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Ouya Performance Not Particularly Exciting

Unknown Lamer posted 1 year,7 days | from the indrema-repeats-itself dept.

Android 305

hypnosec writes "Results of recent benchmark tests reveal that Ouya is not up to the mark and there are over 70 other ARM devices that perform better than the gaming console. Futuremark, which is known for its benchmarks like 3DMark and PCMark, benchmarked mobile devices and the Tegra 3 powered Ouya has been ranked 73rd." Of course, most of the those devices cost a lot more than $100 without carrier subsidies.

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305 comments

It's about content not specs. (5, Insightful)

ninlilizi (2759613) | 1 year,7 days | (#43456689)

As the early Nintendo days can attest.

Re:It's about content not specs. (5, Insightful)

ButchDeLoria (2772751) | 1 year,7 days | (#43456697)

This. Sadly, I personally don't think that Ouya content is going to be able to carry it though.

800,000 Applications (2, Informative)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,7 days | (#43456883)

This. Sadly, I personally don't think that Ouya content is going to be able to carry it though.

Except right now even before launch it has potentially more games than xbox360, ps3; and wii combined...and cheap too, most under a dollar. Everything from throwaway games to 20hr RPG's, Lets be honest most modern game engines work on Android. In fact the only problem it has is making out the quality from the...not so quality

Re:800,000 Applications (3, Interesting)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | 1 year,7 days | (#43456959)

Big point missed: it's supposidly built to run XBMC really well. It does have multiple purposes.

Re:800,000 Applications (5, Insightful)

Holmwood (899130) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457179)

This could well be very true. I backed it on Kickstarter precisely because I wanted a low power ARM-based 1080p media device that was more flexible than offerings from Sony, MS, Nintendo. Had no real interest in it personally as a gaming console.

That said... I read TFA. It completely misses the point. Sure, because brand new bleeding edge phones have higher performance, Ouya (at #70) is a loser. Good grief. It is a certainty that there will be between 100 and 1000 PCs (and Macs) of varying configurations from reasonable manufacturers that will exceed the PS4 and Xbox 720 when they are released (at #101-#1001). (at octo-core 1.6 GHz Jag and roughly half the performance of a 670 video card it won't be difficult). Does that mean that these consoles are failures and Sony and MS should give up?

Of course not. They will have defined a stable platform that is "good enough" for some years of gaming, along with interfaces to enable that.

Ditto, potentially, Ouya.

Will Ouya succeed? I've no idea, but the raw power of the console is unlikely to be a material issue at this point.

Re:800,000 Applications (4, Insightful)

AdamHaun (43173) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457029)

In fact the only problem it has is making out the quality from the...not so quality

Which is not a problem we should dismiss out of hand. The exact same problem killed Atari (and the American video game market with it [wikipedia.org]) back in the 80s. When the NES was introduced, Nintendo had some pretty strict quality/quantity control [wikipedia.org] to prevent that from happening again, as well as its own magazine to inform gamers about what was available. Perhaps aggregate reviews on the internet will fulfill the same function today.

Re:800,000 Applications (0)

node 3 (115640) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457469)

Except right now even before launch it has potentially more games than xbox360, ps3; and wii combined...

I, like most people, find it difficult to play potential games. I suppose, though, the PS3 has more potential games too. So does the Xbox 360. And the Wii. And the C64. Heck, even the HAL9000 has more "potential" games.

and cheap too, most under a dollar.

And worth every penny!

Everything from throwaway games to 20hr RPG's, Lets be honest most modern game engines work on Android. In fact the only problem it has is making out the quality from the...not so quality

But then you won't be able to say something like, "it has potentially more games than xbox360, ps3; and wii combined".

However, for sake of argument, let's just pretend that potential games somehow become real games (by magic, we must assume). Then what? Will people want to run them on a slow console? Why? Because it's $99?

In terms of sheer numbers, that's actually possible (er, "potential"). But in terms of the types of customers that game companies want, the kind that buy games and care about quality, it's not gonna happen. Those people will buy from Sony, MS, and Nintendo, or build a PC. Or hell, simply just play on their high end Android or iOS devices!

Ouya is a cool device, and its very existence alone is notable. But I believe it's a product based on a fundamentally flawed premise. That premise is that low cost should trump quality.

Re:800,000 Applications (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#43457501)

it has potentially more games than xbox360, ps3; and wii combined

Uhh, no, not unless you're counting each dinky Android "game" and not just the real ones.

Re:It's about content not specs. (1)

shentino (1139071) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457203)

There's always time for the next version of the Ouya.

I imagine that they'll pay attention to feedback so they know which areas to beef up.

Do you think they were using Gamecube grade hardware in the NES?

Re:It's about content not specs. (1)

blackicye (760472) | 1 year,7 days | (#43456803)

As the early Nintendo days can attest.

The difference was in the early days the market wasn't so competitive (saturated.)

Why choose one of the two when you can have both content _and_ hardware?

Re:It's about content not specs. (3, Insightful)

jxander (2605655) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457145)

One : Because hardware tends to kill content.

