Ouya’s Hardware Will Be Updated Every Single Year

Ouya’s Hardware Will Be Updated Every Single Year

Ouya’s CEO Julie Uhrman has announced that the company’s console will buck the trend of most gaming devices, which are infrequently updated, instead offering a new version of the hardware every single year.

Talking to Engadget she explained that the company’s strategy “is very much similar to the mobile strategy. There will be a new OUYA every year. There will be an OUYA 2 and an OUYA 3.”

That’s probably a sensible move, given that the guts of the console are based on mobile processors: the first release will be powered by a Tegra 3 chip, for instance, so perhaps we can expect the second iteration to be powered by Tegra 4.

“We’ll take advantage of faster, better processors, take advantage of prices falling. So if we can get more than 8GB of Flash in our box, we will,” Uhrman explained.

She also pointed out that, with users frequently updating, Ouya will use a game purchasing model not unlike Steam’s. All games will, apparently, be backward compatible, and tied to the gamer — not the device. Sounds sensible. Ouya will be available from big box retailer as of June for $US100. [Engdaget]

Republished from Gizmodo.


  • given its cheap price, thats fair, especially if you can buy an ouya sans controller as you may already own them…

    • That’s exactly one of the concerns I had when they first announced this…the fragmentation.

      Sure, backwards compatibility is great and all, but it’s going to get to a point where you can’t play new games because you have last year’s model. And that’s going to stink.

      • That’s ALWAYS going to be the case. It’s still up to the devs to maintain compatibility between versions of hardware, same as the last 20+ years of gaming.

        • The difference is that consoles are typically only updated once every 5-7 years (models with larger hard drives or “slim” models not withstanding). That means less fragmentation. Usually the new consoles have a new name, and games are made exclusively for that new console.

          This won’t be the case with Ouya. It’s going to be update every year. This isn’t a phone or tablet where it’s somewhat normal to get yearly updates (despite the fact it runs Android), this is a dedicated gaming system. Even though it’s only going to cost a fraction of the price of a Wii U, “Orbis” or “Durango” at $100, personally I’m not going to be too impressed if I’m browsing it’s new game releases and I see “requires Ouya version 2” in their descriptions when I only purchased an Ouya less than 12 months ago.

          One of the main reasons people give when you ask them why they prefer gaming on a console as opposed to a PC is that they can get a game for that console and they know they can just pop the disc in and it’ll work. No need to check if their system will run it well, or run it at all, it just works. Yearly updates to Ouya is going to completely change that.

  • Are you kidding me? The entire point of this Android console was to stop fragmentation of the market, so that devs could build program and test on the one console, which ensures that the user will get the same experience.

    With different hardware its going to be silly, games wont work or wont work well on older (even 1 gen, think Ipad) consoles, and if they add anymore features it will force people to upgrade. As a company will they even support the old consoles and release things like security patches for old models? Insanity.

    • Perks of being Android-based. Remember that they’re trying to be as low-cost as possible and it’s unlikely that one year will close off that many avenues, anyway. More likely it’ll be 2-3 years and that will make it more cost-effective. And it shouldn’t have many security flaws. They should just be implanting a basic UI over a rooted android with some extra apps installed for controllers, graphics/sound.

      And it doesn’t just mean that the older hardware will be less useful, this’ll mean that newer games can be played on the newer versions. With little difference between setups when you upgrade.

      • You have to wonder what the actual point is, though, since it’s just android. You could just buy an android tablet and a controller to go with it and get the same result, couldn’t you? And then you’d have a tablet as well.

        • Another concern I had. I mean yes, there will be exclusive games made for this thing, but at the end of the day I’d be able to get the same experience on a phone or tablet.

        • I guess the point would be you have to pay $600-900 for a tablet or phone with the kind of specs the Ouya offers, while an Ouya is $100.

          Not to mention to Ouya will only be powered for the hardware built into and not trying to run a screen as well as output to the TV. The power supply will be external so you wont burn the thing down with excessive use, it wont have an internal battery to cook up as well, is designed to also be a media player so will presumably not have a codec problem, will have OS tweaks specifically for using it with a tv. But yeah, makes you wonder.

