After one of the single most successful Kickstarters ever attempted, the Ouya is in need of another Kickstarter. Sales are reportedly sluggish for games, perhaps unsurprising. It’s going back to Kickstarter because nobody is making games for it. Quite a bit of the gaming press is down on the little console.
But I still think the Ouya can make a credible case as a gaming console. But it’ll need to do the following.
Design The Android Version of XPadder
One of the Ouya’s biggest problems is, essentially, it has a controller but no standardized way for that controller to speak to the Android apps. This is a huge problem as it means you have to spend a lot of time with a game tweaking the settings to get the controller just right. It’s true that no would-be Android console has licked this problem just yet… but it’s a problem that needs to be licked.
Support Other Controllers
Really, I’ve had more fun hacking my Ouya than I have had playing games on it, and part of the reason I started screwing around with root was because I dislike the Ouya’s controller to some degree. I wanted something that would acknowledge the controllers I already own, and that meant, well, rooting the device. And on that note…
Stop Pretending Players Won’t Just Root This Thing For The Google Store
Understandably, the Ouya people want to make money, and store sales are a big part of that. Or at least they’re supposed to be. But realistically, the Google Play store has more games that people want. So have it as a dual-boot option from the get-go, even if that involves bumping up the price.
Emphasize The SDK Aspect More
Fun fact: Every Ouya is also an SDK. I know, right? Awesome. But nobody brings this up in Ouya promotions, and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of encouragement for homebrew and other more outre types of games. While I get being a bit hesitant towards the homebrew scene, home to some amusingly bizarre people, honestly the Ouya needs both games and a strong personal investment in the platform. What about a game jam, or a development contest?
Sync With Other Devices
If developers want to have players screw around on the Ouya with their tablets, let ‘em. If nothing else, the Ouya might manage to make the second screen an actually compelling experience.
Any Ouya users out there? Let us know your thoughts.