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Ouya proclaims itself a dying, unappreciated console with new hardware color

It wasn’t that long ago that Ouya became a crowdfunding success, earning millions from gamers eager to play Android games on their TVs. It launched in March for Kickstarter supporters, then went to retail in June to strong sales. But the buzz quickly vanished as next-gen consoles neared release. Now Ouya seems to be confirming its position as a moribund fourth wheel with a new white edition that unfortunately brings to mind the Dreamcast--that beautiful beast of a cautionary tale from Sega's past.

Originally gaining notoriety for its cheapness as the $99 console, the limited edition white version costs $129 (a $30 premium over the standard model), and includes 16GB of internal flash storage (more than double the standard). It’ll be delivered before Christmas if pre-ordered by December 8. Perhaps this will give it the holiday boost it needs, but it’s hard not to see it as getting completely overshadowed by the PS4 and Xbox One. Both those consoles are opening up more and more to indie devs, which is one of Ouya’s greatest strengths. And even if that doesn’t happen, multiple Android-based competitors are coming home, as are affordable alternatives like the Vita TV’s eventual stateside release (it is eventual, dammit).

The Ouya’s ominous situation brings to mind the Dreamcast’s ill fate just as much as the coloring limited model and controller. The Dreamcast was also an affordable alternative that launched with positive buzz and a quality library heading into 2000. Then the PS2 hit the gaming scene, taking all of the mainstream’s attention and torpedoing the system. By early 2001, Sega was out of the console race, its final, white console becoming a tragic story of good system that launched at the wrong time. It’s a road that Ouya is already going down after its first six months.

Then again, the Dreamcast’s situation might be preferable to Ouya’s current one. The Droid-based system is aching for exclusives, a problem Sega didn’t face thanks to its deep bench of internal developers. And while Ouya’s having to face a number of pretenders and challengers, it launched with a more stable UI and online functionality than the Dreamcast ever had.

There are worse systems to be compared to--just imagine another special edition Ouya that looked like an Atari Jaguar or 3DO (actually, I’d probably buy something that painfully niche). But Ouya’s corporate owners don’t need to further highlight the similarities between its device and Sega’s final console failure. If Ouya keeps going down its current path, it’ll perhaps be remembered well by a continually shrinking group of fans ala the Dreamcast, but it’ll never be the transcendent system it hopes to be.

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32 comments

  • thuggie1 - January 13, 2014 5:43 a.m.

    the ouya for what it is not bad console, second compering to virtual boy is just retarded, Nintendo where never fully sold on the virtual that is why they gave it a mono colour desplay it was doomed from the start. also Sega should have kept with Sega Saturn and fully developed Dreamcast and not used a windows based OS which ment people piret their games from day one. comparing any other console with another one from three ofr four gens back is rediculus, the ouya will well with android crowd. also when Xbox 360 and ps3 came out with new bigger hard drive models where they in trouble I think not.
  • Malakie - November 19, 2013 4:42 p.m.

    Umm never heard of it! Perhaps if they had advertised it a bit sales would pick up because now that I know about this android based system , I am definitely going to look into getting one...
  • freeden - November 19, 2013 12:12 p.m.

    I still don't understand why you would make yourself entirely based on Android. Android games are mediocre compared to their competition. Ouya will never have that killer title because they will never be able to one up the competition. It was silly to think that, simply because the console is cheaper than everyone else, it would have some kind of shelf life. The thinking behind something like an Android based console is that, simply because it's cheap, people will be willing to buy it. But gamers want quality games. Android games are good enough for my phone, but when it comes to console gaming, there needs to be quality above and beyond what an Android based system can provide. This console never really stood a chance.
  • db1331 - November 19, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    I don't understand how anyone couldn't have seen this thing for the colossal failure it is the moment it was announced. This thing makes the Virtual Boy look like a god damn Xbox 360.
  • Shnubby - November 19, 2013 7:31 a.m.

    Dreamcast is, and always will be, my favourite console of all time!
  • jedisamurai - November 19, 2013 12:52 p.m.

    Ditto!
  • Shnubby - November 19, 2013 5:24 p.m.

    Such a shame we never got Shenmue III!
  • Redeater - November 19, 2013 4:51 a.m.

    I was mildly interested until I heard about how cheap and flimsy the controller was. If there is one thing you don't scrimp on it's something people are going to have in their hand for hours on end.
  • Ensoul - November 19, 2013 7:35 a.m.

    I've heard the same. :-/ "affordable alternatives like the Vita TV’s eventual stateside release (it is eventual, dammit)" I hope so.
  • jsty3105 - November 19, 2013 4:21 a.m.

    Hmm... reading comprehension fail from the people commenting above unfortunately. It was the author of the article who compared the white Ouya with the Dreamcast. Nobody from Ouya has compared their console with the Dreamcast.
  • BladedFalcon - November 19, 2013 12:06 p.m.

    They don't need to, their choice of color spoke for them. Or are you seriously going to tell me that's a coincidence? Don't be naive.
  • brickman409 - November 19, 2013 6:17 p.m.

    Yes, because the Dreamcast was the only console to ever be in white
  • BladedFalcon - November 19, 2013 9:55 p.m.

    It's the only one that has an orange, circular logo as the stand out color. Again, you have to be either blind, in denial, or just plain stupid if you can't see the obvious resemblance.
  • brickman409 - November 19, 2013 11:20 p.m.

    yeah, that orange logo. It used to be purple or red on the black version. They changed it just for this white version. You got a point there.
  • BladedFalcon - November 19, 2013 11:30 p.m.

    There you go, you just can't convince me and say that was "accidental" or a coincidence...
  • Oujisama - November 18, 2013 6:41 p.m.

    Turns out nobody actually wants an android console...
  • Cwf2008 - November 18, 2013 6:18 p.m.

    I forgot this thing even existed. Hell, I'm surprised it's lasted as long as it has.
  • Swedish_Chef - November 18, 2013 6:04 p.m.

    Ouya comparing itself to the Dreamcast. ALL OF MY NOPE!
  • Jackonomics - November 18, 2013 5:42 p.m.

    That's utterly disgusting to even have the Ouya mentioned in the same paragraph as Dreamcast. Hell no.
  • TokenGamesRadarFurry - November 18, 2013 5:39 p.m.

    Ouya comparing itself to the Dreamcast is pretty insulting to the Dreamcast, I'd say.

Showing 1-20 of 32 comments

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