Five years ago, the Nintendo Wii was the latest and greatest when it came to video game consoles, but through the years this popular format has been joined by the influx of social gaming on networking sites such as Facebook. As innovative as the Wii platform was, people quickly moved on to the bigger, better and more connected world of social gaming. If you have been reading gaming news at Gamefront.com, you certainly know that social gaming on platforms such as Facebook are the most exciting thing in the gaming industry right now. But that’s all about to change as Android is set to market and release its newest console platform — the Ouya (pronounced like that short-lived 90s phrase, “Booyah”).
Video game executive Julie Uhrman set out in late 2011 to design and develop Ouya. Her concept took the idea of the video game console and combined it with the passion that players typically feel for social gaming. She wanted it to be affordable, priced at about $99, and she wanted it to be a platform developers could utilize that offered players plenty of free-to-play titles, according to PC Mag.
The Ouya concept was introduced on Kickstarter, a social network that helps entrepreneurs raise money for their best ideas. Uhrman said she hoped to raise $950,000 for her project. In the end, she raised $8.6 million for the Ouya project — which let her know that she had an idea that was wanted, needed and could work for the next generation of gamers.
The Ouya will have 1 GB of RAM space, according to Tap Scape, and 8 GB of internal flash storage to hold the gaming content that users download. It will run on Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich, but developers do not yet know how the console will connect to the TV. The goal is that the Ouya will take the fun of social gaming and apply it to a person’s TV screen to bring back some of the traditional elements of video games.
While there is a lot of excitement surrounding the impending release of Ouya, not all gaming officials are backing this tiny television gaming console. John Romero, a well known video game developer who helped to create Wolfenstein 3D and Doom, told PC World he thinks the Ouya will be a complete flop and won’t hit the marks that people are hoping that it will. On the other hand, Robert Bowling, a former creative lead at Infinity Ward, thinks it is an exciting development that will take the gaming industry by storm.
With the Kickstarter campaign officially complete in August 2012, the company has announced that Ouya consoles are now available for pre-order. The most basic package includes one console and one controller for $99 plus $10 shipping in the United States. However, people are guessing that there will be larger packages available with more controllers, with some mentioning a $225 price tag for an upper-level Ouya package. The plan at this time is that the first pre-ordered systems will be released between March 2013 and April 2013.
With each passing day, the video game industry continues to change. As those who read gaming news know, there is always an increased competition to come up with the biggest and best thing in the industry. If the Kickstarter campaign is any indication, the Ouya is set to make a big imprint on the video game industry and blow the likes of the Wii and Kinect out of the water. People will be able to back away from the social games on their computer and start enjoying gaming on the television once again.
Author Bio: Nelson Lafever graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2002 with a BA in journalism and now focuses his talents on the technology sector.
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