Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Why We Should Remain Skeptical of the Ouya Android Console

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the guilty-until-proven-awesome dept.

Android 184

An anonymous reader writes "We recently talked about the 'Ouya' console — a conceptual Android-based gaming device that's had a massively successful Kickstarter campaign. While most people are excited about such a non-traditional console, editorials at 1Up and Eurogamer have expressed some more realistic skepticism about the claims being made and the company's ability to meet those claims. Quoting: 'Even if we set aside the issue of install base, one of Ouya's selling points could make developers wary of investing in it. Through the pitch video and on the Kickstarter page, Ouya emphasizes the ability to root the system and hack it without fear of voiding the warranty. With a standard USB port and Bluetooth support, it will be possible to use controllers and peripherals with it other than the one it comes with. What this also opens the door for is piracy and emulation. No doubt a chunk of the audience interested in Ouya are those intrigued by the idea of having a box that hooks up to a TV and can run Super Nintendo or Genesis emulators. Others will look at the system's open nature as an invitation to play its games for free; if it's as open as advertised, it should not be difficult to obtain and run illegally downloaded copies of Ouya games.' Ouya CEO Julia Uhrman has responded to the skepticism, saying, 'Ouya will be just as secure as any other Android-powered device. In fact, because all the paid content will require authentication with Ouya's servers, we have an added layer of security. Hacking and openness are about getting what you want to do with the hardware. Rooting the device won't give you any more access to the software.'"

cancel ×

184 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

BUT BY ALL MEANS LETS KEEP IT IN THE MINDS OF...!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40670325)

slashdotters because we need to know of this !!

wot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40670333)

first agin?!

Re:wot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40670489)

Doesn't look like it.

Kickstarter is such a stupid idea (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40670345)

I realise that businessmen have had it easy since the '80s, but at least there was the vague principle that people invest their money in return for some proprietary interest in the ongoing concern. Kickstarter appears to be the epitome of fawning obsequience to the owning classes, where people contribute money in return for a single trinket.

Re:Kickstarter is such a stupid idea (3, Insightful)

Theophany (2519296) | more than 2 years ago | (#40670471)

Whilst your comment seems to be somewhat inflammatory, I do find myself agreeing to a certain degree. It's like venture capitalism without the capitalism. That being said given the global backlash against capitalism, Kickstarter's success doesn't surprise me.

Re:Kickstarter is such a stupid idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40670505)

But the global backlash hasn't been against capitalism per se, rather the fact that capitalism wasn't delivering. Capitalism means more than "doing what you want without government intervention" - it's a method by which people smart with money can accumulate and invest money in productive endeavours to increase their wealth further over time. But it became a method by which certain entrenched classes could dishonestly leech money from others in return for very little. And I feel that Kickstarter is that sort of degenerate capitalism.

Re:Kickstarter is such a stupid idea (1)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672123)

Capitalism is today what it has always been, only that now certain countries are starting to experience how it feels when you're not at the top of the food chain.

Re:Kickstarter is such a stupid idea (5, Interesting)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40670841)

It's like venture capitalism without the capitalism.

It's not hard to understand. It's like Free Software and attempts to pidgeonhole it along very rigid lines will always fail simply because it serves multiple purposes.

I helped fund a film which is now being made. From my point of view it's just distributed patronage.

Re:Kickstarter is such a stupid idea (2)

Theophany (2519296) | more than 2 years ago | (#40671093)

I don't have any moral or otherwise objections to Kickstarter, I think it is helping a lot of great work get off the ground and as long as people bear in mind 'caveat emptor' before parting with their hard-earned, hopefully many more good things will come from it in time.

Re:Kickstarter is such a stupid idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40671735)

It's like venture capitalism without the capitalism.

Venture socialism?

Re:Kickstarter is such a stupid idea (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672207)

given the global backlash against capitalism

It's not like capitalism didn't throw the first blow.

It's like curdled milk that people are just starting to notice has gone bad, the same way they noticed Communism did some time ago.

Maybe, there is no socioeconomic system that human cupidity cannot spoil.

Re:Kickstarter is such a stupid idea (5, Insightful)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#40670765)

Well I would say the plus of kickstarter is it fills a need that wasn't being met. The companies with the money, have stopped listening to the fans that buy their products. The same crap has been rehashed 500 times because people with money, will not invest money until after they have seen evidence that the fans will buy that product. The end result came the new methods of selling. Including the method games such as minecraft and project zomboid used by selling the very rough alpha of the game with the promise of future updates, and kickstarters. The end result is that games that otherwise had no way of coming into being have been funded and several released, as the fans have more or less purchased the games in advance to fund the development. While I do agree it shifts the burden of risk onto the fans at least it is shifting the risks onto fans that want to take that risk. Compare that to the banks etc... who gamble with our money whether we want them to or not.

Re:Kickstarter is such a stupid idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40670785)

There's nothing new about Kickstarter - the first commercial ISP in the UK, Demon, was started on the basis that 200 people would pay a year's subscription in advance.

And the more equitable incarnation is the mutual, in which each person puts in a small share for equal ownership and equal vote. I don't know much about the history of mutuals in the US, but they've been around for centuries in the UK, and some of the most popular high street brands - e.g. Waitrose (John Lewis Partnership) and the Co-Operative Society - are of this form.