Devs these days are more concerned about rendering amazing graphics, and epic cut scenes, and *hey put down the controller you're screwing up all my hard work... just sit there and watch the awesome happen. When the cutscene is over you can walk down the hallway to the next cutscene.* Video games used to be a method to tell stories, now all the time and budget for narrative has gone by the wayside in order to cram more pixels into each frame. Plus, there's only so much real estate on physical media. Bluray is, what, 25 - 50 GB. And the aforementioned cut scenes take a lot of room, so instead of 50+ hour epics, we get a lot of 10-hour quickies, for the same price. (just plowed through dishonored over the weekend, hard mode, "Clean Hands," 9 hours)

And two : Because right now, that really isn't a choice.

XBox and PS3 are mostly focused on annual franchises that are near sure-fire hits : Battlefield, Modern Warfare, Call of Duty, Madden, FIFA, Halo, etc. Release a new game each year with Title n+1, same graphics, add a few bells and whistles, maybe a new map or two, and you're printing money. WiiU has a grand total of like 2 games that aren't Dance or Party games (or dance-party games)

Asking for both is even less of an option when you factor in the $100 mark. Less than 1/3 the price of a current iPod Touch. This is a toy, at the moment. A playground for developers to see what they can do, and for people to run old emulators, XBMC or whatever else they can think up. If it catches on, and sw devs enjoy it, maybe it'll pick up steam and release a more powerful version... Time will tell. At the very least, it's nice to see someone else trying.

Re:It's about content not specs. (2)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#43457183)

Devs these days are more concerned about rendering amazing graphics, and epic cut scenes, and *hey put down the controller you're screwing up all my hard work... just sit there and watch the awesome happen. When the cutscene is over you can walk down the hallway to the next cutscene.* Video games used to be a method to tell stories, now all the time and budget for narrative has gone by the wayside in order to cram more pixels into each frame. Plus, there's only so much real estate on physical media. Bluray is, what, 25 - 50 GB. And the aforementioned cut scenes take a lot of room, so instead of 50+ hour epics, we get a lot of 10-hour quickies, for the same price. (just plowed through dishonored over the weekend, hard mode, "Clean Hands," 9 hours)

yes yes, everything these days is worse than whatever you had (unspecified) in your childhood, everything kids have these days is mindless and derivative, herp derp.

Re:It's about content not specs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#43457321)

Well not usually worse. Often not better. Unless you're just using how pretty it looks as your only standard.

Re:It's about content not specs. (3, Insightful)

Black LED (1957016) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457523)

The ratio of good games to bad games is probably the same as it's always been. Don't tell me you've forgotten about the LOADS of absolute garbage games on older systems.

Re:It's about content not specs. (1)

exomondo (1725132) | 1 year,7 days | (#43456851)

As the early Nintendo days can attest.

We always hear about the stifling of the industry because game developers are going after the lowest common denominator in the current crop of consoles rather than exploiting hardware advancements, Ouya could well do the same in the Android game space. It's not all about graphics but for a non-portable gaming device you want it to be fairly capable.

Re:It's about content not specs. (3, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457041)

Early Nintendo days? For the first half of its history Nintendo hardware generally outclassed its competitors. NES was a LOT better than than the Sega MasterSystem. SNES make Genesis look downright feeble, and despite their decision to stick to cartridges, N64 was far more capable than PSX or the Saturn from the standpoint of processing power. Heck even Gamecube was in many ways superior to PS2 and Xbox.

Nintendo's whole "quality content on inferior hardware" dance really only started on the Wii.

Re:It's about content not specs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#43457251)

Nintendo hardware generally outclassed its competitors. NES was a LOT better than than the Sega MasterSystem

The NES may have been more popular but the Master System had better hardware.

Re:It's about content not specs. (1)

Dripdry (1062282) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457267)

Shame on you!
http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/content/sega-master-system-vs-nintendo-entertainment-system [gamepilgrimage.com]
Nintendo hardware wasn't even close to better than the SMS. A cursory look at the specs will tell you that. The SMS had more processing power, better graphics and sound.

SMS vs. NES (2)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457355)

The SMS had more processing power, better graphics and sound.

Processing power was a wash, as Z80 is less efficient clock for clock than 6502. SMS had more color depth, more RAM, and ability to update name. The NES won on sound with an extra bass octave, more timbres for pulse wave instruments, and a digital sample playback channel, and it won on graphics with the ability to scroll a vertical split screen area.

Re:It's about content not specs. (2)

Hamsterdan (815291) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457297)

Nope. The Master System had 8 times the video ram, 4 times the ram, and a much faster CPU.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_video_game_consoles_(third_generation)#Comparison [wikipedia.org]

Re:It's about content not specs. (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457381)

The Master System had 8 times the video ram

True, but that's because the NES was designed to use video ROM or RAM in the cartridge. Plug Videomation into your NES and there's more video RAM than the SMS. Tile animation effects, such as the spinning ? blocks and spinning coins in SMB3, could be made much more elaborate in NES games whose mapper chip supported paged video ROM.

4 times the ram

This I'll give you: NES games with a highly destructible environment (such as SMB3) needed to have extra working memory on the cartridge at $6000-$7FFF. But games with a battery save feature often got this for free, as they could dedicate about half a KiB to battery save and the rest to expanded working memory.

a much faster CPU

Let me guess: You fell for the megahertz myth in the Pentium 4 days. A 6502 CPU has about twice the IPC of a Z80.

Sir, I take exception with that (2)

rsilvergun (571051) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457299)

and as proof, I give you Fatal Fury Special [youtube.com] running on the Sega Master System (Game Gear technically, but the hardware is identical) WITHOUT tonnes of custom mappers chips.

