i really liked the idea of the Ouya, i'm sure it'll get better in time but for the time i had owned it i had thought that it wasnt good enough to actually be considered a GOOD game console. I found the games to be buggy and lacking, the controller to be uncomfortable. I might just be spoiled here but when i get a product, i like it to be 100% finished right away, not "soon to be fixxed with updates" (for the games)
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294 of 316 people found the following review helpful
A fun little console, but issues.Aug. 21 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
I was an early backer on Kickstarter and received my unit a couple months back, so I've had plenty of time to play with the Ouya. Here is a list of the pros/cons:
1) Local Multiplayer gaming is GREAT. Games like Towerfall, Bombsquad, Amazing Frog, etc. are perfect games to showcase the true strength of the console: couch gaming with friends. My friend brought his Ouya to a LAN party a month back and we had a blast with Bombsquad. A lot of people were crowding around and claiming the next round to play. There are plenty of games like this on the console so it's hard to get bored.
2) The UI has slowly but surely been improving. Recently they added a "Recently Played" box and "Discover" boxes on the main menu. Additionally, the UI is snappier and more responsive than first release. Pairing controllers is easier with these updates as well. Updates are relatively small installs, so it generally takes 5-10 minutes at most.
3) The ability to easily sideload apps is great. You can download Airdroid and access it that way. It's not a fully unlocked Android box, but it will do most of what 99% of the population will most likely want without rooting.
4) The controller feels nice and hefty. It also gets great battery life from my experience. Make sure to buy at least one extra so you can take advantage of my first pro.
5) The unit itself is small, and relatively quiet (actually, silent the majority of the time, slightly less so when the fan kicks in intermittently). It's very stylish, actually, though I wish the button on top was a little more hearty and not just a "click" pushbutton. That's just minor nitpicking, though.
6) Every game has a free component for you try, most of which are extensive. If you decide to drop money on the games that aren't entirely free, buying games is relatively easy. Link your credit card and buy in-game without exiting. Very similar to the way that some of the apps work on the Apple Store. Either way, there are a number of free games out there so you don't really have to drop a dime if you don't want to.
7) There are plenty of emulators and they run most games flawlessly. SNES, NES, Genesis, Game Boy, PSX, N64. Don't expect blistering speeds on the last two, but it's serviceable, especially since we're only talking about a Tegra 3.
1) This definitely isn't entirely ready for primetime. While the UI is improved, it still has a long way to go. There's no social aspect to speak of at this point (besides you account name in the upper left-hand corner), so non-existent online multiplayer except where games have their own dedicated servers. There's no messaging, invites, or anything. A relatively minor quibble, though, as its main strength of local multiplayer is enough to sate my coop gaming for now.
2) Wi-Fi Connectivity is a bust. It's well-documented all over the Ouya forums and on Reddit that the Wi-Fi antenna is poor at best. I personally experienced connectivity issues in locations where other devices had solid connections. I even purchased a network extender, hoping to fix it, and it still made little difference. For people that might not have access to a wired connection,this is a catastrophic oversight. I'm hoping this is fixed in the next hardware refresh.
3) The controller is hefty, and the buttons and joysticks feel fine, but the triggers are a nightmare. For me, they're too far back on the controller. The top triggers feel too "clicky" and you have to hit them at a particular location to register (can't hit them too far on the right or left). As for the back triggers, they're too mushy and feel awkward in the fully-depressed position.
4) The "Discover" section (Ouya's version of a store) is a little convoluted. They try their hardest by splitting into genres and subcategories (for instance, "Couch Co-op" is one category), but I think it still makes it difficult to navigate and find games. As for the "Trending" category, I have no idea where they get these analytics from, but some of the games on there appear to have no "Thumbs Up" ratings, which begs the question of why they're there.
5) Arbitrary rating system in "Discover". Their rating system is entirely based on thumbs up. Either you like it or you didn't click like. There is no text-based review system and nothing to provide negative ratings. For games that might not have broad appeal or be well-known, it's easy to pass them over because they might have 20 "Thumbs Up". For shovelware, they appear to get same ranking as GOOD games. This needs to be fixed if the cream is going to rise to the top.