Re:Kickstarter is such a stupid idea (2)

ocularsinister (774024) | more than 2 years ago | (#40671471)

I think you've got a bit confused - John Lewis operates as a partnership. That is, all members of staff (except the cleaners [independent.co.uk] !) are partners and have a say in how the company is run.

That is quite different from investors/early adopters funding a fledgling business.

Re:Kickstarter is such a stupid idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40670927)

Kickstarter works well (is far from perfect) for projects which need a lump of money in order to contribute something great to the pubic domain. I've never understood why people fund projects where the outcome is the establishment of some proprietary asset; here I would only invest in exchange for shares, and then, only if I believed that the budding company would likely have a net positive effect on the community in which it grows and where I expect to get a good return on investment.

Exceedingly few projects meet these requirements and Ouya is not among them.

Re:Kickstarter is such a stupid idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40671259)

I can understand a hub for funding necessary costs toward a public domain project, although at 5% fees I still wouldn't fund any project through Kickstarter.

A charitable hub could easily be operated at cost. There is a cadre of rich, lazy Internet middlemen and I don't want to create another.

Re:Kickstarter is such a stupid idea (4, Insightful)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673651)

I think you underestimate the difficulty of establishing a charitable hub, running a website that can handle thousands of simultaneous page views, getting potential customers to trust you, and getting public awareness of your site so people know to check it for projects of interest for less than 5% of the overhead of the actual projects.

I don't like that Kickstarter itself and Amazon each take a percentage of the funds. But I think creating a successful alternative is very difficult.

Re:Kickstarter is such a stupid idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40671749)

I dunno about you, but if this goes ahead and actually becomes big, it could kickstart a decent Android gaming community.
As a developer, that sounds pretty nice to me.

I'd be able to make a decent amount of money in a non-scrubby way with various game+funding ideas on it that won't destroy the gaming experience or balance of the games like most free2play games out there. (see LoL, F2P my ass, it is P2W in disguise)

In that sense, I actually would be indirectly investing in the company to eventually allow me to get money, if I wished.

Re:Kickstarter is such a stupid idea (2)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672193)

As of right now there have been 543 "development" tier donations. Even if only 1/10 of them get used to make a game, that's still 54 games. And since 80% of everything is crap, that still at least 10 decent games at or near launch.

If it launches of course.

Re:Kickstarter is such a stupid idea (4, Insightful)

jurgen (14843) | more than 2 years ago | (#40671493)

Kickstarter is not meant to replace venture capitalism... it is an alternative to venture capital for types of projects which wouldn't be attractive to capitalist investors, such as art projects, or very small scale manufacturing, or as in this case, projects that venture capitalists might consider unrealistic but in which enthusiasts might have enough faith. Those who contribute don't do it for a "trinket"... we do it either because we simply want to see the project succeed, or because we want the product enough to pay for it in advance and take the chance that it'll never materialize.

Kickstarter is filling a needed niche... Iit's a large niche, and it seems to be working. And it it works for enough types of things, it'll start inspiring venture investors to go after some of the same markets, which will mean that it's "working" in yet another sense for society.

So I think Kickstart is a brilliant idea. We'll have to wait a bit longer to see if history will vindicate it, but early indications from recent successes are that it may be a real game changer.

Re:Kickstarter is such a stupid idea (1)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40671501)

I realise that businessmen have had it easy since the '80s, but at least there was the vague principle that people invest their money in return for some proprietary interest in the ongoing concern. Kickstarter appears to be the epitome of fawning obsequience to the owning classes, where people contribute money in return for a single trinket.

Pretty much, yeah.

Re:Kickstarter is such a stupid idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40671597)

Stop saying it is a damn investment.
You are ordering a product to a specific design. (something you like as opposed to a personal request, no difference either way)
Just like a painting, just like a meal at any eatery, just like any coffee. Any of them can be bad. If they are? You no longer go there. They lose a little bit of money
If everyone agrees with you? They lose a lot of money and adapt or die. (unless it is the media industry at large)

If it was an investment, you automatically make buying a damn sandwich an investment since you are giving the company some money to continue operating.
Stop trying to blur definitions even more.

Re:Kickstarter is such a stupid idea (5, Informative)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#40671911)

as it has been said on here before many Kickstarter projects are a scam [slashdot.org]

Zioneyez used Kickstarter to steal $350,000 and delivered nothing [dailydot.com]

When people complained, Kickstarter said "no refunds" [engadget.com]

If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true. Problem is word is not getting out about all the scams on Kickstarter. All we hear are the successes, so people think everything on Kickstarter is legitimate when it's not, there are plenty of scams on Kickstarter.