As for your SNES, well it was kinda slow. Not like it ran at the same speed as a Colecovision but.. oh wait. It did. And Ranger X broke the color barrier. Heck, most SNES games didn't run base hardware. It's why cart loaders don't work well. [youtube.com]

You might be right about the N64, but it didn't help much when the carts where $70 a pop a year after a game launched. As for the gamecube, it was the most powerful system of it's generation and the PS2's library trounced it (Persona 4 anyone? Godhand? Okami was a better Zelda than Zelda).

Shows the (1)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457487)

and as proof, I give you Fatal Fury Special running on the Sega Master System (Game Gear technically, but the hardware is identical) WITHOUT tonnes of custom mappers chips.

Fast forward to in-game graphics [youtube.com], and I see three strips: the background, the foreground, and the status bar. One thing you don't get in SMS or Game Gear games is vertical scrolling in games using a status bar like this. On both NES and SMS, a game can divide the screen into horizontal strips and scroll each one separately. On NES, each strip can be scrolled in all eight directions, but on SMS, strips can be scrolled only horizontally. Show me a driving game for SMS that actually has hills like Rad Rader for NES.

Also notice the slightly boring musical instruments, as the NES has three different timbres for pulse waves compared to one on the SMS, and a primitive sample playback channel compared to none on the SMS. Also notice the lack of bass, as the NES can go an octave lower. Show me anything like the soundtrack of Battletoads or Solstice or Sunsoft games [youtube.com]. Or even compare the soundtrack of the Game Boy and Game Gear versions of Mortal Kombat.

As for your SNES, well it was kinda slow. Not like it ran at the same speed as a Colecovision but.. oh wait. It did.

And a 1.6 GHz Atom runs at the same speed as a 1.6 GHz Core i series. Oh wait, it doesn't. You have to compare the architectures, and a 65816 handily beats a Z80 clock for clock.

Re:Sir, I take exception with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#43457599)

Exactly. The proof is in the games and SMS games always looked better than NES games. This was especially noticeable when the same game came out for both systems, like Double Dragon. The NES version didn't even have two players. Or look at Strider Hiryu, the SMS has the arcade version, albeit toned down, but still impressive. The NES Strider was a piece of shit.

Mortal Kombat 1-3 and Street Fighter II were released on the SMS. The NES could not handle them.

Re:It's about content not specs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#43457305)

As other AC said, the master system was at least slightly ahead of the NES.

The SNES ended up better, but the genius of that design was the ability to put powerful co-processors on the cartridge. Sega had to add other hardware through an aux port, and then their additions also kind of sucked (32x and SegaCD).

Re:It's about content not specs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#43457341)

Did you just make this stuff up...oh, it's an OPINION thinly veiled as fact. And it's wrong.

Re:It's about content not specs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#43457365)

Mostly wrong.
The Famicom/NES was a pretty crap system with a lot of oddball hardware and very little ram. It relied on extensible hardware inside each cartridge to overcome a lot of it's shortcomings. (It's also why NES emulation is a PITA - You have to emulate the types of cart hardware too)

The MK3/SMS was technically a much better system. More memory, COTS parts, faster, more standard Z80 CPU, a real sound chip, etc. It was lightyears easier to program for and the carts were cheaper to make.

The trouble is Sega sucked at marketing, and the hardware suffered from too many strange overlapping features. Nintendo was actually quite good at getting good titles marketed and in to the hands of players.

The Megadrive/genisis and Super Famicom/SNES was a different story. The genisis was again a simple COTS systems, z80 coprocessor (for SMS backwards compatibility, but could be used by newer games. Was often used to run the background music) standard 68k cpu, standard sound chip, etc. It was easy to program for.

The SNES was again full of a lot of really oddball hardware, but this time it was a lot of custom stuff designed by nintendo and it really was a better system. It also had a much cleaner video signal output. While again more difficult to program for you could get a lot of really great looking graphics if you used all of it's video capabilities properly.

The n64 is was really an odd system too. Considered by many to be a failure in a lot of ways due to some really bad design choices. The CPU and graphic hardware was hobbled through a really slow bus. The carts did not provide much space for textures, but the system could not support large textures anyway due to the previously mentioned bus flaws. The CPU was also inappropriate, designed more for SGI workstations than game consoles. (Whole lot of silicon wasted on a high precision FPU when really fast integer performance is what is needed for a console)

Re:It's about content not specs. (2)

edxwelch (600979) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457215)

fair enough, but consider that no games for Ouya will have dynamic shadows. That's because Tegra does not support shadow mapping

Re (-1, Troll)

AlexSeanQ (2895547) | 1 year,7 days | (#43456691)

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Epoch: The Hacked Twitter Accounts Spam Slashdot (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#43456881)

And it begins ... fucking twitter spam from a hacked twitter account on Slashdot.

And... (1)

josephtd (817237) | 1 year,7 days | (#43456709)

Many of those devices are also self contained computers with everything you need to use them included at that price. Not making a dumb comparison, just pointing out that there are flaws in the reasoning behind the last sentence of TFS.

Re:And... (1)

hawguy (1600213) | 1 year,7 days | (#43456737)

Many of those devices are also self contained computers with everything you need to use them included at that price. Not making a dumb comparison, just pointing out that there are flaws in the reasoning behind the last sentence of TFS.

So you're saying that a much different device at a much different price point has much different performance?

