Home Science & Technology Ouya games console begins shipping to customers

Ouya games console begins shipping to customers

Ouya games console, which industry experts say could disrupt the industry, has begun shipping to customers.

The Ouya costs $99 and runs on Google’s Android operating system.

Games on the system will be a fraction of the cost of traditional console games, more comparable to those found on mobiles and tablets.

However, Ouya may struggle to muscle in on a market dominated by big players such as PlayStation and Xbox, one analyst predicted.

Ouya games console costs $99 and runs on Google's Android operating system

Ouya games console costs $99 and runs on Google’s Android operating system

The Ouya was financed using crowdfunding website Kickstarter, where it attracted over $8 million in funding from 63,416 backers.

The company has begun sending out consoles to the first supporters of the project – while other interested gamers can pre-order the device.

The Ouya will look to capitalize on a growing popularity for cheap, often independently produced games.

Mobile devices have eaten into the handheld gaming market, attracting millions of casual gamers who are not prepared to invest in bespoke gaming devices, but are still keen to dabble in gaming.

While traditional platforms, such as Nintendo’s DS or Sony’s PlayStation Vita, have titles costing of $50-$60, games downloaded from app stores are considerably cheaper, and often free.

Developers on these newer platforms are instead looking to other monetization methods, such as in-game upgrades.

The Ouya is the first major attempt to bring that same kind of disruption to the home gaming industry, says gaming analyst Piers Harding-Rolls, from IHS.

While Ouya is the first major launch of this style of gaming device – it will soon have plenty of company.

Gamestick, a UK-based firm, is also developing its own Android-based console.

Nvidia, traditionally a manufacturer of high-end graphical hardware, announced its Project Shield console at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.

Perhaps an even greater threat comes from Valve, the PC gaming giant which confirmed it was to make its own “Steambox” – a console utilizing the already massively popular Steam network to deliver games.

But Ouya is the first, and likely to be the cheapest.

Ouya console, a small cuboid, can be opened up and upgraded if users wish. It uses off-the-shelf components, minimizing manufacturing costs.

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