How many stories did Slashdot run on ZionEyez? Answer: One, [slashdot.org] and even then the story was "Has this failed?" rather than "Kickstarter project stole $350,000"

How many stories did Slashdot run on Disapora? Answer: At least seven, [slashdot.org] even though Diaspora never met it's Summer 2010 deadline and many would argue it never achieved what was promised despite receiving $190,000 more than their goal [kickstarter.com]

Is everything on Kickstarter a scam? Of course not, but Kickstarter promises nothing on any project, they just give the information. In that regard it's a lot like Craigslist. Craigslist doesn't guarantee the guy you hired for roofing is going to do a good job. Difference is Kickstarter is presenting the information like it's legitimate, and I think that's where the problem is, why people are offering millions of dollars on projects that are obvious scams, because they believe Kickstarter has somehow verified these people when they're really no different than the guy offering to wash your windshield for a buck.

Re:Kickstarter is such a stupid idea (2)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672027)

I will say this might be the project that breaks Kickstarter.

Like someone posted it will be impossible for them to offer the specs they claim they can offer. [slashdot.org]

When the project fails maybe people will finally start being cautious with Kickstarter projects and stop giving them so much money.

My biggest fear though is they will rip out all the specs, dumb it down to 2008 levels like a Tegra 1 [wikipedia.org] , and release it saying "LOOK WE MET OUR GOAL!" and no one will actually point out that they lied and Kickstarter will add a few more victims to the scammed list

Fragmentation (1, Insightful)

mister2au (1707664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40670365)

Personally I'd more concerned by Android bugbear - fragmentation of platforms.

What is the upgrade path? Annual incremental spec upgrades?
- with incremental upgrades, you'll get massive fragmentation for gaming and within a couple of year the choice of targeting the lowest common denominator (which is already pretty low for this hardware)
- without incremental upgrades, you disappoint the embedded systems/HTPC/hacker crowd

I doubt this can be "everything to everyone" and will prove to be a bigger long term issue than openness (or the economic of software development for a fairly low volume platform).

Re:Fragmentation (5, Insightful)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 2 years ago | (#40670431)

Well, it's a device sold for a purpose. As long as its satisfies that purpose, it's all good. Console are the epitome of hardware that's not frequently updated, because the goal is to play games, and good games don't need bleeding-edge hardware.

If the console can play good games when you buy it, it will still play good games 4yrs later. No need to obsess about specs.

Re:Fragmentation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40670457)

That mostly because the consoles are so wastly overpowered at launch that they are quite litterally a hardware revolution.

A mobile cortex has wastly different designspecs, high resolution gaming on a tv is a mere pipedream.

Re:Fragmentation (3, Funny)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40670517)

Right, 1920x1080 is way too high res for mobile chips, I mean, the iPad is only 2048x1536, it'll be years before they're able to get up to 1920x1080... wait.

Re:Fragmentation (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40670561)

Well, there's a difference between being able to display images in high resolution, and being able to *render* images in high resolution. The 360 and PS3 are both capable of 1080p output, but nearly all of the games end up in 720p anyway (and in some cases, even lower, then upscaled up to 720p). Because they aren't fast enough to render 1920x1080 pixels in real-time.

Re:Fragmentation (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40670633)

Sure there is, but there's plenty of iPad games that run at 2048x1536, so it's more than powerful enough. Plus, a box for your TV doesn't have the power constraints that a tablet has anyway, so it could stick a much more powerful GPU in there anyway.

Higher res needs faster shader HW (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40671601)

Yes, there are games that run on the iPad in better than 1080p, but are they 2D, 3D with simple shaders, or 3D with sophisticated shaders? A higher pixel count on the same GPU means a lower fill rate unless you simplify your pixel shaders. It also means that extreme low-polygon meshes won't look as good, forcing artists to make higher-polygon meshes that stress the vertex shader hardware.

Re:Higher res needs faster shader HW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40671775)

Tegra3 is pretty damn beefy, dude. Compare this thing's specs to, e.g., the Xbox 360 and it's not trailing by much. (This shouldn't be that surprising when you recall that the 360 was released in, what, 2004?) Time marches ever onward and so forth.

Re:Fragmentation (1)

rioki (1328185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40671625)

You are comparing oranges and apples. Your average iPad game is 2D and that can easily cope with the resolution. Most console games are varying degrees of high definition of 3D. Yes there are 3D games for the iPad but these games are vary carefully pruned, so that they run on the small hardware.

Re:Fragmentation (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40671875)

sure there is.
and we could have played flightsim in 2048x1536 in 1998 too. just not with as fancy graphics and as good framerate as with lower resolution.

ipad games already drop some effects to cope with the high resolution(when same game is moved from ipad2->ipad3 too, so it seems the gpu isn't really 4 times faster). that's also why plenty of ipad games look like the graphics are folded paper models, sure the resolution is high but that's just about where it stops.

frankly while 1920x1080 can be run on android hw that could be bought 6 months ago for 100 bucks the speed isn't really that nice.

Re:Fragmentation (1)

Mithent (2515236) | more than 2 years ago | (#40670837)

Each new console generation is a major leap over the last, given the years that go by between upgrades, but I wouldn't call them vastly overpowered - each upgrade brings them about up to scratch with the GPU technology of the day. In particular, the vast majority of games on the Xbox 360 and PS3 don't render at 1080p [beyond3d.com] , and sometimes can't sustain 30fps despite this. Developers get more out of the hardware when they can target a specific platform, but they're looking decidedly long in the tooth now.

