OUYA’s Creators Don’t Appear to Understand the Console Market
It sounds melodramatic, yes, but it’s ultimately too true. If OUYA goes through with their yearly refresh cycle to ‘take advantage of falling component prices’ then they have failed as a console, and ultimately will alienate consumers.
The obvious point to be made is that consoles absolutely and unequivocally should not be on any kind of set refresh cycle. Even though the console is cheap, it doesn’t matter. Only diehard fans are willing to pay each and every year to get a new OUYA. And because it’s a game console, they will have to pay every year – most developers will have to target the new hardware, and as a result backwards compatibility will be shaky at best, by the time even two years have passed. In addition, it troubles developers greatly – do you target the old OUYA that everyone has or the new one that’s around the corner? In most cases, you’ll have to do both, something no developer should have to contend with when building for a console.
Finally, trying to stick to this sort of rushed, unnecessary refresh schedule puts a massive amount of undue strain on Boxer8 and its thin Kickstarter resources. Once the console is released, they should be able to follow it up with massive amounts of support – firmware updates, feature adds etc. Unfortunately, the firm will have to tear itself in half in order to create another system at the same price point. It’s a massive undertaking to build a console, as I’m sure the company has learned, and trying to endure that kind of nightmare annually, would kill such a small firm.