6) Support is a joke. If you have problems, don't look forward to receiving a quick resolution. There are several reports of people waiting 3 weeks+ on tickets without response, after which tickets are just closed without resolution. Ouya REALLY needs to step up the support game.
So, there you have it. Is it a nice little local multiplayer box and emulator? Absolutely. Is it the revolution they billed it as? Absolutely not. Wait until the next hardware refresh and for a few more system updates.
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
quirky retro time machineMarch 14 2014
- Published on Amazon.com
I bought this little cube kind of on a whim...Saw at the local big box one day and then spent the rest of my shopping trip dreaming of developing old school platformers in unity and then playing them on the big screen. Tossed the idea around in my head back and forth and then finally came to very adult and responsible (in my opinion) decision not to buy; The brutal fact of the matter was that I simply didn't have time to develop a game, work out the bugs, work out the other bugs of getting it an usb rod and sideloading (Yes, spoiler alert, I am now an OUYA owner and that's what we do, we sideload). So I returned this little box back to the shelf. The thoughts didn't disappear after I left that store (I won't mention names, but what's with those giant cement balls outside? Are they for children to play with? To prevent runaway cars from crashing through the doors? Large RAID arrays for skimmed credit card numbers? (what, too soon?).
That night I couldn't help but check out some reviews of the OUYA (Weeya? Oya? I'm now a fully indoctrinated sideloader, but I still don't know how to pronounce this thing). I learned two particularly interesting things. The first is that the reception for this device in the gaming has been very polarized. People seem to love it or hate it. Then some other posts warmed a recessive 80 watt light bulb in my retro head, EMULATION! Sure we can emulate on our tablets, our PC's, blah blah blah, but ther is nothing like 8 bit gaming on the family room tv with a paddle style controller in your hand.
So I amazoned it. As usual very happy with quick shipping. Got it up and running fairly painlessly. The only nag is the controller, there certainly is a learning curve if you're coming from the ps3 environment. Found myself looking down in a half lit room for these odd shapes on the buttons. Seems like Ouya wanted to do everything at least a little different, but sometimes it just comes off obtuse. Anyway, I dug right in to emulation. Very happy, some configuration bugaboos but was partying like it was 1989 in short order. This little cube is powerful enough to emulate cores up through the early 2000's, although my heart will always live somewhere between 8 and 16 bit. 12 bit system, now that would have been the tits. 12 bits is exactly the right amount of gaming power people, look it up, its science.
Another thing I quickly learned is the downloadable game market is a strange as an Middle eastern bazaar. You can get just about anything here, the good, the bad, and the just plain strange. I hate when an electronic market place feels too polished and restrained (I'm looking at you Ituners), so I love the offbeat and strange excitement that lives in this world. Anyone can develop (and based on some of the submissions, not everyone should), but the rating systems will keep you from spending too much time downloading junk. If you're a retro-head, great news here as well. There are some games on here that would have been right at home on an eight bit console. Sure they are more polished with deeper graphics, but they are just as odd and one-off as anything you'd find at you're local flea market.
Pros: Runs on Android, so it's stable but also has that wild west electronic frontier feel to it. Cheaper than other consoles and all but the most walmarty of walmart tablets. Very small footprint (Your wife won't even noticed you bought more stuff!) Comes with an HDMI cable All games are free to try
Cons: Controller isn't rechargeable. Not a big drawback, but I hate the idea of putting batteries in something. Extra controllers currently cost 50% of the console in the first place.
So far I love my Ouya, its got some headaches and growing pains but the biggest plug I can give it is this: It's big fun. It won't smoke your nuts with eye splitting graphics, it won't push polygons fast enough to melt your tv, but get you and buddy on the couch with two controller and I dare you not to smile.