Having said that, the Ouya isn't even supposed to be released until next year, and it's already not on the fastest SoC in a market that's moving fast. I have a Tegra 3 device myself driving a 1200x800 display, and I'd say that its rendering can be about on-par with current consoles (given that they usually render at 720p at best) as long as things aren't too complex... but the current consoles are years old and past due for replacement. The Ouya is okay for today, but it'll be decidedly shoddy in five years' time, and if they release incremental upgrades you lose the simplicity and hardware-targeting that are the advantages of consoles in the first place.

The last console like this printed money (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40671621)

The Ouya is okay for today, but it'll be decidedly shoddy in five years' time

That's what wii said about the last budget console wii saw, but for a while, wii ended up seeing it printing money [ytmnd.com] .

Re:Fragmentation (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672583)

Over powered at launch?
Even at launch they barely compete with a decent PC from the same time.

Re:Fragmentation (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673179)

high resolution gaming on a tv

Now that's quite a paradox here.

Re:Fragmentation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40670573)

Disclaimer: I have no idea, I don't represent or anything but:

How about selective incremental upgrade pattern?

You pick if you wanna update. This way, gamers can just not update (default setting), and hackers can just choose to install a new version of Android if they want to (just keep the bootloader unlocked and this should be easy). Or they could just set an option somewhere to update Android - shouldn't be hard.

This will, of course, only give developers even bigger gripes, but as is with the handheld market (where most phones are actually 2.1), isn't this already the case?

Re:Fragmentation (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 2 years ago | (#40670761)

I think they were talking about hardware upgrades.

ARM if for the poor people.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40670671)

Would it be because the Ouya uses a shity ARM processor? Since the Neocons are shifting all of Americas wealth to Briton. The poor American will only be able to afford shitty ARM processor or Intel ATOMS processor. I can hardly wait for my first laptop with an ARM processor.

Fragmentation mindless talking point (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40670857)

Fragmentation is a mindless talking point. The Apps I write for Android target 2.2, thats 98% of the market. If you want the newer APIs, then bundle the compatibility lib.

I don't want Ouya to be continually upgrading, because it will continually be breaking like my Windows PC does, or like the XBox did before I sold it.

I won't be disappointed that it doesn't continually change under my program, quite the reverse, I will be pleased of the stability. I like it that my Android tablet from January last year still runs the software I wrote for it, exactly and predictably as it did when I bought it. I hope in 5 years time it will run the same software exactly as it does not.

Re:Fragmentation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672091)

Then don't release incremental upgrades that can break games. (AKA, downgrading, deprecating features is so last decade)

Inform developers of ways to make games hardware independent as much as they can.
Tell them to detect features so that future versions of the game will still run fine on original models, but newer ones will have super high def particles in 5D!
Basically make games the way good devs do now and not lock it down to the hardware because it is fixed hardware and they can.
Locking things to hardware results in a hundred different kind of bugs when you try to play it elsewhere. More so if someone tries to emulate it in the future.

Also don't pull a Mozilla and break everything with every update. HOW TO API?!
It is the API developers job to deal with deprecated code.
If you wrote a new function that draws windows and some stuff isn't used anymore, don't you dare throw a error, don't you DARE.
You will handle it and enter default values for any new parameters and trash ones no longer needed.
If a developer wants to take advantage of new features, they can do it when they want to, but don't you dare force them to. Amateurish as hell behaviour.
No, not even for a completely new major release of software or hardware. If something can work completely fine by passing the old parameters to a new function and defaulting possible new required parameters, then damn well do so.
Pisses me off when API developers do this.
The best method is using version numbers, of course. Use them! Version numbers can never fail. (unless you are a moron)

So, always on DRM? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40670427)

"all the paid content will require authentication with Ouya's servers"

So it'll have Ubi-style always-on DRM. Nice.

I was kind of interested in this project, but upon reflection I'm getting increasingly more sceptical. Too many spurious claims, not enough hard detail. I'll see how (if) it pans out, but I'm glad I'm not a backer.

Re:So, always on DRM? (2)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40670497)

Someone mod this up.

Why they think that it needs to constantly authorize the software online is beyond me. Microsoft and Sony quite happily let you download a game on your PS3 and never go online again (most games, not _all_ on the ps3 at least). If its not as easy as this it's already failing in this respect....

Of course the people who are likely to buy it already understand this and know how to get around these issues (Yup, piracy).

Re:So, always on DRM? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40670925)

The simple answer is that all of the games will be free to play, at least in part. It kinda makes the piracy scare claims stand out as the obvious FUD they are, even if we don't like the idea of always-on DRM. Whoever keeps saying that the Ouya will lead to high piracy rates for games specifically targeting the thing must be very silly!

