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.