reasonable – only $139. I was also assured that I wouldn’t be charged until the thing actually shipped, which is generally standard practice.
Ouya, as it turns out, claims they were misled by PayPal and customers placing a pre-order were actually charged immediately for the console. While they are issuing apologies, and offers for refunds (which will cancel your order), there really isn’t much else they can do. An inquiry sent to the company was met with following prompt reply:
Unfortunately, we were misled by our PayPal representative (the main reason we’re no longer working with PayPal).
We understand it’s not cool and, believe us, that’s not how we wanted it to go either.
If you’re not comfortable, we can process a cancelation for you. Just let us know.
If you are interested in pre-ordering (even after knowing this) or simply want more information about the new gaming console, then head over to ouya.tv.