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Ouya CEO Reveals Plans For Yearly Hardware Refreshes

By - Source: Joystiq | B 33 comments

Ouya plans to release a new console every year.

This should be a little annoying to customers who have been eying the Android-powered OUYA console. Company CEO Julie Uhrman confirmed with Joystiq that unlike the traditional console that sees a new hardware set every five to seven years, OUYA plans to take the mobile route and release a new console every year. That's right: the OUYA you purchase in June will be obsolete this time next year.

"Our strategy is very much similar to the mobile strategy," she said. "There will be a new OUYA every year. There will be an OUYA 2 and an OUYA 3. We'll take advantage of faster, better processors, take advantage of prices falling. So if we can get more than 8 GB of flash in our box, we will."

At $100 a pop, buying a new OUYA every year doesn't seem quite so drastic compared to tablet, smartphone and even console prices. And if anything, the older models will make great media players on other HDTVs in the house once they've been replaced with new models as the primary Android gaming machine. And like Google Play and Amazon's Appstore, all games will be linked to the user, not the machine. They'll also be backward compatible so that you don't have to keep buying the same titles over and over.

On a performance level, Uhrman said that Nvidia has a team dedicated to the OUYA console for getting the Tegra 3 running at optimal levels. The quad-core A9-based chip is clocked at 1.6 GHz and backed by 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage (or 5 Gameloft games), 802.11 b/g/n connectivity, Bluetooth and HDMI output. It won't have a rechargeable battery, but instead will plug into the wall like every other living room console.

The first wave of OUYA consoles will head out to the Kickstarter backers in March followed by a full-blown public release in June at retailers like Best Buy, GameStop, Target and Amazon. Additional controls will also be made available, costing $49.99 per unit. Uhrman also said the OUYA's marketplace will be packed full of games at launch.

 

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Top Comments
  • 22 Hide
    kawininjazx , February 9, 2013 6:09 PM
    People shell out $120 a year just to buy COD and all the DLC...
  • 17 Hide
    esrever , February 9, 2013 7:32 PM
    gilgamexLol i can't even process the level of full on retard that this spam encompasses

    Lol i can't even process the level of full on retard that quoting this spam so it will never be deleted encompasses
  • 15 Hide
    stickmansam , February 9, 2013 7:37 PM
    bison88I don't think process technology is going to shrink fast enough in a year that it'll make that POS better than the first generation.


    Maybe Tegra 4 for next gen which AFAIK will be a significant performance increase
Other Comments
  • 22 Hide
    kawininjazx , February 9, 2013 6:09 PM
    People shell out $120 a year just to buy COD and all the DLC...
  • 0 Hide
    esrever , February 9, 2013 6:28 PM
    So what will the new one do that the old one can't?
  • 0 Hide
    NuclearShadow , February 9, 2013 6:35 PM
    For such a cheap price I think a yearly release is a great thing. Interestingly with how it uses mobile hardware and how fast tech advances currently with such hardware we could witness it beat the specs of Microsoft's and Sony's next consoles during their mid-life.
  • 9 Hide
    oxiide , February 9, 2013 6:54 PM
    esreverSo what will the new one do that the old one can't?

    Be faster to keep up with newer and more demanding games? Seems like an odd question to ask almost a year away from an annual release.
  • -2 Hide
    DRosencraft , February 9, 2013 7:08 PM
    The problem with the theory of an annual refresher is that the power of the device is so minimal as it is, the games it can play aren't going to demand much more power in a year, maybe not even two. They would be better off bumping the price up a little and starting off with better specs in the first place. A yearly refresh only makes sense for buyers entering the ecosystem (first time buying the console). It's a waste of money for anyone who has one already that isn't about two years old at least.
  • -2 Hide
    gilgamex , February 9, 2013 7:11 PM
    marvin_millerjust as April responded I'm stunned that people can profit $6230 in a few weeks on the computer. have you read this webpage... www.Snag4.com


    Lol i can't even process the level of full on retard that this spam encompasses
  • 17 Hide
    esrever , February 9, 2013 7:32 PM
    gilgamexLol i can't even process the level of full on retard that this spam encompasses

    Lol i can't even process the level of full on retard that quoting this spam so it will never be deleted encompasses
  • 15 Hide
    stickmansam , February 9, 2013 7:37 PM
    bison88I don't think process technology is going to shrink fast enough in a year that it'll make that POS better than the first generation.


