Ouya: Open Source Android Console

Discussion in 'Other Games' started by SamuelMarston, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    Regarding consoles this will be similar to, the Pandora is the closest I could find. The German version has a single 1Ghz core. In reality, the Pandora is a very potent system for a portable multipurpose all in one system. I would love to have one. Oh, it is smaller than a netbook. It will actually fit in a large pocket.

    Thank you for posting about the GP2X. I never would have found the Pandora without reading about that. :D


    $500 is too much for me to ever afford, but it is a nice system nonetheless. If ever I have the money, I have hundreds of things to do first, but this will be remembered if I ever am checking garage sales and such in the future.
    Texas Instruments OMAP3530 processor at 600MHz (officially) or Texas Instruments DM3730 processor at 1000MHz (officially)
    256MB or 512MB DDR-333 SDRAM
    512MB NAND FLASH memory
    IVA2+ audio and video processor using TI's DaVinci™ technology (430MHz C64x DSP)
    ARM® Cortex™-A8 superscalar microprocessor core
    PowerVR SGX530 (110MHz on OMAP3530, 200MHz on DM3730) OpenGL ES 2.0 compliant 3D hardware
    integrated Wifi 802.11b/g (up to 18dBm output)
    integrated Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR (3Mbps) (Class 2, + 4dBm)
    800x480 resolution LTPS LCD with resistive touch screen, 4.3" widescreen, 16.7 million colors (300 cd/m2 brightness, 450:1 contrast ratio)
    Dual analog controllers
    Full gamepad controls plus shoulder buttons
    Dual SDHC card slots (up to 64GB of storage currently)
    headphone output up to 150mW/channel into 16 ohms, 99dB SNR (up to 24 bit/48KHz)
    TV output (composite and S-Video)
    Internal microphone plus ability to connect external microphone through headset
    Stereo line level inputs and outputs
    43 button QWERTY and numeric keypad
    USB 2.0 OTG port (1.5/12/480Mbps) with capability to charge device
    USB 2.0 HOST port (480Mbps) capable of providing the full 500mA to attached devices (examples include USB memory, keyboard, mouse, 3G modem, GPS)
    up to two externally accessible UARTs and/or four PWM signals for hardware hacking, robot control, debugging, etc.
    un-brickable design with integrated boot loader for safe code experimentation
    Power and hold switch useful for "instant on" and key lockout to aid in media player applications on the go
    Runs on the Linux operating system (3.2.x)
    Dimensions: 140x83.4x27.5mm
    Weight: 335g (with 4000mAh battery)
  2. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    Note that the Wikipedia page of the Ouya has updated, but there is not much different there.

    In other news, there are a few other systems using the Tegra 3 chipset that I am now linking in purely because they give additional details on what is likely with the Ouya.
    Kontron (Long damned URL. Better like this.)
    Odroid (Both the barebones system and the full featured tablet computer version.)

    MOOMANiBE Ah, those were the days. Staff Member

    My two cents - with the prior disclaimer that this is not gaslamp's opinion, etc etc.

    Ouya will have a future if - and ONLY if - a big game developer gets behind it. Consoles live or die by their games, and big exclusives are called "System-sellers" for a reason. If you launch a new console you need a reason for people to buy it, and right now, with few announced developers and no exclusives, the reason for people to buy Ouya is slim indeed.

    Right now the guaranteed install base for Ouya is something on the level of 30,000 backers. Keeping in mind not all of those people will necessarily buy games, let's look at some install bases for other popular devices. These numbers are all approxmiate.

    Ouya: 30k currently - perhaps 50-100k by the end of the kickstarter, if I'm being generous.
    Nintendo 3DS: 16 Million
    Kindle Fire: 17 Million
    Steam: 20 Million+
    Xbox: 50 Million+
    PS3: 50 Million+
    iPad (All Types) 54 Million
    PSP: 70 Million
    Wii: 90 Million
    iPhone (All Types) 150 Million
    Nintendo DS: 150 Million

    To match the 3DS, the lowest install base on the list, Ouya would have to sell even my most generous estimates 160 times over. Even assuming that Ouya sells well on launch and that Ouya users buy more games than users of other services (somewhat unlikely due to it being advertised as a "Hacker's Console"), Ouya is still playing user-base catch up with the lowest-selling of gaming devices.

    This is a highly unappealing situation for publishers and indies alike. Porting games, making new games, costs money, and developers won't risk burning money if they don't think anyone is going to buy. While Android games will probably be cheaper to bring over than most, controls and screen resolutions are still different between Ouya and Mobile, and thus the ports will still need development time. (Whether gamers will pay money on a console for ports of phone and tablet games is a question in and of itself.)