336 of 415 people found the following review helpful
Have reasonable expectations!July 17 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
In my many years of buying tech products, I have never seen a product with so many poor product reviews online from people who obviously don't 'get it'. Anyone purchasing an Ouya because it is called a videogame 'console', and are expecting to see the same types of AAA games they see on an Xbox 360 or PS3 are going to be disappointed. I am convinced that the majority of people writing these reviews on some of these sites are simply not old enough to realize what makes the Ouya special, at least for me...
To me, the Ouya is a throwback to an earlier time in computers and video games. It reminds me the most of the Commodore 64 era, where not only could you buy a system just for playing games, but you could also, if you wanted, either by yourself or with a couple of people working together, create own game, let other people play it, and if you were good, sell it. There was a lot of terrible software produced during this era to be sure, but some of the most fun I have experienced playing video games was had in discovering those games which could be learned in a few minutes time, yet provided hours and hours of entertainment. Not only was there 'big name' titles for the time such as Mule, Archon, Toy Bizarre and Jumpman, but there were memorable titles such as Campaign Manager, Space Thief, Krylon Lander, and many more that were available on public domain software collections, or by typing in the code yourself out of a magazine.
This software discovery, and the potential for a hidden gem is where the Ouya excels. There are many good games on Ouya right now, and since anyone can potentially develop and publish games on this system, and new titles appear all the time, you never know when the next future classic like a Duke Nukem, Bomberman or Worms may appear. Sure, there is a lot of 'bad' titles, but so what? Everything can be tried for free, so there is nothing to lose, and in my opinion, exploring is half the fun...
If I had to pick something to score the Ouya down on, I do wish it would have shipped a little more up-to-date on its android hardware specifications, but realistically, with the simple 'pick up and play' type games this is targeting, the specifications should be fine for a while.
I had no issues with setting up my unit, installing firmware updates, or with my controller, as others have reported. I paired a PS3 controller to it very easily, and this is a great option vs. buying an expensive 2nd controller for multiplayer games, especially if you already have one around. An Xbox 360 controller works as well.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Ouya to anyone, just know what you are getting, and go into it with reasonable expectations. If you think you are buying a console to play the latest and greatest 'next-gen' games, then you should probably hold off, but if you are looking for an inexpensive way to play hundreds of simple, fun games, or even get into game development yourself, then you cannot go wrong with the Ouya!
238 of 307 people found the following review helpful
OUYA: A Backer's OpinionJune 25 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
Update: 6/26/13 It's a day after launch and I see over 15 new games! Although some are ports like Shadowgun, I'm glad to see that more devs are bringing their games to the OUYA. I'll update this review/opinion rant as time goes on.
Ouya: A Backer's Opinion
I'm a kickstarter backer of OUYA, having a backer number of 44,495. I received my OUYA and extra controller over a month ago.
The Console Itself: It looks great to me and feels great also. It has a hefty weight and is heavier than you'd expect. The fan is on the circuit board itself, and the VENTS are BOTH on the top and bottom. I've read and heard so much hate about having a fan on the bottom. There is venting on the top and bottom. The console runs quietly and does not heat up unless playing graphically intense games. The brushed aluminum acts like a heatsink to dissipate heat. With specs like a Nvidia T3+1GB ram, this isn't a ps4 or a "xbone". Current consoles are beginning to gear toward sequels and graphics more than fun and games. Although having a good looking game is good, the OUYA's Tegra 3 chip handles most games well. The laggy games are unoptimized for the T3. I have not gone even halfway full in terms of memory space, and I think the 8GB is sufficient for most people. OUYA has planned to allow expansion via the Usb slot.
