Nick Morris ’15
The Ouya is a small gray box about the size of a Rubik’s cube. Plug in the power cable and the HDMI cord and it’s ready to go. Out of the box, the Ouya works with standard Ouya controllers and even Playstation 3 controllers. Many standard USB devices like PC controllers, mice, and keyboards also work. By attaching a USB Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver, even Xbox 360 controllers can be used.
It’s not the most powerful device, but that is not what it was made for. The Ouya was made for simple yet innovative games. Not only are they innovative, but every game has a free element: either completely free, free to try, a free trial, a light version, etc. This ‘try-before-you-buy” system is something that every console manufacturer should implement. There are many different games from many different genres and styles. Since every game is free to try, you can try any game before you buy it. Not only are you limited to the games in the Ouya’s store (or “Discover” menu), but Android apps and games can be run through a process known as ‘side-loading’.
One of the best things about the Ouya is its functionality as a media center. The XBMC media center specifically plays many different filetypes, and is really simple to use. With a few clicks, watching movies, playing music, and viewing pictures is easy.
In addition to unique games and functionality as a media center, the Ouya is also excellent for retro console emulation. The Ouya has many different emulators (programs that run previous generation video games) for many consoles made in the past. While the emulation might not be up to par with PC, or the original consoles themselves, it functions pretty well overall and is very convenient. There are many emulators in the Ouya’s store, and because the Ouya can run Android apps, there are even more available.
The best part about the Ouya by far is the price tag: The Ouya with an official Ouya controller is only $99. Some downsides are that each game and app is download-only, and that there is limited internal space (but some things can be used with an external USB drive). If you’re interested in a different, unique gaming experience, I highly recommend purchasing an Ouya.
Bombsquad – 3D Fighting beat-em-up game, with local “couch” multiplayer. ($4.99)
Amazing Frog – Physics game with a flying frog (FREE)
Hidden in Plain Sight – Unique “stealth” multiplayer game like no other ($0.99+)
XBMC – One of the best media centers, available on many devices (FREE)