So I bought a 1st-gen OUYA console recently and wanted to share my first impressions here:
My global opinion regarding this small, handy cube is quite positive, certainly more than originally thought. Very much in its favor, the Ouya:
- has an appealing, snug design
- has a surprisingly good graphics display thanks to HDMI
- is affordable and user-friendly, also due to its Android-based system
The (wireless) gamepad feels good both by its weight and to the palms thanks to the metal plates which cover the left and right handle where the two AA batteries are put. The color buttons display the four letters that gave the Ouya its name: O – U – Y – A, in addition to L1/R1, L2/R2, and L3/R3. Up to four gamepads can be connected at once, for what PS3 controllers can be used alternatively.
The User Interface is a bit similar to Google Play on Android; until now all the games are free for download and trial, which in future is being left to publishers/developers. The games and applications aren't too big in size, mostly just some hundred MB, so that in addition to the 8 GB (~ 6 GB) and soon 16 GB internal storage, they can easily be downloaded to and played off any external USB stick (using either LAN / WiFi).
The Ouya's main menu has four submenus:
- PLAY – the downloaded Games Library
- DISCOVER – the Games & Apps Store
- MAKE – the domain for developers of builds / software
- MANAGE – Ouya account, preferences, etc.
The System Menu (Y) furthermore permits to manage the console's contents and internal/external storage units in Android-like manner. As to video games, the Discover menu distinguishes between different Genres from “A” like Adventure, App, Arcade/Pinball, over Dual Stick, Kids List, Multiplayer, Retro, to “S” like Short on Time?, SIM/Strategy, Sports..., but of course includes also the requisite Fighting, Platforming, Racing, and Role-Playing games.
Alongside video games, different applications can be downloaded, including TwitchTV, XBMC, Vimeo, TuneIn Radio, VLC Media Player, or Crunchyroll. With this big assortment, it is convenient that discarded Games & Apps can also be "buried" in order to hide them in the menus.
Offering games also in their Alpha or Beta version right now the Ouya is mainly an Indie domain and seems still less attractive to big publishers, with the notable exception of Final Fantasy III (Square Enix) and Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I (SEGA) which both have been ported to Android already before. Numerous other games are being offered as well via Steam or PlayStation Store, like The Cave, Sine Mora, TowerFall, or A Space Shooter for 2 Bucks. It is also true that many of the available games have been released for iOS / Android and include a similar collection of imitative titles such as Oh My Goat, Flappy Plane, Voxy Bird, Minimon, Stupid Zombies 2, Fields of Battle, Grand Truckismo, but there are also various genuine Ouya exclusives being offered and developed.
Another user-friendly aspect is that after trying out a game every user is asked to leave a rating between 1 and 5 stars, which together with the number of votes gives an orientation about the quality of every game and general user satisfaction.
So following the five-stars rating as well as my personal preferences, the games I--more seriously, after a number of trials--selected to be played on the Ouya so far are:
- TRPG: Final Fantasy III (SNES, iOS, AND)
- RPG: Ravensword: Shadowlands (iOS, AND)
- FPS: Overkill 2 (iOS, AND)
- Survival Arcade shooter: Killing Floor: Calamity (OUYA)
- Platforming Action-adventure: Another World (Atari/Amiga, 1991)
- Retro-style Beat 'em up: Fist Puncher (PC)
- Psycho Horror: Neverending Nightmares (PC, beta – yet to be released in its final version)
So to sum it up I can only say that my however short experience is positive and satisfying as to this still new gaming console, and I really hope more young as well as advanced developers will be offering their games on the Ouya in near future.