Controller: I've replaced both of my controllers for the updated retail ones. The controller is incredibly ergonomic. The back of the controller is nice and smooth, and the brushed aluminum has a nice, cold feel. The buttons have a nice mechanical click. They have more travel downwards compared to my dualshock 2 (old controller, I know), and some may think that there is controller lag because of it. The analogs work well, but the surface rubberization and curve could be improves as my fingers start to slide off them during intense gameplay. The D-Pad is soft for my liking, but sensitive and the edges are "sharp" so I don't have a problem pushing the dpad in the correct direction. The triggers are...ok. I've gotten used to their hinge design, but they feel relatively "empty" and not quite as satisfying to press as I'd like. ?Do the Buttons Stick? -In the first run of controllers, they did. The retail ones I have now never get stuck. ?Controller Lag? -In general, it's quite nonexistent with the new OS update released today. If the controller is not within a semi-direct line of sight between itself and the console, then problems can occur.
Software: I didn't really dig the orange/purple theme, but I didn't hate it either. Setup was easy, and my WIFI NEVER FLAKED and was COMPLETELY STABLE, contrary to some reports. Kickstarter backers have an account already, and I did not need to put a credit card in. For those that sign up, I do believe you can skip that step with a button listed on the bottom of the screen! The Discover section has been vastly improved and is quite smooth when looking for games. However, as more games come to the OUYA, this section might need a bit of modifying as I think it may be hard to find the good, small games when
Games: There is no Google Play store. Personally, I'm fine with that. If you think about it, Google Play apps would rarely work with the controller due to lack of optimization, lack of mapped controls, and graphics which are not meant to be blown up to 1080p. I own an iOs device, and haven not purchased anything that is not free on neither the Google Play Store nor the iOs App store. OUYA's own store has a lot of games, and all are free to try. Most of the games are emulator apps or just plain boring. However, I've been enjoying games like Stalagflight, Bombsquad, Chronoblade, and Hidden in Plain Sight. There are a couple gems on the OUYA in the midst of mediocre games. However, this OUYA excels at emulators. There are many emulation apps and I think that if people wanted an emulation box, this would be a great option.
Stuff that can be improved: -The touchpad has no visible edges. -Triggers need a "fuller feel" -DPad
Final Thoughts: Would I recommend this console? Yes. I'm seeing many great games come to the OUYA and many others confirmed.
Opinion Ranting: 1. In today's day and age, I feel that people are so quick to judge. Engadget, The Verge, and many other tech sites strive to give you content as quick as possible. Unfortunately, these sites are followed by many people and directly influence people's decisions. I was on the very edge of putting my OUYA to ebay after reading the early reviews, even before I got my OUYA. Everyone wants to be quick: finish an errand quickly, finish the game asap. People want to get things done quickly and efficiently, but this leads to errors everywhere. In the end, I'm glad I didn't sell my OUYA and it's been a fun and interesting ride on the OUYA bandwagon. 2. Negativity is vocal and sticks. I've begun to realize that the most vocal OUYA backers are the ones with negative experiences. When something is good, many don't feel the need to talk out because they don't need to...the product is up to their standards. There's nothing to hate or rant about because that product works. It doesn't work that way for negative opinions. I believe that people try to spread the word if something is bad, even if it may be their problem. The negativity sticks to others and outweights the positives 1:1, if you get what I'm saying. Negative-speakers are more vocal and more effective than positive-speakers, even if the negative-s are a minority.
Feel free to leave a comment asking for anything.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Since the December 2013 Update... This thing is AWESOMEJan. 16 2014
- Published on Amazon.com
I was an early adopter of this console. For the first couple of months it was a mess. A broke down, nightmare of a mess. I got so tired of the issues, poor content, and overall mediocrity of the OUYA I took it completely out of my entertainment center and shelved it.
Since the latest firmware update, this has been an absolute JOY.
The only reason I revisited the OUYA was I heard Soul Fjord was coming. For the uninformed, this game is from the same creator that brought us Portal.
So I decided to dust off my OUYA, power it up and see what kind of nightmare I was going to need to endure to try out the game.
To my surprise, all the issues I had seemed to be missing. The controller was responsive, loading and storing content via usb drive was working, I checked out some of the more highly rated new content like Bombsquad and Fallen World and I found myself playing for HOURS.
The OUYA finally lived up to its aspirations after all this time. It's just starting to get good now, which is sad, but promising.