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article imageOp-Ed: Previewing Ouya — A $99 Android video game system

By Abigail Prendergast     Sep 14, 2012 in Technology
A new independent gaming console that runs on Android firmware is set to hit stores this upcoming spring. The Ouya console boasts the ability to play games that are free or at least cost very little. It has been met with both praise and skepticism.
The video game industry has been a booming one for quite some time now. From Super Mario Bros. coming to the industry's rescue in the mid-1980s to gaming first outgrossing the movie business in 2002, interactive entertainment has become nothing short of being a media powerhouse.
With the Wii U now available for pre-order, it is becoming even more apparent that the world of controllers, pixels and polygons is ready to enter into a new generation. And from the looks of it, quite the expensive one at that. A new independent project fueled by a highly successful Kickstarter campaign is hoping to change how the general public looks at the world of digital gaming.
Enter the $99 system, Ouya - a console that is not only a fraction of the price of its competitors, but offers free games to boot.
The Ouya (pronounced Oo-yah) project was founded by Julie Urhman who told Venture Beat that she and her colleageus "never anticipated that it would blow up like this,” in reference to the their Kickstarter garnering over $8 million dollars to fund the endeavor.
"The console market is pushing developers away," said the creators of the system. "We’ve seen a brain drain: some of the best, most creative gamemakers are focused on mobile and social games because those platforms are more developer-friendly."
Essentially an Android device you hook up to your TV set, Ouya has the specs to rival much more expensive tablets like those in the Asus Transformer series. Boasting a Tegra 3 1.6 gigahertz quad core processor, a gigabyte of RAM, 8 GB of on board storage and Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0 OS), a 99 dollar price tag doesn't seem all that intimidating; and it isn't. While there are actual tablets under $200 that have similar specifications, the Ouya is pretty much the best Android bang for the buck reports Kotaku.
There is also the element of being able to play apps purchased from the Google store interchangeably with other Android devices of a powerful enough capacity.
Probably one of the most popular and appetizing aspects of the Ouya, reports MSNBC, is that it will be an "open source" system. In other words, anybody capable of composing game code, hacking or any other sort of technical modification is welcome - and encouraged - to make the Ouya their own.
Ultimately, the Ouya has been looked at as a potential revolution to the gaming industry by some, and the result of independent game makers "in over their heads."
The Ouya is set to be released in April of next year, and is available for pre-order now at ouya.tv.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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