This arrives in a very professionally packaged box and gives a good impression from the off set. Unpacking it, the actual OUYA console is tiny, but looks well made with all the ports on the back and a single power button on top. The pad surprised me - it's actually very comfortable to hold and use (although I had to google how to put the batteries in, d'oh!)
Pairing it was easy and then it was up and working - it was very responsive in everything I tried, and you can also add other controllers including PS3 and XBox 360 pads amongst others.
The console fires up and has some amusing comments while it did it's updates and things - very much an indie console and not from a big corporate. A nice touch.
The interface is very easy to use, not quite as slick as an Apple product but fast and easy to understand. Loved the fact that all the games are free in some way to try (although you do put in credit card info once on initial setup) and you can choose to buy or not (liked the fact that default pop up is set to not buy to prevent accidental purchase). Some of the games are pretty good - Sonic and Shadowgun look amazing and play well. However there is a lot of not good games in the store, it's early days so a bit hit and miss I suppose.
The prices in the store are odd with no common pricing structure - most of the stuff I wanted was free, but prices on other games ranged from $3 to $16. Some may be worth it, most are not so it's good they are all free to try in some way.
I bought this for two reasons - XBMC being the first, and happy to say the install is a couple of clicks and you're away. It installs Frodo 12.2 and works flawlessly - a full 1080p movie played while scanning for new content and having the menu overlay on. Certainly couldn't do that on the ATV2 version of XBMC. Fantastic media centre (for free!)
The second reason was for emulation and this is a bit hit and miss. There are plenty of emulators in the store and I installed a couple, but ended up using RetroArch as it allows you to do multiple systems, works well, and is free.
I tried some SNES and Playstation one games and quite pleased at how faithful the emulation was. I need to spend some time setting up lists of favorites and seeing what works well, but the OUYA is well served - all Nintendo consoles up to Wii have emulators as well as Commodore, Atari, SNK and more.
Some games work, some don't - that's the nature of the beast with emulation, and I'm sure it will only get better.
The hardware is well built and tiny, however it got very hot (hot to the touch) after a few hours of use and the fan was noisy and clearly audible - it's a shame as otherwise it's a lovely looking piece of kit and I wasn't expecting the fan to kick in (to be fair it's only under load). The screen was crisp and sharp and the sound was more than good enough.
The joypad was responsive and comfy. Very pleased with the hardware and also the software interface. I think it can only get better with various updates.
In summary, it's great for me for as I want it for a good media centre and the ability to run the odd retro game and it meets this perfectly BUT it's not a new console and not as polished as the 360, PS3 or even the Wii. A lot of the games are no where need the quality of professional games and something people need to be aware of.
Recommended as long as you know what you're getting.
on 8 July 2013
So, I've seen a lot of negative reviews for the Ouya, many comparing it to other, much more expensive consoles. All I can say is, ignore the backlash, this is the best £100 I have ever spent on any gaming device.
The two big draws for this console are as follows:
1) Free games
The Ouya comes with dozens of free games you can download and play straight out of the box. While many of them are cheep and nasty, there is a handful of good, entertaining titles available for nothing at all. What other console offers this?
2) The best local multi-player ever offered
I have never had so much fun playing with friends as I have with the Ouya. There are loads of great games available to play on a single console, and all for a fraction of the price of today's games. Almost all of the multiplayer titles are compatible with existing ps3/360 controllers (and some even use ios/android devices as controllers) making it easy to get a bunch of mates round for a gaming session.
The system only has a few exclusives available atm, and very few single player titles, but this is the machine to watch out for. If the market backs this, expect a whole new revolution in gaming!
on 14 December 2013
Bought this mainly for XBMC rather than games. He wanted it as it seemed his forum set for XBMC thought it was a good platform.
His opinion is that it is ok but average performance and does not rate many of the free games. However as a compromise for XBMC and games it is acceptable but not as good as other XBMC boxes.
on 1 July 2013
First I have to say, I am no "gamer", just like to play some funny games from time to time on my tablet or on the Wii I bought for my little daughter. My own last console was a SuperNES about 20 years ago.
So now my opinion:
It's fact, that new smartphones (like the Galaxy S4) have better hardware than the Ouya. But for me the main question nowadays is: "Why does a Smartphone need 2GB of RAM"? To have this little box with a Tegra3 and 1GB of RAM for that price is really good. Only 8GB of storage memory is not very much. Yes, you can connect a usb flash drive to it to extend it, but that is more suitable for data you want to use with the Ouya, such as ROMs for emulators, movies, music, ..... But the games are installed on internal storage. And as the systems does already use some space, you don't have 8GB for your games (it's a bit under 6 GB you have). And I think, that when more and more high quality native games will come, there could be not enough memory. The controllers may not be the best available on market, but it does what you need. It's rather heavy but so it's good in hand. Unfortunately also on mine sometimes the buttons get stuck, hope that will be better in future.