Re:And... (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | 1 year,7 days | (#43456859)

It's about 1/2 the performance of the top rate device, but I somehow feel that it's probably running a less overhead than a phone has to.

Funny thing about 3dmark though... it doesn't score my PC very high, yet I play just about everything at 1920x1080 ultra/high settings with no lag and I'm not running an elegant cooling solution, so basically... in short... I think WEI has more merit.

Re:And... and... (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | 1 year,7 days | (#43456767)

Devices you'd want to have for other reasons. I have a smartphone already. I need a cellphone for my job, and a smartphone is really convenient for it. So I have one. Well if it is something I'm already going to buy, then it really isn't such a big deal to have a good one.

That's the issue. Ouya doesn't compete with smartphones, it competes with consoles. It has to put up a good showing against what Nintendo, MS, and Sony offer. I won't get one to replace my smartphone because it is not a phone, nor does it go in my pocket.

So ya, my Note II cost me a hell of a lot more than $100. I paid it because games are only a minor part of what it does. The money was paid to get me phone, web, GPS, SSH, RDP, and so on in my pocket at all times.

Re:And... and... (3, Interesting)

obarthelemy (160321) | 1 year,7 days | (#43456957)

Ouya competes with non-hyped Android sticks. I just got $50 MK808B and Neo G4 ($75) and X5 ($100, but more I/O) sticks that I'm setting up to do Skype, Internet, email... and games... for friends and family. Dual-core A9, 1GB RAM, 8GB Flash, 2x or 3xUSB, BT, Wifi, Android 4.1 (4.2 on the way), SD slot, HDMI (and SPDIF for the X5)... and the full Android PlayStore,which Ouya and GameStick don't offer.

Add a $50 gamepad (a really good one, xbox or DualShock), any old keyboard and mouse, or a Logitech K400 if you want to get fancy, and you get something that can play almost as well as the Ouya/Gamestick, and do a whole lot more thanks to the PlayStore.

There aren't a whole lot of games that support gamepads or kb+ms, and quite a few games won't run at all because of lack of touch/accelerometer/gyroscope, and the portrait mode... but there are still quite a few good games, a whole bunch of emulators... and this is a lot more than what the OuyaSticks have right now. And there's a good chance that OuyaStick games will find their way to the PlayStore, too, devs would be crazy not to port them: very little extra work, a way bigger market.

I think it all comes down to the games: if Ouya or GameStick not only catch up to the PlayStore but snag good, exclusive games, it might be worth pay as much for them as for a true Android device, in spite of Ouya/GameStick being as expensive, more limited, and having bad controllers.

And quad-cores are on the way for less than $100.

Re:And... and... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457363)

This is my view of it as well. I haven't tried the Ouya yet, but I don't think the controller will be comparable to what you can get from just buying an XBox360 or DualShock controller and using it with any old Android MiniPC. Most non-console brand controllers (mad-catz and others) tend to be really low quality, and I question the likelyhood of the Ouya team being able to sell an Android mini PC and a quality controller for $100, while still being able to turn a profit.

Re:And... and... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#43457497)

The cheap sticks don't suffer from bad hardware, but bad support. It doesn't matter if you have a 50 dollar stick with good specs, it's worth jack-all without a community and good developers to make sure the software runs well. Yeah, it runs android, but not very well. It's not like PC hardware, which will always run windows and linux well. Android requires a lot of hardware-specific tweaking before it's usable.

The cheap no-name android sticks will ship with a just-barely-running android system image tweaked by someone in china. And that's it. You will likely see no more updates from the maker. You might get some 3rd party developers on board, but really their time and your time is better spent on projects with better support.

It reminds me of the raspi. Sure, the raspi inst the best tiny single board computer. But it does have the best community behind it, and is thus the most useful to more people.

The price of a controller (1)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457547)

Neo G4 ($75) [...] Add a $50 gamepad (a really good one, xbox or DualShock)

And you've already surpassed the price of an Ouya console.

And there's a good chance that OuyaStick games will find their way to the PlayStore, too, devs would be crazy not to port them: very little extra work, a way bigger market.

I doubt that the majority of smartphone users are willing to buy and carry an Xbox 360 controller or a Dual Shock 3 controller. So you have to somehow find a usable mapping for your game controls onto the touch screen. How would you play a game like Mega Man X on a touch screen? I tried playing NES games in an NES emulator for Android on my Nexus 7 tablet, and my thumbs kept missing the buttons because unlike a physical gamepad, a flat sheet of glass provides no tactile feedback as to where the thumbs are relative to the on-screen controls.

Re:And... (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | 1 year,7 days | (#43456773)

Speaking of price comparisons:

Ouya: $99
Samsung Galaxy S3: $699

what'd the author of TFA expect? Something for nothing?

Yes (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#43456849)

And the chicks for free.

Re:And... (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | 1 year,7 days | (#43456861)

well arguably an Ouya can't replace a Samsung Galaxy S3, while an S3 does most everything an ouya can do as well as being a day to day device that you use for practical purposes. Not saying it is a good argument, but price difference here is irrelevant when an Ouya can't actually replace the device in question.

Re:And... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#43456945)

The thing that pisses me off is that it won't fit in my pocket very well.

Plus every time I make a phone call I have to find an outlet.