    Maybe Tegra 4 for next gen which AFAIK will be a significant performance increase
  • 0 Hide
    Onihikage , February 9, 2013 7:56 PM
    On the one hand, many Android phones get a new version every year so it's not unheard of, but on the other hand, hardware doesn't change quickly enough for a new *game console* to be designed, manufactured, and released every single year, and still have perfect backwards compatibility. Hardware refreshes will be necessary if the console is a hit, and I could understand every two years, maybe three, but just one year isn't long enough.
  • 0 Hide
    bustapr , February 9, 2013 8:50 PM
    Id understand jumping up to tegra 4 in 1 year, but not annual refreshes. as of now the tegra 3 is enough for any android game out there. next year there will be a bigger catalog optimized to run great with tegra 4. but I suspect tegra 4 performance will be enough to last 2-3 years and play every game smoothly.
  • -5 Hide
    alextheblue , February 9, 2013 10:19 PM
    kawininjazxPeople shell out $120 a year just to buy COD and all the DLC...
    What does that have to do with this? Maybe they'd rather spend it on COD than Ouya. Or maybe they'll buy both. Either way it doesn't change a thing - yearly refreshes are a bit excessive
    DRosencraftThe problem with the theory of an annual refresher is that the power of the device is so minimal as it is, the games it can play aren't going to demand much more power in a year, maybe not even two. They would be better off bumping the price up a little and starting off with better specs in the first place. A yearly refresh only makes sense for buyers entering the ecosystem (first time buying the console). It's a waste of money for anyone who has one already that isn't about two years old at least.
    Agreed. They could have built something significantly better for even $100 more, and upgraded every 2-3 years. Now they've created a more rapidly moving target, which is fine for simple games. But this makes life interesting for developers considering putting more advanced games on the platform. The lifecycle is too short, you'll either end up with a less advanced game capable of running on older models, or a smaller userbase running newer units.
  • -2 Hide
    Shin-san , February 9, 2013 11:29 PM
    You'll have a hard time making AAA titles on such a device. Those take 2-5 years, so unless companies can predict what the hardware will be when they are done, it'll be very hard to make one on Ouya
  • -5 Hide
    therabiddeer , February 9, 2013 11:58 PM
    Consoles last ~7 years with solid graphics and performance. Costs between $400-700 new (next gen looking to be $400-500?)
    Ouya lasts 1 year.

    Ouya over 7 years = $700
    Next gen consoles over 7 years = $400-500ish

    Suddenly this awesome, new and affordable console isnt so great.
  • -4 Hide
    bigpinkdragon286 , February 10, 2013 12:10 AM
    It really sounds like they are being influenced by the "reality distortion field" and as such, assume their potential customers are as well. If the thing is to be relegated to last years games and streaming internet content, less than a year from purchase, it doesn't sound any better than a Roku, which can already play games like that. How many people buy internet streaming devices to play games on their TV instead of their phones? I wonder if they bothered to do any market research? Do the people playing app style games actually pony up much money for them? I have a sneaking suspicion their business model relies on yearly sales rather than AAA titles, as there likely won't be any.
  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , February 10, 2013 12:16 AM
    Anything less than 3 or 4 years on a console life cycle is absurd. They should have waited for Tegra 4 to start with and dropped 16GB in the box at that time.

    This is dumb. I won't even buy it to play roms from until it refreshes next year.
  • 5 Hide
    neuromancer2701 , February 10, 2013 12:55 AM
    therabiddeerConsoles last ~7 years with solid graphics and performance. Costs between $400-700 new (next gen looking to be $400-500?)Ouya lasts 1 year.Ouya over 7 years = $700Next gen consoles over 7 years = $400-500ishSuddenly this awesome, new and affordable console isnt so great.


    If you take inflation into account it will probably be about equal. And the Ouya you have now with be a lot more modern than the 7 year old system.
  • -6 Hide
    The-Darkening , February 10, 2013 1:50 AM
    neuromancer2701If you take inflation into account it will probably be about equal. And the Ouya you have now with be a lot more modern than the 7 year old system.


    Not to mention that you'll have 6 used ouyas to sell :o 
  • -2 Hide
    therabiddeer , February 10, 2013 2:07 AM
    neuromancer2701If you take inflation into account it will probably be about equal. And the Ouya you have now with be a lot more modern than the 7 year old system.

    Starting out you will have a console that is a generation behind in graphics (if not worse). A few years in will probably equalize some. In the last year or two you will be ahead of other consoles. But, the next new console will be coming out and you have spent more on your 7 Ouya's than the other people spent on their single console.

    You also lack AAA titles of normal consoles in favor of "indy" or "casual" games.
  • -5 Hide
    kinggraves , February 10, 2013 2:11 AM
    Smartphones aren't even replaced in a year for the average person. They contract them from their provider for two years then get a "free replacement" when the contract's up. Clearly this device isn't going to change the Android game since it can't tolerate the dev window of a AAA title.

    It also calls into question what a developer is supposed to aim for 3 years down the line. Are they going to create a title that maximizes the power of the Ouya 4 and alienate the audience of the Ouya 1 who didn't want to upgrade, or are they going to create a title that everyone on Ouya can use even though it's scaled down to the original's power level? With publishers all trying to maximize their profit, in most cases it will be the latter. This would then call into question a need for better hardware when the software is still built for the original. This hardware refresh rate just doesn't work.

    Keep going Ouya. I can't wait until you eventually tank, if even just to prove once and for all that mobile games are NOT going to replace console gaming.
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