      • Android is the only current mobile platform that has malware, Windows, blackberry and Apple dont (unless you fundamentally break the security by jailbreaking, Symian isnt used anymore.)

  • This will surely piss off the early adopters/backers, won’t it? Will there be rebates/discounts for people who helped float this thing?

    • I backed and honestly as long as the price is right then I don’t mind. It could turn out to be a great idea…. Or it could be a disaster

  • Wouldn’t you be able to just buy the newer chips and whatnot, and open it up and swap them in? That would make more sense than buying another console to me

    • Totes. I thought the ouya was supposed to be hardware upgrade-able (I could be wrong though, as I haven’t been following closely). Would be better than piling up old ouya consoles over the years.

  • I think games will be made to the lowest common denominator or every 3 years or so you will need to upgrade which then over 5-7 years it will end up costing as much as say a PS4 without the power or choice or triple A and indie like on a console or steam.
    Ouya is turning into a gimmick. A phone with a 360 controller with games that will probably be on other systems we already still own.
    Still not convinced. Steam box though looks like something that will cause an actual stir.

    • This is only really relevant to the people who convinced themselves Ouya would be anything but? Just take a look at your SGS3. That’s the kind of games Ouya will be running. That’s it. Nothing more. When the Tegra 4 version hits, it’ll look nicer, shinier, but it’s not a PC, it’s not a high end console. It’s an android store mirror for your TV essentially. At the price point of 99 dollars, the price of your average game (IF thats the aussie price?) upgrading year to year, if you REALLY want to, should be no major issue. However a better idea, would be to make the hardware modular, and supply the ability to people to upgrade it as well if they wished by ordering the parts…

      • unfortunately the chip sets used for this type of product are whole systems on a single board (look at the Raspberry Pi) so being modular is not really a possibility, you’d have to buy the whole thing which is what they are doing, except you will be buying the new case and any other nice upgrades they choose, if they can keep the price ~$100 you are getting a good deal.

        • are they? news to me, Tegra 3 is still the leading hardware for graphics performance in mobile devices. There are some slightly faster processors, but seeing as the Ouya will not be computing a fair chunk of the additional hardware and features of a phone or tablet I think it will keep up comfortably.

  • I don’t see this as a problem. The best and most successful games on the Android marketplace are not the ones that require the latest hardware: they play to the middle-ground so as to capture a bigger market. Similarly, provided full BC (not very hard, given what I’ve seen in Android phones) and games tied to an account rather than a physical machine, updating to the latest Ouya will be a matter of ~$100/year. Play all your old games, and play the latest shiny ones too. I can’t imagine games will cost more than $10. So, initial cost ~$100; games between $0 and $10; next-gen hardware comes with full BC.

    To give some perspective, a new-release Xbox/Playstation will cost at least $500; games between $3 (XBLA/PSN) and $100 (AAA titles); next-gen hardware doesn’t come with full BC.

    In 3 years, an Ouya gamer with 20 games will have spent between $100 (one console, one controller, nothing but free games) and $500 (3 consoles, 3 controllers + 20 of the most expensive games). In 3 years, an Xbox gamer with 20 games will have spent between $560 (one console, one controller + 20 XBLA games) and $2500 (one console, one controller, 20 new-release AAA games). The Ouya gamer will have been able to re-gift older consoles, or use them as media players, or hack them for other versatile Android uses. The Xbox gamer will have gone through three consoles thanks to overheating :P. Given the quality of games coming to phones, portables and tablets these days, which of these gamers is having more fun? Which of them is getting the better deal?

  • This… kind of feels like a payment plan. Like you’re paying $100 each year for an update… all of a sudden the Ouya has lost all its appeal. All of a sudden you will boot it up and find you cant play any of the latest games because they require the latest update. That is lame. This looks to me to be the first disposable console – cause in 10 years time it wont be able to do anything.

  • I think they’ve missed the point of games consoles completely. I’m interested to see how this works out for them. I hope it catches on and they’re successful but my gut tells me they are going to face plant.

    • yeah the point of a games console is to heap out $400 at minimum for hardware that out dates itself in 6 months so you sit around 6 years waiting for the next iteration, only to be let down that it isn’t the end all and be all of hardware because they just barely matched performance with of current gen mid range PC.

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