Re:And... (3, Informative)

dagamer34 (1012833) | 1 year,7 days | (#43456925)

The raw part cost of a smartphone SoC is a tiny portion of the bill of materials (BOM), maybe 10-15%. CPU is maybe $30 at the very high end? So for a box like the OUYA where the CPU is probably the biggest cost and they don't have to worry about a display, camera, battery, cellular radios, or massive amounts of storage, they probably could have sprung for a Snapdragon 600 or Tegra 4. Only thing is it would have delayed the product by 6 months since those chips are in high demand from smartphone OEMs. Take a look at this cost breakdown analysis of the GS4: http://www.isuppli.com/Teardowns/News/Pages/Samsung-Galaxy-S4-Carries-236-Bill-of-Materials-IHS-iSuppli-Virtual-Teardown-Reveals.aspx [isuppli.com] $236 worth of parts selling for $699 just shows you how things are roughly priced (granted, MSRP - BOM != profit, but Samsung is in a pretty good position). Also you'll learn the biggest conspiracy of smartphones ever: it does NOT cost $100 to go from 16GB NAND to 32GB, or 32->64, or 64->128.

Re:And... (3, Insightful)

Shoten (260439) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457081)

The raw part cost of a smartphone SoC is a tiny portion of the bill of materials (BOM), maybe 10-15%. CPU is maybe $30 at the very high end? So for a box like the OUYA where the CPU is probably the biggest cost and they don't have to worry about a display, camera, battery, cellular radios, or massive amounts of storage, they probably could have sprung for a Snapdragon 600 or Tegra 4. Only thing is it would have delayed the product by 6 months since those chips are in high demand from smartphone OEMs.

Take a look at this cost breakdown analysis of the GS4: http://www.isuppli.com/Teardowns/News/Pages/Samsung-Galaxy-S4-Carries-236-Bill-of-Materials-IHS-iSuppli-Virtual-Teardown-Reveals.aspx [isuppli.com] $236 worth of parts selling for $699 just shows you how things are roughly priced (granted, MSRP - BOM != profit, but Samsung is in a pretty good position). Also you'll learn the biggest conspiracy of smartphones ever: it does NOT cost $100 to go from 16GB NAND to 32GB, or 32->64, or 64->128.

Yes, but what you're forgetting about is the opportunity cost. If you can make a $100 device that competes equally with a $300 device simply by lowering your profit margin, that's not the whole picture. To design and start producing that device, you need funding. That capital typically comes from people who want a return on their investment, and lower risk. The smaller your profit margin, the closer you are to not being profitable at all if you miscalculated, incorrectly estimated, or failed to account for something. And even if you hit exactly your intended margin, you still end up providing a lower return on investment than if you had charged more...or, in this case, if you lower the hardware costs. Also, keep in mind that a $5 hardware cost difference matters less, profit-wise, on a $300 device than it does on a $100 device.

Hardware isn't designed and built in a vacuum; these things happen in the context of a business, as well as in the context of an entire industry.

Re:And... (4, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457035)

The OUYA is a self-contained computer. It is only missing a display.

You also have to consider that an OUYA with a controller is $100, and that a controller by itself is $50. So this is basically a $50 self-contained computer. I expect the performance to match/or exceed that of other $50 self-contained computers.

Benchmarks are nice, but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#43456731)

...what about the games? Are the games any good? I'd imagine that would be the truly important metric for a game console, not how many cycles per second, or what the framerate is at 1080p.

Visuals are nice and all, but I'd prefer to buy a game console that actually has some fun games available for it.... *cough* unlikepsvita *cough*

Re:Benchmarks are nice, but... (1)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | 1 year,7 days | (#43456817)

With 8GB I don't think you can fit much good on the storage through the internet. All I can think of the Ouya is being a hyped-up "revolutionary" box that offers a few f2p trials and nothing more.

Re:Benchmarks are nice, but... (1)

whoop (194) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457021)

It should be enough to handle the vast majority of the Xbox Live/Playstation Network type games though. I think that would be the niche they need to aim for, not the next Call of Assassin's Effect Yearly Sequel 43.

I think convincing devs to port to it will be the hardest thing for them, though. I'll wait and see before buying.

Re:Benchmarks are nice, but... (1)

loufoque (1400831) | 1 year,7 days | (#43456825)

The PS Vita has a lot of good games, assuming you like japanese games.

Re:Benchmarks are nice, but... (1)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457051)

The PS Vita has a lot of good games, assuming you like japanese games.

Japanese only? PS Vita has lots of gold classics euro games from the PS1, like this amazing racer I've once played, but could not find anywhere anymore.., it's on Vita! Comes with a great sountrack from the Scene's legend Blazer (Olof G) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ulV0Wa3r_Q [youtube.com]

Re:Benchmarks are nice, but... (0)

blackicye (760472) | 1 year,7 days | (#43456835)

Visuals are nice and all, but I'd prefer to buy a game console that actually has some fun games available for it.... *cough* unlikepsvita *cough*

Just because you're not in the target audience, doesn't mean there aren't fun games on a platform.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/03/13/vita-outsells-3ds-in-japan-strong-sales-continue [ign.com]

The Xbox 360 is still a flop in Japan and it debatably has some fun games available for it.

High for Tegra 3 Devices (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#43456799)

I think it is far more interesting that it scored higher than the majority of other tegra 3 devices which cost far more. I never really expected it to be performance impressive by the time it shipped. It is running on a 1 year old chip.