Re:So, always on DRM? (2)

Internetuser1248 (1787630) | more than 2 years ago | (#40671753)

This. They are clearly making these claims to attract big commercial developers. This is a mistake as those developers will not come. They should be trying to attract indy developers with free to play content. For developers like this open, hackable systems are great, and the chance to move into the console market in a way that supports digital distribution direct to the consumer without the need for proprietary disc formats is very attractive. I would suggest that they collaborate with the Unity3d people, there is a goldmine of free to play content there and anyone can get in on it. A console with this business model could soon come to dominate the console indy corner of the market (given that there is zero competition). As an independent basement developer myself, I know I have no chance of earning money off my games until one becomes popular. I would jump at the chance to deploy for a console if it was as simple and hassle free as deploying windows/mac/browser clients on unity. You would not get the best games but you would get huge numbers of games. Some would be good and many would be innovative. Once you had a player base and a market share some of the bigger companies with a more progressive outlook like valve might consider releasing some of their free titles on the platform.

End users don't care about indie games (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40671935)

They are clearly making these claims to attract big commercial developers. This is a mistake as those developers will not come. They should be trying to attract indy developers with free to play content.

I thought they were targeting the major labels because most end users are thought to give neither a damn [slashdot.org] nor a fuck [slashdot.org] about indie games. If people like CronoCloud are to be believed, end users want games developed by people who have paid their dues to the video gaming establishment by moving to Austin, Boston, or Seattle and working on someone else's project.

Re:End users don't care about indie games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672819)

Developers that haven't paid their dues tend not to ship products and when they do they tend not to be as good. I'm sure there are exceptions, but they're just that exceptions. Free is a low enough price for most folks to consider playing, but if you're asking for money having a CV with some impressive projects helps a lot.

Re:So, always on DRM? (4, Insightful)

GuB-42 (2483988) | more than 2 years ago | (#40670993)

The key here is "all the paid content". And I believe it actually means "all the paid content purchased on the official Ouya store". If the device is rootable, nothing prevent developers from making an alternate store that doesn't require authentication.

I think they will use the same strategy as the android market. There is a licensing API but it is up to the developer to chose how to use it : it can be never, once, or every time the app is started, it also support a (configurable) grace period in case you are not always online.

Re:So, always on DRM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40671523)

Too many spurious claims, not enough hard detail. I'll see how (if) it pans out, but I'm glad I'm not a backer.

My thoughts exactly. Marketing bullshit to separate the fool from his money. I hope we will be proven wrong.

failz0rs.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40670475)

Rewards (3, Insightful)

byennie (1126011) | more than 2 years ago | (#40670483)

I'd be worried they completely overextended on the Kickstarter rewards. They may have raised $5M so far, but they also owe:

* About 8% of that to Kickstarter & Amazon (= $400,000)
* 35,000 consoles and controllers to their backers

Manufacturing and fulfillment on 35,000 consoles is going to take an awfully large bite out of their (so far) $4.6M net from Kickstarter.

Re:Rewards (1)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40670511)

If each one cost $100 to make (doubtful) then they'd have a nice chunk of change left over for themselves ($1.1mil if my calculations are correct). Of course there's other issues, taxes etc..... but I think it could still be quite successful?

Re:Rewards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40670563)

Assuming design, packaging, shipping and royalties are free, and they all work out of their parent's basements.

Re:Rewards (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40671639)

Assuming design, packaging, shipping and royalties are free

Royalties to whom?

Re:Rewards (2)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 2 years ago | (#40671719)

Assuming design, packaging, shipping and royalties are free

Royalties to whom?

Royalties to the inevitable patent trolls that try to litigate them out of existence. $5 million would probably cover the legal department's canteen bill for the real players in this market, like MS, Sony and Apple.

Re:Rewards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40670587)

Those are pretty big problems IMO. It's possible they will pull it off of course, but we're talking AT LEAST 80% of their funds already spoken for before they even touch taxes or fulfilling 35,000 orders, or actually spend it on development, staff or anything else.

Hopefully they have other funding that makes this mute, because a few $100k net ain't going to take them far.

Re:Rewards (4, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40670773)

The big cost in hardware is development, not manufacturing.

Re:Rewards (1)

Mithent (2515236) | more than 2 years ago | (#40670935)

This is a valid point, yep. Raising money for, say, developing a game through Kickstarter is fine, because you're just paying for the developers' time in advance rather than retrospectively, and that's what most of the money goes on. But if you're selling something on Kickstarter that has actual unit costs, you'd better be making sure that the price is high enough to cover all your overheads after you take that into account, and $99 is not a lot to be selling this device for considering that they also need to develop the controller, write the software, build a back-end infrastructure, perhaps fund some first-party games to kick start (if you excuse the term) the device, market it etc.

Re:Rewards (2)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 2 years ago | (#40671819)

The controller apparently incorporates a touchpad into the service to make it easier to play games designed for touchscreens. They are offering extra controllers for $30. That's a blue tooth controller with integrated touchpad for $30. It's this that screams Phantom to me. A fairly generic BT controller alone already costs around thirty bucks. How can they hope to sell their fancy version for the same amount?

In a perfect world, they pull it off, create a minor storm in the gaming world and fulfil everyone's orders, but it's entirely possible this ends up with nobody getting anything, except for the company employees who've had their wages funded for a year or two.

Until quite recently there were still people waiting to receive their Pandora [wikipedia.org] console, two years late and that was, arguably, a substantially less ambitious project but one also funded by pre-orders. To their credit the Pandora devs ended up having to invest a lot of their own money and despite facing some incredible set-backs and hurdles they managed to create their dream handheld - albeit one that is now several years behind the loop compared to what the originally envisaged.