    Most Android developers never make back their investment, and Ouya is asking them to bring their games to a console that will likely have around 0.01% of the android audience on launch. I sincerely doubt most developers will be willing to take that risk unless the price is very cheap indeed. If there's no games, people won't buy the console. If people don't buy the console, there won't be more games. And thus the Ouya will, most likely, spiral down into a quiet, anonymous death.

    Again - if big backers, big developers, an angel investor of some kind, swoop down and inject some games or cash, the situation could change drastically. But as things are now, the device is simply a promise with very little to back it up.
    Kazeto likes this.
  4. mining

    mining Member

    Steam is 40 million and origin (lol) is 11 million.

    Also, the problem I see (beyond what everyone is already saying about lots of details being missing which is worrying - if I want investors for a company I need to actually have a bunch of info that's accurate and being updated, which this seems to lack) is that it'll be a PC with a gamepad. Admittedly, a more static PC with a gamepad, but effectively a PC nonetheless.
  5. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    I think it is a failing to presume the Ouya must have the same number of purchases by launch that the entrenched platforms have. No part of your list says that any of the numbers are exclusive either. Surely you do not propose that those owning a 3DS cannot also own a Xbox 360 or even every last console you list?

    It may not be what you expected, but the current big backer is Nvidia. It is their system on a chip that will be used. This will get them out of making GPUs only and allow them to be taken seriously for making CPUs and other devices.

    You want an exclusive feature or product? How about a PC for those who hate PCs? The Ouya is just as mining says, a PC. But with a drastically different interface and the ability to learn to use it in a day rather than a year like a real PC.

    So for a cheap initial cost, console gamers can get a cheap PC that is backed by Nvidia. They do not have to give up their other consoles to do this. And the price with a controller is less than twice the cost of a modern console game at launch.
  6. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    What does it cost to get the SDK for those major consoles on your list? With Ouya it is the $99 spent on the console itself. How much would it cost to port Dungeons of Dredmor over to each of those consoles if you had the original source code? With Ouya, forbidding an incompatibility that would require some work the cost is zero.

    Porting a PC game to Xbox 360 costs money even if you had already done the porting via waving a magic wand. This is not unusual for any of the consoles out there. This habitual theft needs to die in a fire.

    Critics of my opinion here would say this expense is essential to keep crappy games from swarming the market and drowning out the good games. But I have used PCs for decades now and there is no such invisible wall to keep crap from being bought or sold for the PC. I can walk into any software store and buy good games without even seeing a crappy game as this example would imply I should.

    We do not need an almighty figure to push aside bad software. We do that ourselves. And you would not believe the number of *Good* games killed off by idiots with too much power and no knowledge of the true desires of gamers. I do not find Minecraft to suit me. But I would hardly say it is unworthy of porting. Companies on your list of consoles above *HAVE* said it is unworthy and slammed the door on it. Minecraft will be on the Ouya. They already promised that.
  7. banjo2E

    banjo2E Member

    You know that thing you guys were saying about the Ouya needing a killer app?

    It has one.
    OmniNegro likes this.
  8. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    Due to limitations of the console itself, the Xbox 360 port of Minecraft is unable to support more than 1024 x 1024 blocks. Ouya has twice the RAM and more than five times the computational power.It is reasonable to presume this will make a larger game area available.

    MOOMANiBE Ah, those were the days. Staff Member

    I don't see what relevance this has, as I never claimed people exclusively bought one or the other. People don't buy new consoles that have no games.

    I don't think most non-developers care about the hardware details. It's the software that'll make the difference to the average gamer.

    The problem here is that it won't have a fraction of a fraction of the PC's library, which is arguably its most important strength. The Xbox and PS3 offer the "PC-less experience", but with a huge established base and many, many more games than the Ouya.

    I'm not going to presume to speak for Gaslamp in any manner here, and I don't interact with the code in any way - so instead I'll simply quote Nicholas from a blog post:

    "my personal experience with Android on previous products have been that Android sales are a very small fraction of iPad sales (in fact, less than the ratio of Linux sales to Windows sales.) Consequently, it’s not entirely clear that this is something that we will actually make money on – especially on the tablet market, where Android tablets are still somewhat of an unknown factor and where the iPad still occupies 75% of the market share."

    Given that he didn't see Android as making any money vs cost of porting, I suspect Ouya is an entire level of no-money-making on top of that. Not to mention - they require a demo or F2P elements, neither of which Dredmor has. That's more development time and more cost.

    You're still not addressing the point that developers have no reason to make games for the console.

    Their promise was empty hyperbole: http://www.computerandvideogames.com/357842/minecraft-not-confirmed-for-ouya-says-mojang/
  10. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    Empty hyperbole? Yeah. Dream on.
    "Mojang has committed that Minecraft (and their other games) will be on OUYA -- but only if we prove that we can make a great product (that’s our job) AND enough people want their games (that’s your job). Show them with your numbers that you want Minecraft on OUYA!"