Of course it is going to be outpaced by the newer devices.

Re:High for Tegra 3 Devices (3, Insightful)

dagamer34 (1012833) | 1 year,7 days | (#43456933)

It is one of the highest bins of the Tegra 3 line, clocked at 1.7Ghz. Most Tegra SoC variants are 1.3Ghz or 1.4Ghz because they have to worry about battery life.

Content and Capabilities (5, Insightful)

ChefJeff789 (2020526) | 1 year,7 days | (#43456827)

So? This thing was never meant to be a PS4. The OUYA has my attention for several reasons: 1.) It's a kickstarter project and I hope it's successful for the sake of those that bet so much on it. 2.) It's cheap - consoles are never this inexpensive. The Wii was cheap, but the controllers were ungodly expensive (granted, the OUYA controllers aren't that cheap either). 3.) It's open. This is perhaps most important. I had more fun hacking a Wii and turning into an emulator box and a media streamer than I've ever had with my old, dusty Xbox 360. If I can do that with the blessing of the company who's box I just purchased, hell yes I'll buy one.

Re:Content and Capabilities (0)

SternisheFan (2529412) | 1 year,7 days | (#43456981)

The plan is for Ouya owners to upgrade the cpu and other parts as time goes on. So this is a game changing ability in the console wars. That openess is to be applauded and encouraged. I hope the Ouya does well, it might cause the big 3 console makers to reconsider drm and vendor lockdown.

Re:Content and Capabilities (1)

exomondo (1725132) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457103)

it might cause the big 3 console makers to reconsider drm and vendor lockdown.

That's driven by the publishers, and you can bet the ones that do drm already will go with some sort of lockdown, drm or internet-connected system for their ouya games to.

Blame Microsoft (0)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457307)

That's driven by the publishers, and you can bet the ones that do drm already will go with some sort of lockdown, drm or internet-connected system for their ouya games to.

...no that is just passing the buck. Microsoft recently got caught with their pans down, wanting an always online console, this follows their banning gown-up games in Europe, but they are all pretty much DRM upto the eyeballs. Your right though various software protection will be available on the OUYA, just like there is on all Android Apps, the difference with the OUYA is you own the hardware...rather than license it.

Re:Blame Microsoft (2)

exomondo (1725132) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457571)

...no that is just passing the buck.

Passing what buck? To whom? We see always-on DRM on PCs because it's the publishers, not the hardware makers, the console makers are only doing this to appease the content publishers. We see DRM on desktop Linux, OSX, iOS, Android, Playstation and Nintendo platforms as well so 'blame microsoft' is pretty ignorant.

Re:Content and Capabilities (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#43457163)

The plan is for Ouya owners to upgrade the cpu and other parts as time goes on.

Introducing the need to check system requirements, removing the huge benefit to developers of being able to target and optimize for exact hardware architecture and introducing the need to tweak settings to make games run acceptably. One of the reasons people buy consoles is so they don't have to worry about whether their cpu is powerful enough to run a game or their graphics card is powerful enough or they have enough ram.

Re:Content and Capabilities (2)

SternisheFan (2529412) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457295)

The upgrade capability is for those who like to mod their devices, the 'tinkerers'. If it's successful, then there'll be an Ouya Two, for people not inclined to upgrade their device. I believe that the Ouya's 1.7 cpu will be in the Playstaion2 range of computing power.

Check system requirements: PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4 (1)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457585)

Introducing the need to check system requirements

You already have to do that for PlayStation games. Games for the original PlayStation play on everything, but PlayStation 2 games won't play on an original PlayStation, nor will PlayStation 3 games play on a PlayStation 2 or 4. The store could be made to filter out Ouya 2 games unless all the components have been upgraded to at least Ouya 2 level.

Re:Content and Capabilities (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#43456993)

The fact that a kickstarter project exists doesn't mean it's a good idea. It's a cash grab actually. The OpenShot kickstarter was embarrassing... $20,000 for a point release across all platforms...of a Python program? One that would have come out anyway? I suppose if you have money to waste...

Re:Content and Capabilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#43457049)

So true, (writing from the line for iphone 5s)
I am willing to support emerging vendors

Re:Content and Capabilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#43457009)

You almost see to imply that you can do this with Nintendos blessing, which they do not give. You also could do this with an original Xbox before the Wii came out.

I am not a huge game system fan, but the 360 is still light years ahead of of the Wii.

Re:Content and Capabilities (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457059)

It's also worth noting, just for the sake of balance, that '73d in benchmarks' is a close to meaningless figure, equivalent to declaring that a given computer with, say, an i5 CPU is "not even in the top hundred" because you can buy hundreds of distinct SKUs that have i7 CPUs.

On the benchmark page [futuremark.com] you can see that major swaths of the benchmark list are near duplicates.

The top 20-odd spots are "quad-core Krait 300 Adreno 320", with the bulk of the next 50 being "dual-core Krait 300 Adreno 320".

The oddballs are "2 GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2580 PowerVR SGX544MP2", Samsung's "Up to 1.7 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 Mali-T604" and one or two other minor variants.

It's actually pretty surprising how much variation their is(in at least one case a dual Krait benchmarked ahead of several quad Kraits, allegedly at the same clock speed, and the ASUS transformer with a slower Tegra3 benches ahead of the OUYA with a higher clocked and otherwise identical SoC); but there Just. Aren't. That. Many. SoCs at the high end of the market.