Re:Rewards (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672127)

If they completely overextended, then they shouldn't have bumped up the limits.

The project started out with a limited number of rewards and they have bumped those up a few times.

It's entirely likely that's part of the marketing spiel (they have pretty much admitted that they're using KickStarter in part for that purpose).

Which in turn leads to the whole "they're seeking funding outside of KickStarter as well" stuff.

Personally I think it can be done - but don't see the point. But if it ends up a very popular gaming platform, or just forces others to serve the market, then mission accomplished.

There's an overview of positive and negative articles somewhere I saw:
http://www.crowdthunder.net/ouya-news-round-up-2012-07-17/ [crowdthunder.net]

Their volume is too low to buy the CPU! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40670495)

I'm an electronics designer and the first thing that jumps out at me is that they want to use a Tegra 3 processor. From having detailed conversations with another SoC manufacturer in the same class I'm certain there is no chance in hell they will be able to purchase that processor with only, say, 50k consoles being produced (35k Kickstarter backers at the time of writing).

When we tried it the SoC manufacturer was willing to deal with us at a level of 1 million units and stated they might _consider_ 500k units/pa if we could guarantee a ramp-up.

So this sounds like a total load of shit based on that single glaring fact.

Re:Their volume is too low to buy the CPU! (0)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40670637)

You don't buy directly from the manufacturer, you get small quantities from a distributor.

Re:Their volume is too low to buy the CPU! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40670673)

Uh, show me a distie that carries the Tegra 3 with a suitable MOQ. Hell, a quick search of the major disties doesn't show a single one that carries the Tegra 3 in any volume.

Even if you could get then in low volume somehow you can't even get the necessary specs and design documents except from the manufacturer directly, which means you have to have their approval and sign the required NDAs to even begin to design it in.

Re:Their volume is too low to buy the CPU! (1)

rioki (1328185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40671745)

If I would do such a project I would use an ITX board with an Atom on top and only off the shelf components with a "cutom" case. Basically build a low spec PC in a box. But you can forget the 99$ price point...

Re:Their volume is too low to buy the CPU! (1)

fluffythedestroyer (2586259) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672309)

Bullshit, your a gamer ... it shows with the amount of posts in this article compared to others. By the way, kickstarter is there to help, they can't create their business only from kickstarter. It helps them by answering most of their questions on the business side. They know with KS that if their plan is a fail or success in a general term. To my eyes, seems like a good start.

Re:Their volume is too low to buy the CPU! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672981)

That's why you buy from a distributor rather than direct. It's not difficult to find them in quantities of one, but it's far more expensive of course.

Are you sure you've done this before? Limited production runs during buildout are the norm, you don't run a million units to your test market.

Re:Their volume is too low to buy the CPU! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673495)

That's why you buy from a distributor rather than direct. It's not difficult to find them in quantities of one, but it's far more expensive of course.

Are you sure you've done this before? Limited production runs during buildout are the norm, you don't run a million units to your test market.

Sure, for many ordinary parts. But these are not available by direct intention of the manufacturers in low volumes. The specifications and design documents that are essential to design with and program these parts (not to mention the ability to actually buy the things!) are only available after signing purchase agreements and NDAs with the manufacturer.

So even if you could get a handful from some grey market it would do you no good without the data you will only get after signing an agreement with the manufacturer.

And no, I haven't done this before (as I previously stated) as when we approached the manufacturer to use one of their media processors in a run of maybe 20k they politely told us they were not interested in doing business with us due to the low volume. We ended up using a pre-made System-On-Module board that used an ARM processor.

Easiest way to avoid emulation ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40670525)

The easiest way to avoid the emulation issue (which I assume is a concern due to piracy) is to produce those games for the console in the first place and sell them at a reasonable price point. After all, the production costs will be lower. They already have the graphics and sound assets developed. The code should be easier to rewrite too.

Avoiding piracy in general is a harder issue though. Making it difficult to get any software onto or off of these systems has definitely been effective in discouraging piracy in some (albeit not all) circles.

Well, duh? (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 2 years ago | (#40670607)

Yeah, I was interested in it mostly as an emulation machine. Anything wrong about that?

Claim that noninfringing use is not substantial (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40671691)

Yeah, I was interested in it mostly as an emulation machine. Anything wrong about that?

Nothing wrong with your interest, but perception as "an emulation machine" will hurt the console's chance of success. For one thing, AAA video game publishers probably don't want to publish on the same platform that's known to be widely sold for the express purpose of emulating infringing copies of their own game. Then the AAA video game publishers might try suing the manufacturer for contributory infringement, claiming that the device's noninfringing use is not substantial and therefore does not qualify for a defense under Sony v. Universal. In fact, I was told on Fedora legal that Red Hat's fear of having to spend attorney's fees on such a lawsuit is why Fedora doesn't carry NES emulators in its repository, despite the existence of freely licensed homebrew games for NES.

Re:Claim that noninfringing use is not substantial (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672129)

AAA publishers don't want to publish on any platform that comes from outside the status quo. If soeone thinks it's the emulation that's going to keep the likes of EA away from this thing, they've not been paying attention.

