It took more than 5 years for Sony and Microsoft to finally replace their current generation consoles, finally giving fans their first look at the future of gaming. The Ouya, on the other hand, will not wait nearly as long.
In fact, the development team behind the Ouya console plans to start work on a successor in the hopes of releasing it next year. And, more importantly, they plan on improving that extremely disappointing controller.
In a lengthy interview with Polygon, Ouya founder Julie Uhrman confirms the company is already looking ahead, planning for the future of the Ouya brand. What exactly that means — more internal memory, bigger/smaller console, faster processor — is unclear at this point, but Uhrman suggests that the Ouya developers have heard the criticisms and want to do better.
One criticism that was frequently raised at the Ouya concerned the Android-powered console’s controller. At a glance, the Ouya controller seemed like a smartly designed peripheral, with offset joysticks and a useful track pad in its center. Unfortunately, controller latency problems and a general feeling of cheapness soon outweighed that initial intrigue. Needless to say, many of the Ouya console reviews placed a heavy emphasis on the shortcomings of the controller.
But Uhrman says that the team at Ouya is always improving, and one of the immediate ways they are improving is with their controller design. In fact, there the Ouya team has already slightly modified the controller:
“The feel of the controller today is actually probably a lot better then in June. Our goal is to build a great controller. We wanted to build something that was ergonomic, that had great weight, that had a great feel, that offered developers a different way to develop games by including a touch pad in the design.”
Those gamers who find themselves “stuck” with a wonky controller are encouraged by Uhrman to contact Ouya and request a replacement. And as far as the latency and connection issues go, the developers have already made strives to eliminate those.
Despite some stiff competition in the Android console space from products like Mad Catz’s M.O.J.O., the Ouya team has not deviated from their plan at all. They want to make Ouya an annualized thing, which means a new console iteration in 2014. However, despite the desire to develop a successor, Uhrman says they are “still determining what exactly we want that to be.”
Obviously, improving the console and the controller’s design is a great start, but annualized products of any kind are a tricky breed. Apple can get away with it because iPhone demand is extremely high and a cellphone/smartphone is an essential daily device for a large percentage of the population. Gaming consoles, on the other hand, are typically built to last at least a few years.
For right now the Ouya is an interesting experiment, one that showcases what can be done with affordable hardware and an open platform. Unfortunately, the Ouya concept didn’t quite hit the mark when it came time to execute. Hopefully, Ouya 2 will make a better case for the device’s relevance.
Did you purchase an Ouya? What do you think of it? How interested are you in an Ouya 2?
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