There are definitely faster chips(especially on the CPU side, Nvidia went a bit light on the CPU side on the theory, unsurprising for them, that GPU is what counts); but only a handful, just used in 70-odd devices.

This fact doesn't make the Tegra3 any faster in an absolute sense; but there aren't even enough SoCs on the market for something to meaningfully be '73d'

Re:Content and Capabilities (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457437)

It's also worth noting, just for the sake of balance, that '73d in benchmarks' is a close to meaningless figure, equivalent to declaring that a given computer with, say, an i5 CPU is "not even in the top hundred" because you can buy hundreds of distinct SKUs that have i7 CPUs.

It would be interesting to know more about futuremark scores. Antutu, the benchmark all the users use (and which is thus much more interesting than a futuremark score) will give a lower score to the same CPU and GPU with a higher resolution display because it runs all tests at full resolution, and the score is based on the frame rate.

But its only $99 (1)

jdkc4d (659944) | 1 year,7 days | (#43456839)

I don't think you can really complain here. Its really cheap. And if people like this model, it won't be long before a newer version with a faster chip comes out.

Performance secondary to Ouya's goals. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#43456853)

A lot of the the new, popular indie games available aren't exactly taxing on system requirements. Granted some of them could stand a bit of optimization, but having a common framework and a fixed hardware target (exacly what the Ouya provides) really will help there.

I've got a nice overclock sandy bridge i5 and a high end video card in my gaming system. While I enjoy many of the newer A-list titles with all of their eye candy, I probably put a lot more gaming hours in to titles like minecraft (mostly mod packs like tekkit or FTB), binding of issac, don't starve, super meat boy, and a lot of others that can be had for a couple of bucks on steam.

While not the fastest thing in the world, I still think the ouya could put a lot of very good games in to the hands of eager players for a very good price. The big console makers miss the mark on indie titles, requiring way too much money for development and focusing way too heavily on monitization at the expense of gameplay.

As long as it plays movies as good as the Pi (1)

kampf (85517) | 1 year,7 days | (#43456943)

If it can't run XMBC better than a $35 Raspberry Pi with RaspBMC, I'm going to be a bit grumpy.

Re:As long as it plays movies as good as the Pi (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457089)

I don't know if it will run well; but running 'better' than a single-core CPU built on an older design and running at less than half the clock speed, with half the RAM, should be essentially automatic.

Given that all these little things have hardware decoders, I suspect that actual video decode(for mutually supported codecs) will be close enough to be irrelevant(unless a terribly slow storage bus is messing with things somewhere); but XBMC interface/overlay/widgets will probably appreciate the extra room...

Re:As long as it plays movies as good as the Pi (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457457)

I don't know if it will run well; but running 'better' than a single-core CPU built on an older design and running at less than half the clock speed, with half the RAM, should be essentially automatic.

How well XBMC supports your platform is highly relevant. In theory the RK3066 is a great place to run XBMC but in practice the video acceleration is almost nonexistent and your best hope is that your vendor will release a version which launches the external player.

Better than SNES or PSX (4, Informative)

Kevin Fishburne (1296859) | 1 year,7 days | (#43456951)

If it can power games anything like A Link to the Past and Symphony of the Night at 1080p then it'll do just fine. The only thing that worries me is the possibility of a metric ton of bad games combined with a lack of great ones like my examples. We'll all find out soon enough.

Re:Better than SNES or PSX (1)

shentino (1139071) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457317)

I believe that's why they're having new games put in the sandbox until they're voted into the store proper.

Devices costing 5 times as much are faster. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#43456963)

News at 11. Devices that cost many times what the Ouya costs are marginally faster. One person reports "Waaaa my $99 device isn't as fast as $500 devices"

Re:Devices costing 5 times as much are faster. (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457123)

Price is not a valid comparison.
The most expensive parts of a phone are not part of the Ouya. No screen, no battery, no cell radio.
The Ouya console has chosen a lack-luster SoC. If they chose a PowerVR554, an Adreno225/320 or even a Mati-T604 SoC I doubt it would have been more than a few dollars difference.

Re:Devices costing 5 times as much are faster. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#43457339)

And most phones don't come with a $50 separate controller... It's likely that around 1/3 of the production cost is in the controller... so it's still pretty fair to compare pricing.

It's a gaming console. (1)

mtb_ogre (698802) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457369)

It's not a smartphone, it's a gaming console.

It should be good at gaming. I can pick up a Nintendo Wii for $129, it has a better game selection and arguably a better controller. The Nintendo has better third party support and more console type titles. Getting access to thousands of junky phone-games is pretty much pointless. People shopping for a gaming console likely have a console that performs as good as this thing and has better titles.

It's a cute hacker toy with no real future market prospects outside a small geek niche.

Non-misleading headline (4, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457069)

The benchmark results show the OUYA (basically a $50 console bundled with a $50 controller) was faster than the HTC One S, which sells for $450 outside of a contract.

Nvidia in real trouble (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#43457111)

As AMD began its project, many years ago, to fuse first-class GPU circuits within the same chip as the CPU, Nvidia was forced to respond. Nvidia contemplated building an x86 processor of its own, but quickly dropped that idea to focus on building ARM SoC parts. Nvidia had but one goal- to be the number one high-end supplier of ARM solutions.