Connecting a keyboard was very simple, so I don't have to "search" for the letters anymore.
At the moment, most games available are ported games from mobile devices. So graphics are funny but not high quality and controlling is mostly very easy/basic. But I - despite to others - am impressed anyway, to have 200 games/apps (well, I think there are about 190 games and 10 other apps) right at the start. What console does that have? And there are many, many more to come. Especially native ones and Ouya-only games. I know, others have/had other expectations, but mine were never so big, so I am fully satisfied with what I got.
3RD PARTY APPS:
Most usual Android apps should work, I've already tested some. Games optimized for touch-controlling only will be very hard to play (that's also why I understand that Ouya made an own Store), but Multimedia related apps like Zattoo (for watching TV) and Napster work very well. I even got Splashtop to work, so I can stream my computer on my television. I am very happy with that, as I couldn't get my laptop work with my TV via HDMI, now it does. WIth this I am able to watch DVDs through my Ouya.
People who are moaning about the Ouya, don't understand the philosphy/system behind it. This isn't a product for the classic console market, this is a mobile device to be used on television. Though to many, many games on Android playable on different Smartphones and Tablets, a new gaming market or a new gamer type came up. It's not that you buy an Ouya instead of a Playstation, Xbox or Wii. They can easily co-exist. The Ouya is meant for the casual gamers to have more comfort playing their games.
That's what I am and that's why the Ouya perfectly fits for me. I really got many for the little price I payed.
on 29 December 2013
The main reason why I bought Ouya has nothing to do with games - I own Xbox 360 and now also PS4. I wanted to replace my old media center which, sometimes, couldn't play some media formats (I heard sound, but saw nothing). And, honestly, Ouya is a bad media center. First of all there aren't any decent media players or file browsers there yet. Some are OK, but not really close to those we have on Android smartphones. But secondly - it can't handle 1080p resolution. Well, a few frames per second is not what I wanted to see. So, had to stick to 720p for a few months before ordering a normal Western Digital media center. During these 3 months I also tried it as a console and was surprised to see a few games not running smoothly. But that's nothing compared to how bad the controller yes. Sure it's not X360 or PS3 controller, but it should be close considering the prize. But it's not - triggers feel really cheap and touch pad works horribly.
All in all it's not a bad device - just not something you can compare to proper consoles and media centers. Many people may find this thing enough for their media and gaming needs. But be sure to have or credit card ready - you can't set up the device without one.
on 31 July 2014
Like some other reviewers, I bought this for an XBMC, so I can't really comment on the gaming aspect. It plays movies fine, though it does struggle occasionally with large 1080p files (it gets pretty hot in here, that might be part of the problem).
Build quality of the controller is somewhat sub-par: the 'down' button occasionally triggers the 'left' button, which makes navigating a hassle...
Overall, I'm happy with the purchase.
on 20 October 2013
I've lived with my Ouya for three weeks now and I own a TV with only the one HDMI port. I also own a PS3. I think it's telling that I haven't plugged the PS3 back into the HDMI port in that time. I've had some great fun with the Ouya, playing games I'd never play otherwise, seeing the humour and surprising playability of indie games and the fascinating variety on offer. I've also converted my Ouya into a part time NES, SNES, GBA and N64. It's amazing that I've been able to do this with a small box. A small box lets not forget that costs £99. (at the time of my purchase).
Straight from opening the box I was impressed. The packaging is ethical and professional, revealing the small, solidly built cube, it's controller (more on that in a sec) and an included HDMI cable (how refreshing).
The controller I am aware is a major concern for most people. I honestly do not believe it as bad as some internet sources make out - but it is flawed. The sticks are nice, they snap back into position satisfyingly and the buttons are (to me) more responsive than the spongy efforts on the PS3 controller - however the triggers are huge and mushy. The L1 and R1 buttons are far too big and awkward. The controller is of a nice weight with the batteries installed and I like the idea of the trackpad for internet browsing. My only major issue is how quickly the sticks are wearing. The movement is fine, but the grippy rubber is going fast. I think as a controller it isn't amazing, but better than the N64 and original Xbox controllers. The D-pad is good for the retro style games I have played - something most modern pads neglect.
