I mentioned before that Android and iOS were going to be threats to future Sony and Microsoft consoles (here). If you haven’t already taken note of the success of OUYA, the open source Android-based game console, the news they’ve secured over $1,000,000 in funding via Kickstarter in a little less than 24 hours should give you an indication that this is now something to take seriously.
This is different from the phone-based/DLNA route I thought might happen, and still might, but it is an interesting concept. If it is a major success, and we’re talking to be a major success this project would need to sell a lot more than the 8,000 consoles they’ve managed to sell on day one, for comparison the PS3 currently sells about 14,000 units a day and sold over 70,000 a day at its peak, then this would be a hugely significant development(1).
OUYA is like Steam, in that it is a software digital distribution and communication platform on top of Android so you won’t be able to play games you already own on your phone on the OUYA system. This begs the question, why not? From an OUYA point of view it makes perfect sense, they don’t want you jumping ship to another Android Console every five minutes, but as a consumer it seems a bit backward. As all OUYA games will have to have free-to-play elements (which could be as little as a demo) the pain of switching is lessened as you may not have invested a great deal of cash into the platform, but it is still a little disappointing that it isn’t as completely open as one might expect.
1. For further consideration, Android activates over 900,000 devices and Apple sell over 500,000 iOS devices a day. To paraphrase Mrs Merton – What attracted you to the low development costs and massive user base of iOS and Android gaming, Mr Developer?