    You think that because they did not erect a pyramid in blocks of granite that has the words "I promise to port Minecraft to Ouya" that it is hyperbole? That is more of a promise than they made for the Xbox 360, and they ported it to the Xbox 360 already.

    I never said Gaslamp Games has committed to do any port whatsoever. I simply used them as an example. An open SDK makes it easy to port things if you have the source.

    Developers have no reason to make games for the Ouya? The same was said for programmers regarding free software like Linux. But we see Linux in use around the world for innumerable purposes. People argued that there was no market for it. They were right. But people still use it and write software and drivers and all manner of other things for it.

    The point is that not everyone writes software because they expect money. If that was the only reason people wrote software and compiled code, we would lack a modding section here on these very forums. That would be only for official paid coders.

    You need not see the relevance. And if you do not like the idea or implementation of the Ouya, you are free to not buy it. But please do not piss on my dreams of the console monopoly being broken. :)

    I know I am an ass. But let us not be enemies based upon a difference of opinion. I believe the Ouya will be a winner. I believe it will inspire people to do great things. And as cynical as I am, I still believe that. Have a nice day my fellow non-believer(s). As for me, I will continue believing. :)

    MOOMANiBE Ah, those were the days. Staff Member

    This tells me that it's time to stop because you're taking this far more personally than intended. I enjoy a good debate, but this can't go anywhere if you're taking my points as a personal attack against you. I have more to say, but I'll table it for now; time will decide how things go for the Ouya.
  12. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    You need not worry about me. I do not take your comments as an attack. I just believe differently. Like many threads, my words here were ill chosen.

    Please do not hold back on my account.
  13. Mr_Strange

    Mr_Strange Member

    The question is - will people buy a console which is primarily a home to games made by unpaid software engineers?

    I don't have an answer to that question. But clearly it will be a very different sort of environment from current big-name consoles.
    Kazeto likes this.
  14. Createx

    Createx Member

    Best thing to compare it to is the OpenPandora. I think most people backing this are doing this under the false assumption that it will be a console with tons of free games for cheap.
    As far is I see it, the Ouya will get a dedicated community of people porting games, writing emulators and some little homebrew games.
    I honestly don't see this picking up tons of steam, mostly because they have no company backing it and the big publishers will do hell to endanger their contract with MS, Sony or Nintendo.
    Indies might get onto it, but most will probably stick with the PC as their primary platform since the userbase is slightly bigger.
    As far as I understand it, it will not be easy to simply port stuff to the Ouya from PC, the Tegra is an ARM processor I think.
    So yeah, I think the Ouya will tank as a home console for everyone, but it will probably be an awesome toy for anybody who wishes to dedicate some time to fiddle with rooting, correct emulator setting etc...
    OmniNegro likes this.
  15. Loswaith

    Loswaith Member

    I can see it being a piece of hardware that the emulation crowd would go for more so than direct development. Thus it will appeal to those that want to play the Sega, SNES, or even MAME on the TV, as the emulator creators often jump on board the open source stuff, as it has the advantage of costing little (not to mention they jump on just about every hardware that can remotly run an emulator) and letting it be done in the open rather than under the radar.

    Without however a flagship new IP/title (minecraft is well and good, but is it enough to draw existing customers into another platform?), I dont realy see it being much of an issue to the current 3 big console producers.
    OmniNegro likes this.
  16. LionsDen

    LionsDen Member

    OmniNegro likes this.
  17. mining

    mining Member

    Here's my fundamental issue: They're claiming Mojang has promised MC for the Ouya, but Mojang hasn't actually promised any such thing. Hell, if it's successful they will, but you're stating that it'll be successful because of minecraft! There's a little bit of a feedback loop there, lol.

    Edit: Also, one little issue I see is that even if the Ouya is monstrously successful, all you have is yet another competing standard. If MicroSoNintendo release gen dickity new consoles the day after the kickstarter, and they blow the Ouya out of the water (somehow, I don't know) - it's going to look really, really bad for more people buying it.
    OmniNegro likes this.
  18. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    I suppose it is a circular argument. Alright. I will shut up about Minecraft until there is a certainty that it is actually going to be on the system.

    You are certainly right that if the big three release new consoles right after the Ouya is released it will take the wind from them. But how would that be a bad thing? I see the Xbox 360 hobbling around on a new crutch every year. They are running out of gimmicks that can pull the dinosaur out of the tar pits.

