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Ouya responds to Amazon Fire TV, says it lacks a focus on games

CEO Julie Uhrman says Ouya is "solely dedicated" to gaming, while Amazon's offering is not.

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Is Ouya shaking in its boots following Amazon's announcement yesterday of a $99 micro-console that (among many other things) plays video games? Not so, according to Ouya head Julie Uhrman. Speaking with CVG, she stressed that the Ouya platform is "solely dedicated" to gaming, while Amazon's Fire TV is not.

"Just as Amazon blazed a trail for a new way of selling online, Ouya invented a new way to think about console games. But for us, games are not simply an 'added bonus', they are the whole point," Uhrman said.

"Ouya is solely dedicated to the devs creating games, and the players who play them," she added. "Their ideal experience is all we think about."

Amazon's Fire TV device of course does more than play games and was never positioned as a games-first device. It's a streaming box that can play an assortment of movies, TV shows, and music. And though the company's game chief described the Fire TV as "absolutely not a game console," it does play Android games, thus competing with Ouya from that perspective.

The Fire TV features a Qualcomm Quad Core Snapdragon Krait 300 processor with Adreno 320 GPU, and 2GB of RAM. Meanwhile, the Ouya runs a Tegra 3 Quad Core processor, featuring 1GB of LPDDR2 RAM, and 8GB on-board flash.

Though Amazon might not see its Fire TV as a game console, it seems to be taking gaming quite seriously. The company recently established an internal game developer called Amazon Game Studios, acquired Killer Instinct Double Helix Games, and even hired Portal designer Kim Swift and Far Cry 2 designer Clint Hocking. Veteran Halo writer Erik Nylund also works for Amazon on gaming.

Amazon's Fire TV is available for purchase today. You can get the device alone for $100 or through a $140 bundle that includes the system, a Fire TV Controller, and copy of the Amazon-exclusive game Sev Zero. We'll have more on the Fire TV in the days ahead as we get a unit in our office.

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