Now, many years later, we can see just how badly Nvidia has failed. Tegra 1 was a disaster. Tegra 2 and 3 were terribly late, and only gained sales when Nvidia was forced to essentially give away the chips. Tegra 4 is even later than any previous ARM part, and is such a badly conceived device, Nvidia has been forced to nigh on cancel it in order to 'rush' to release the crippled Tegra 4i that will have a better price and power consumption at the cost of CPU and GPU performance.

Tegra 3 stinks because originally the much faster Tegra 4 was supposed to be in devices by now. Tegra 4 is the last of the ULP GPU Tegra designs from Nvidia. Tegra 5 brings desktop GPU designs to ARM- at which point Nvidia loses interest in the obsolete slow ULP GPU.

Ouya is obsolete. It is only good for running a class of games associated with weak Android hardware. The cutting edge Android games will be ports from high end iPads, and will be a bad match for the Tegra 3. There are increasing numbers of Android boxes that you can also plug into your TV and controllers. What possible point does Ouya have in this light?

If Nvidia has the money and the people, it only makes sense for Nvidia to be accelerating production of Tegra 5 at this stage. Current ARM/Android is matching the early days of the decent PC (486 -> Pentium -> Pentium Pro/Pentium 2) which was also (eventually) accompanied with the birth of the PC 3D graphics accelerator. Nvidia is currently running dead last in the ARM GPU stakes, behind Mali, Adreno, and (of course) PowerVR. Given that Adreno is an old ATI design, this is incredibly humiliating for Nvidia. In fact, Google is throwing out Nvidia with its tablet refresh later this year, and going Adreno (via Qualcomm).

It gets worse. AMD's astonishing Temash APU, with 4 Jaguar x86 cores and a brilliant GPU, will be a vastly better match for a little independent console box. While a console based on Temash would likely be 200 dollars, and run Windows rather than Android games, its improved performance (3X+ GPU, 20X+ GPU) would make for vastly better value and longevity.

Re:Nvidia in real trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#43457187)

The question there would be if those Jaguar cores will have the same power consumption as the ARM A15/A52 cores in the upcoming spin there- if so, you might be on to something. If not, it's almost irrelevant.

Just because it's powerful doesn't buy you console unless it's intrinsically quiet.

Re:Nvidia in real trouble (1)

Svartalf (2997) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457195)

Oh, and Windows IS irrelevant to the play there unless you're talking Microsoft. SERIOUSLY.

*NOBODY* will base an indie console on the competitors OS. You, sir, are an idiot.

Tegra a success (2)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457225)

Now, many years later, we can see just how badly Nvidia has failed

I find ARM incredibly confusing. I understood PC CPU/GPU, and I am on the whole pretty knowledgeable. As informed as your post maybe. In my mind I can only name two really recognisable ARM brands!? Snapdragon[because it was everywhere] and Tegra...and I only associate one with graphics performance. I have to say brand goes a long way.

but if you think single platform games, on a vapourware machine costing twice as much as this console is somehow a threat to Nvidia Arm, its not. It might bring more affordable Windows Tablets to the masses...if anyone still wants one, or a cheap steam box if they can get it out of the gate fast enough. You have to remember Android is set to become the dominant platform this year.

Re:Nvidia in real trouble (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#43457243)

Great! Care to show us shipping silicon with all these awesome next-gen specs?

What's that? They don't exist? Marketers blow smoke up your ass? You don't say!

Seriously, you're missing the point here. Sure it's easy to imagine something faster and better but by the time you've designed the thing, prototyped it, worked out all the bugs, and had it manafactured it's two years later.

The tegra is here. It's available now, in quantity. It's popular and a lot of people have a lot of experience working with it. Nvidia is even quite helpful as they want to get in the the mobile/game SoC market. The ouya takes all of that existing work and puts in to a small, cheap package.

Silly headline--the performance is plenty exciting (1, Informative)

fluke11 (1160111) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457159)

What makes the Ouya exciting is it's ability to play games and it's performance exceeds several existing platforms which have worked fine for playing games. Ouya is ranked 73rd because of it's score of 4077. This beats the following popular platforms (score/name): 3551 ASUS Nexus 7 3569 ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T 3920 ASUS Transformer Prime TF201 3347 Samsung Galaxy Note II 2894 Samsung Galaxy S III (Exynos 4 Quad) 3590 HTC One X 3341 LG Optimus 4X HD 3501 Amazon Kindle Fire HD 1959 Amazon Kindle Fire If the Ouya ends up being restricted to only be able to play the same sort of games already available for the following devices above, it is still exciting for being able to bring them to the TV for $99. It is unlikely that Gamestick will perform any better.

so? (3, Informative)

shentino (1139071) | 1 year,7 days | (#43457237)

Did they use Gamecube quality hardware in the NES?

Give Ouya a break, it's a brand new console and it's only on its first generation.

Give the makers time to soak up some feedback on Ouya's weak points and the next version will probably be beefed up a bit.

Re:so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#43457553)

Being open and Android/Linux based, the Ouya should offer superior backwards compatibility over multiple generations of the console, as well as being easy to port to the PC and other platforms (granted being Java based could limit the games somewhat).

Being an open console also opens the way for another lightweight Linux distro that can support more programming languages. Ubuntu TV comes to mind as the most likely, since Ubuntu Touch won't be properly tuned towards a controller, unless they do a variant of Ubuntu Touch.

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