Expecting AAA games on the Ouya is delusional, at best. And if the games are going to be running on the Zynga model with Diablo III DRM... well, I guess there's still something to be said for a $99 box for playing video off an external hard drive. Not much, but something.

could make developers wary of investing in it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40670715)

unless they get their game dev funded by Kickstarter.

Just can't let go of old school business models huh?

closed source is not better. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40670775)

today i have an xbox 360. its a piece of shit.

as a media center its anal, to require only the codec that is uses.
as kinect is a poor accurate system , its not playable with games.
as a game consul, omg, i buy a game, i have to store it, on xbox360, and if i don't have space, i fucked up.
so.
what can i do other then the intended Microsoft will? WATCH ADVERTISEMENT! ,

and no, i cant watch some of the advertisement , BECAUSE I'M NOT USA BASED! WTF?!?!

now , on open source at least i can try and hack it with no void warranty, which i still have on the xbox, so it will sit there for a while till i lose interest in it, throw it, and say " this is the worst investment EVER!"

Piracy... (3, Interesting)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#40670779)

It's already trivially easy to pirate games on all the other gaming platforms... And most of them are also capable of running emulators.

What's really needed however, is a modern day equivalent of the Amiga. A system with a good selection of games, the insert and boot simplicity of a console, and a proper computer underpinning the system that allows people to learn more should they wish to do so. Think about it like this:

Parents don't want to buy their kids a games console because it's not very educational, all it does is play games.
Kids may not be terribly interested in learning how a computer works to start with, but if the facility is there then curiosity will often get the better of them.
Most importantly, the system needs to encourage people to learn about it, and needs to have a simple procedure to return it to a working state regardless of how much you've messed with it.

As for piracy, all the various anti piracy measures do is limit casual piracy, that is kids sharing copies of games with friends, or buying a single copy of a game to play at a lan party... These schemes inevitably get cracked anyway, and instead of buying one copy to share those kids will simply obtain a pirate copy to start with.

Re:Piracy... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40671727)

all the various anti piracy measures do is limit casual piracy, that is kids [...] buying a single copy of a game to play at a lan party

And now you know why PC games tend not to support split or otherwise shared screen multiplayer in the living room: selling four copies is more lucrative for the publisher [cracked.com] .

Re:Piracy... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672175)

No, it's because the "PC connected to the tv" is a sufficiently uncommon use case as to be omitted from consideration. Even games that let you play multiple copies on LAN games (the upcoming Torchlight 2, for example) doesn't use split screen, even though they're not requiring you to buy 4 copies. It's because the majority of PC gamers want and expect it that way.

Re:Piracy... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672703)

Then why is "desktop PC with a 21 inch or bigger monitor" likewise an ignorable use case? That's at least as big as the bedroom TVs on which college students used to play split-screen GoldenEye 007 for Nintendo 64. Is it uncommon simply because it was already uncommon prior to the HDTV market shift making larger desktop PC monitors commonplace?

Re:Piracy... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672741)

Because those monitors are usually on desks, not on a couch where 2-4 people can sit comfortably and play. There's more variables to consider other than hardware.

A second chair (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673203)

Because those monitors are usually on desks

And bedroom TVs tended to be on dressers. All you really need to play 2-player shared-screen games on a PC are a second chair and a couple gamepads, yet conventional wisdom is that even that is too much of a hurdle.

The games are free (1)

bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) | more than 2 years ago | (#40670921)

The digital hats you will be buying are on their servers not your console. It should be possible to make this 100% secure. Banks don't mind you running Linux on a toaster to connect to your account and they have a lot more to lose.
Saying that they are still 100-1000 fold away of being able to get a Tegra3 console out the door. They should have proved the market by sticking a badge on a cheep Chinese ARM.

That's a feature (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#40671101)

And it's a pretty obvious necessity. The lockdown of hardware and the business model for selling software are parts of the same problem. You can't change one without changing the other as well. Open games require open hardware, and vice versa.

eurogamer, 1up writing for ad-customers? (1)

unami (1042872) | more than 2 years ago | (#40671293)

sounds like they are writing on behalf of their advertising-customers. nobody expects the mother of all consoles for 95$. it's supposed to be a small, cheap & hackable gaming toy - nothing more. sure, most arguments are valid - but they are not as important when you consider the price-point.

Horseradish (1)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 2 years ago | (#40671813)

These skeptics can't string two original thoughts together: fuss-potting on the DRM aspect, which is clearly not the main focus of this new console!

Time to wake up, The Humble Bundle statistics [humblebundle.com] prove that DRM-free games are indeed wanted.

Similarly, and open gaming platform is much needed. The corporates are just afraid of losing their fatty grips.

An open gaming platform exists; it's called the PC (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672025)

The Humble Bundle statistics prove that DRM-free games are indeed wanted.

The Humble Bundles are the exception to the rule; almost no indie game makes it even that far because if CronoCloud is to be believed, people give neither a damn [slashdot.org] nor a fuck [slashdot.org] about indie games. I seem to remember that a lot of the games in Humble Bundles are only popular because their developers are known for having worked for the establishment. And even among the exceptions, none of the Humble Bundles has yet sold a million copies. Compare to the million-selling mark used for "Player's Choice" or "Greatest Hits" or "Platinum Hits" branding among major-label console games.

