It began with what was a modest goal of $950,000 to fund the creation of a home games console, but within minutes internet virality ensued, propelling OUYA's Kickstarter into the stratosphere and concluding the fundraiser with a massive $8,596,475 pledged. OUYA has smashed previous Kickstarter records, becoming the fastest project to raise a million dollars; achieving the feat in only 8 hours and 22 minutes. 63,416 people backed the project, with 20,000 OUYA consoles purchased in the first 24 hours.
The last month has been an exciting time for the games industry but much media speculation has been raised over OUYA's ability to deliver the ambitious goals it set itself. The fundamental problem OUYA's team must overcome is acquiring high quality games and developers willing to make them. If compelling software isn't available, the elegance and simplicity of the console will be superfluous. They're going to need more than Final Fantasy III, Minecraft (potentially), OnLive and Robert Bowling's HumanElement prequel. To a large extent, OUYA's fate may be in the hands of the hackers and indie developers will
ing to create innovative content, solely for the platform.
Even with its amazing Kickstarter victory, it is still hard to believe this console can be successful, long-term. Does the television/living room experience really matter to people that want to play low-end console games, that much? Admittedly the console is being sold at a very competitive price and it is encouraging to see a company promising open-source, DRM-free gaming receiving such a positive response, but will it be able to attract the large developers, capable of supplying the triple-A titles that the OUYA team are confident will be part of the system's software library?
Whatever the outcome, it is an amazing experiment in crowd-funding. The internet and global communication have pushed technological progress into overdrive, making the problem of staying relevant even more difficult. With digital distribution, free-to-play gaming and online streaming on the rise; in addition to the inevitable arrival of the big 3's next-generation consoles, the OUYA team have their work cut out if their console is to have a successful and lengthy life-span.
What do you think? Can OUYA really become a long-term success, capable of offering unique experiences via the television? Comment with your thoughts below!
OUYA is a new video game console designed for the television, which is scheduled to be released in March of next year. For more information visit www.ouya.tv.