Big selling point for me - you can hook up PS3, X360 and Wii controllers if you can't stand the Ouya effort or have some mates round!
There is only 8GB of internal storage but you can hook up a memory stick. Expandable storage!
Games are priced between 99p and £12ish for the premium Final Fantasy-esque titles. All games are free to try - either with a paywall at a certain progression point or a timed trial. There's something for every budget. Some games are outstanding. I've had great fun with Towerfall (but how I wish it were online), Bombsquad, Cannabalt, Fist of Awesome, Heroes of Loot and many more. Included is a decent browser and the ability to sideload Android apps.
Would I recommend the Ouya to anybody? No. If you don't enjoy Indie games and can't stand emulators for retro titles I would definitely stay away. However with an open mind, some experimentation and £100 you can have some real fun with this thing. It won't turn the gaming world upside down, but it is an amazing indie effort and the games are improving all of the time. Thank you for reading.
on 1 July 2013
I backed this project via Kickstarter and have been looking forward to the release of this console. The design of the console is great, it's extremely small and doesn't look out of place in a modern front room or bedroom. There's a lot a potential with this console, but at the moment (in my opinion) the lack of games lets it down. There are a couple of corkers available (Such as Final Fantasy) but the majority are just filler, which are to be honest more suited to being played on an Android phone or tablet rather than the big screen. I also found some of the games to be 'glitchey' and gave up trying to play some of the titles. I know they'll be releasing more games as the days and weeks go on (and plugging the glitches) but at the moment there's nothing to keep me completely interested in the gaming side. The other side to the OUYA is that it can be used as a media centre, and it'll run sofware such as XMBC. There's also some great emulators available if you're into retro gaming such as N64, SNES, C64 etc.
I'm willing to give the OUYA a bit more of a chance, and I hope they get more decent games out for it. If you're somebody who wants to just buy a console and start playing games immediately (and you have no interest in the other stuff the OUYA has to offer) then this console probably isn't for you. On the other hand if you enjoy tinkering with technology and have the patience to look into the other stuff the OUYA has to offer, then you'll probably love it.
on 1 July 2013
Why I purchased the OUYA:
Mainly to play old games on, but also to watch Youtube video, browse the net, and stream films from my computer.
Pro's of the OUYA:
* Play's retro games rather well. (anything from the old DOS games to PS1 era, have not tried any Nintendo Emulators)
* Good to use for basic internet functions, in a room where you have no internet connectivity. (My front room has no device capable of connecting to the internet, would make a nice set-top-box of sorts)
* Watching videos, be it online, streamed from another source such as a PC, or from the device itself. Using the MX Player, I was able to stream 1080p video without any lag, all other video players I tried caused lag.
* Is extremely small, makes it easy to find space for.
* Has modern connectivity support. (HDMI, Bluetooth, USB)
* Is (potentially) capable of running all android APK's.
* Supports Mouse and Keyboard, so navigating menus is a tad easier.
* Very lightweight.
* Have the ability to side-load apps.
* Cannot (currently) play games past the PS1 era.
* No native support for legacy connections.
* Requires creating an account, and supplying financial information.
* Requires internet connectivity on first launch.
* It's so light-weight, the cables can cause the console to move about.
* Menus can be buggy at times, should be fixable in a software update.
* Controller triggers are not the greatest.
* D-pad is mushy.
* Limited internal storage space of 8GB (although USB storage support is said to be in the works)
* At the moment, most apps are not officially supported, but many will still work if side-loaded.
So far, the console has met my expectations. It's a basic, android device that is capable of being a console, just not the most powerful console you have ever used. It has met the ability to do all of the functions I stated at the top of this review, be it with a bit of hassle. If you are comfortable side-loading apps, and you like the pro's listed, then it should meet your expectations, however, there are negatives that you should not ignore, such as the need to supply financial information, and that it require internet connectivity on first launch.
Overall: Good little box, but could have been better
on 11 December 2013
If your looking for something to run XBMC then look no further than one of these. Far better than a Raspberry Pi and much cheaper than a mini/micro PC. Very fast through the menus, customisable via Autoboot app to load straight into XBMC on power up, great Picture, response, the full shebang and its very stable now as well, had just one crash in the past month.
As a gaming console then sadly this is when it all falls apart, poor choice of games, many very poor quality and all more expensive than the same titles on the Google Play Store which you cannot access via the Ouya so if you already have purchased them you will need to again even tho the Ouya is based on the Android platform. Also lacks all the catchup services tho some are sideloadable if you can get access to the required apk.
Overall, if you want a media player this is as good as it gets, as a console I sadly cannot recommend.