    The "Big Three" consoles are called that more because they are unwilling to innovate than that people enjoy them so much more than the other options that do not currently exist. The Ouya may force one of them to innovate. That would be worthwhile. But many would be pissed by that.
  19. Createx

    Createx Member

    I don't see the Ouya pissing them off a lot, to be honest. We are in a loop again there - to piss them off, it needs to sell millions of pieces, basically snatch pieces of their market. To do that, it needs to compete in terms of games - and to do that, it needs to be big enough for major publishers to support it.
    See the problem?
    It also fills a completely different role, if you look at the hardware. It may be able to compete with the 360 in graphical fidelity, if devs take the time to optimize for the hardware. It could compete, that does not mean it will. Don't think it can take the PS3 on in that field though.
    And those consoles are nearly 7 years old, with the next generation probably soon to come.
    The Ouya can be successful, and I do hope it will, because the idea is awesome. But for that to happen, they need to concentrate on the strenghts of the platform - easy access to games on your TV screen. I'm not sure it will get core gamers away from their console boxes or PCs, so the focus would optimally be on smaller, indie games and family entertainment, coupled with easy Youtube access etc...
    In fact, that is where the Ouya could truly shine - as a media box with gaming capabilities. Not sure about the processing power of that thing, but you could use it as a network streamer to easily watch HD movies, listen to your whole music collection, browse Youtube, play games if you want to....
    It's a media streamer with gaming capabilities for a hundred bucks with a good - looking controller. It looks pretty nice as well, so why not use it for that?
    OmniNegro likes this.
  20. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    The biggest problem it currently has is that there is no certain drives for it. No certain optical drive, no certain flash drive. Nothing yet. I would not be surprised if they sold add-on drives for this at launch. That would save a lot of money when they deliver the consoles they already sold.

    And it would be a better choice for the standard to only be the base console and controller. Leave the choice of drives up to those who buy the system. If you buy a current Xbox 360, there is a whopping three optical drives you can have. You never know for certain which you get until you open it up and void your warranty. And once the drive dies for any reason, you are going to have to spend an Ouya worth of money to replace the drive. The console will not boot if you remove the optical drive or if it is not working. I know. I flashed mine and found this out first hand.

    With an optical driveless system and open hardware acceptance, it is possible to buy any old DVD/Blu-Ray drive and put it in the Ouya add-on drive tray and load some simple drivers to make it work flawlessly for a fraction of the cost for the three major consoles. And the best part is that if you are buying an Ouya as a cheap and limited PC, you may not even need an optical drive. You can network boot the system and have it running for even less money.

    Thank you Createx for shedding the light on this. I accepted one argument as circular despite that necessitating another. :p

    A 32GB SSD/SDHC card cost little money. ($40-$50) It would be more than enough room for any major Linux distro or Android and a nice big swap partition and even plenty of user space and cache space left over.

    The Ouya as a media box was actually my first thought. The fact that in a pinch it could serve as a limited function PC just adds to the allure.

    I cannot say for certain that the Tegra3 chipset will be amazing or outshine the PS3. I can however say that it will be no less than equal to the Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 is a relatively weak system. It has the main strength of a fast CPU speed. The Ouya cannot beat it from this side. Period. I will not lie about that just because I want it to be better than it is. The Ouya is seriously outgunned even with more cores. The GPU of the Xbox 360 is actually the weakest part. It compensates by the *TYPE* of RAM it's GPU uses. The amount is a laughable 10MBs. No joke. But before I write a wall of text on this, I will just link in the documentation on Wikipedia...

    For modern PC-like gaming with amazing graphical detail, the Ouya will probably do well to do nearly as good as the Xbox 360. The Ouya has a better GPU, but does not have some of the GPU advantages of the Xbox 360. I think we will have to see them side by side to make a final call.

    The biggest strength by far of the Tegra chipset is the exceptionally low power requirements. It was designed for mobile platforms. But seeing that the Ouya is not designed for this, we can expect twice or even several times the power consumption of the other Tegra 3 devices currently on the market. That will be for the efforts to enhance the capabilities obviously. I expect the first Ouya systems will actually come clocked at 1Ghz and be user set up to as high as 1.6 Ghz. (Higher if the user roots the device and modifies it for better cooling.) But even with rooting it and modifying it, I expect 2.2 Ghz will be about the maximum possible on this chipset unless Nvidia pulls a rabbit out of their hat.

    Do not take that to mean that it will be slow. 2Ghz is slow on a PC. But a PC has a very different processor and hundreds of instructions and all manner of nonsense in the way of better performance. Read up on RISC chips to see clearly what I am saying here. But I am blabbing. I will shut up now.
  21. SamuelMarston

    SamuelMarston Member

    Apparently, they do. It looks like almost 37,000 of them. :D
    OmniNegro likes this.