Similarly, and open gaming platform is much needed.

An open gaming platform exists; it's called the PC. PCs can use USB game controllers or wireless game controllers with a USB dongle. Please convince me of why an open gaming platform marketed for connection to a television is needed.

Re:An open gaming platform exists; it's called the (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672629)

And exactly why are you stroking CronoCloud's cock? Between the Humble Bundle, Indie Royale & the success of the Indie Bundles on Steam, surely you must by now realize he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about.

Re:An open gaming platform exists; it's called the (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672735)

And exactly why are you stroking CronoCloud's [rooster]?

Because every single time I've come out in favor of indie games on Slashdot, he has come out strongly against me. He thinks the only way to make money from video games, apart from a handful of exceptions, is to work for the establishment in Austin, Boston, or Seattle before starting on your own original production.

Between the Humble Bundle, Indie Royale & the success of the Indie Bundles on Steam

How many of those bundles had games designed for the living room? Do fighting games and games like Bomberman, where every player's character is on the screen anyway, work better if each player has to use a separate screen and a separate copy of the game?

Obviously fake or lying. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672085)

I kinda thought that all the fake footage (Gears of War? Really? Madden? Minecraft? They were busted about their Minecraft statement) and the fake development board in the marketing material (Go check, doesn't match speak, definitely no Tegra3, too many USB ports.) gave it away.

"We" should remain skeptical? (1)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672153)

Who's "we"? I understand that the DRM folks might raise their eyebrows (and with no reason, since rooting an Android device doesn't defeat its DRM schemes, but that's another question). But why shoud "we" care?

Horrible! Controlling hardware you purchased? (1)

gavron (1300111) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672269)

How awful. You buy this hardware. Then you can control what runs on it?
Seriously?

Someone should go shoot someone else. It's against everything that's right
to be able to run whatever you want on your own hardware. That you paid for.
That you purchased. That you own. That you should be able to do whatever
you damn well please.

RMS said it best.

E

John Ernest @ MIT Houston Texas IT Recruitment (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672619)

What I would like to have though is an Android console that would be able to play 3D online Android gamed. But I think it is still a bit too early for Android to have such fantastic capabilities. Thanks for the awareness call though!
http://www.mitprof.com

Why the FUD effort? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672957)

If this device isn't really all that then why the effort to create "anti-hype"? If it can't deliver on it's promises, then just let it die quietly. There is really no need to go out of your way to FUD the thing.

Really. Why bother?

Are you some pathetic loser with no life that has to troll some niche product like a bully pulling the wings off flies or are you trying for some perverse Streisand Effect?

naive much? (1)

lymang (207777) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673267)

Their CEO seems extraordinarily naive. "Hacking and openness are about getting what you want to do with the hardware." Well, sure, AND it's about doing things with the hardware that the corporate overlords don't want you doing. Like playing emulators and pirated games.

Yes, you should be afraid (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673409)

Ouya will be just as secure as any other Android-powered device. In fact, because all the paid content will require authentication with Ouya's servers, we have an added layer of security. Hacking and openness are about getting what you want to do with the hardware. Rooting the device won't give you any more access to the software.

Since this company doesn't understand the meaning of rooting, or openness, they are going to be very disappointed.

Also, it makes me think you'll need to buy the apps that work thru Ouya, via Ouya, for them to authenticate it. So I'm guessing if you already own 3 versions of Angry Birds, you'll need to buy another to play it on the Ouya.

Anyways, when you make an item like this, doing a loss on hardware sales is stupid. You make it cheap enough that you can either break even, or make a small profit on the hardware sold. Add in a Xbox Live type Online System, with adds and lots of content, and make you're money that way. But keep it cheap. You do NOT need triple AAA titles, like Call of Duty on this thing, just fun time wasters, not unlike the stuff that Nintendo does.

Grab your niche and be happy with that, don't try to be everything, like pretty much, everyone else tries to do these days.

Re:Yes, you should be afraid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673669)

People pay money for Angry Birds?

Where?

It's free on Android Market/Google Play/Whatever They'll Call It Next Year.

What? (1)

corvax (941506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673517)

So people are saying oh noes it will be open and you will be able to pirate software this console will fail! Trying to force the companies hand to implement security measures. Then out of the other side of their mouths saying oh noes this console is using ubi soft always on phone home drm as a security measure its not open at all this console will fail. Dear ouya dont listen to these morons go for the open approach ignore all the bs!

Absurd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673537)

Those are totally absurd fears on the part of industry investors. Anyone with the know-how to accomplish these pirating techniques with a cookie-cutter Android system is more than capable of doing so with any other Linux- or Windows-based system, and there are no shortage of those with HDMI ports. Anyone with a desire to build an emulation console and an IQ high enough to formulate Google searches could build their own, or easily convert any of the breadbox PCs available on the market, /right now/.

That train has left the station. It left a long, long time ago.

suckers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673541)

all of those suckers that pledged over $3 million....stuff like this already exists at www.aliexpress.com...

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?