If you build it, they will come.
That famous line whispered into Kevin Costner’s ear in the movie Field of Dreams may have been about baseball-playing ghosts but it sure does describe the much talked about Ouya console to a tee.
Los Angeles-based developer Boxer 8′s $99 open-source Android box is quite possibly the ballsiest project being payed for over the internet on the crowd-funding website Kickstarter.
Over 42,000 backers have pooled together over $5 million bucks towards the system’s early stages of development and it’s all based on a simple idea.
All games should be free to try.
Console games shouldn’t cost game developers an arm and a leg to make, and they damn-well shouldn’t cost gamers an arm and a leg to play.
The Ouya, (pronounced “OOH-YAA”, in amazement I guess), is bridging the mobile-phone market model with the graphically-superior world of high-power console and PC game development.
By doing away with the need to pay for a standard development kit, licensing fees, publishing fees and so forth, game developers are left with less overhead to get their game onto the market.
Several developers are already backing the system, including Minecraft developer Mojang and Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner. Even former-Infinity Ward honcho Robert Bowling announcing his new studio is working on a Ouya-exclusive title.
From a gamer’s standpoint, the console’s potential is two-fold. By forcing developers to ensure free trials of their titles, the consumer gains the confidence to avoid dud purchases.
Secondly, the system rolls out the welcome mat for hackers. Hardware and software-savvy guys and gals can open up the box (without voiding warranty!) and customize whatever they wish.
Why not? Technically, you paid for it.
It has tons of selling points but will the sleek-looking Ouya, (which has a Tegra 3 Quad-Core Processor, 1GB of memory, and 8GB of storage crammed into the Rubik’s Cube-sized box), live up to its promise? I think yes.
Boxer8 has all the right people on both sides of the fence (game developers and game purchasers) on board. Now it’s their turn to follow through and prove it ahead of their projected March 2013 release date. They have a real chance to shake things up and change the industry as we know it.
With over $5 million in funding and counting, I’m betting it’s more than a possibility.