Ouya: I bought myself a $130 Super Mario

When I first heard about the Ouya I got excited but did not back it up on Kickstarter. I don’t like very much crowdfunding. I mean, fair enough if the Ouya had gone the usual way -capital risk investors-, they’d have laughed at their face and the project would have never came out, but still, I don’t like paying in advance as a consumer for a project that might never be. Or I’d expect some kind of shareholding in the company.

Rant aside, I live in Singapore. And now that the Ouya became reality, people not living in the US/Canada might find it incredibly frustrating to manage to get your hands on the small console. So when I Singaporean guy with a kickstarter edition of the console put his newly, unopened baby on ebay for SGD 160 I jumped on the occasion.

So here goes a few picture of the beast:

The Ouya

The Ouya

It is indeed very compact, that is for sure. Here is a bigger picture for size comparison:

Ouya next to the TV

Ouya next to the TV

Many said the controller is ugly. I kind of like it. I don’t understand why it got so many negative reviews. Anyway there are already hacks out there to plug in your PS3 controller in this baby. Here next to the console:

Ouya and its controller

Ouya and its controller

And finally here is a side view of everything plugged in there: the power cable, HDMI, ethernet and USB for installing debugging/APKs manually:

Ouya side view

Ouya side view

So where does that leave us? I ran the latest development APK of my game Heroes Fantasy TD and it runs surprisingly slow at about 30fps when I get a solid 60 on a GS2 or a Nexus 7. The Nexus 7 also runs a Tegra 3 SOC, and an older one even! It’s really disappointing considering the nVidia Tegra 3 is much more powerful than my phone. However, it looks like the 1080p display took its toll on the performances, compared to the 1280×800 of the Nexus 7.

I’ll see what I can do. Downsizing to 720p seems an obvious solution, but trying to multithread the game more might be another. In any case, this means my next game will be adapted to run on the Ouya with controller specific gameplay.

For now, since I installed a SNES emulator, all I can say is that I bought myself a $130 Super Mario World.



  • Fabio Cunha says:

    Hi Tony,

    The Ouya console can access the Google Play Store? Or it have it own store to buy apps?

    • Tony Pottier says:

      Hey Fabio, the ouya has its owns store with its own sdk and IAP billing system. However it’s running any kind of apk out of the box, so you can just play with it very easily.

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