Ouya Android Game Console Reviews Are In: Product Lack Compelling Games, Still in Beta

By Vamien McKalin | Apr 07, 2013 11:27 AM EDT

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The first set of reviews are in for the Ouya game console, and so far, things are not looking well. There doesn't seem to be a market for the Ouya, as every content in the store is available on a mobile device already owned by millions.

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By looking at the Ouya, one has to wonder, what is the purpose of this device if it fails to bring anything new to the gaming scene. It's basically a device (without the ability to make voice calls) that is able to connect to your TV for the purpose of playing Android games along with playing music, video and other contents.

The first Ouya devices began shipping to Kickstarter backers as early as March 29. Engadget and The Verge are the first online publications to review the device and both websites came away with similar semtiments.

According to The Verge:

"Ouya's best 'exclusive' at the moment is Final Fantasy III, a game that came out in 1990 and is also available on a variety of other platforms," writes David Pierce of The Verge. "That doesn't count. This platform desperately needs a game like Grand Theft Auto, or Shadowgun, or Assassin's Creed, or Bioshock... or something. Thing is, you could plug your Android phone or tablet into an HDMI cable and play a bunch of those games on your TV, often with a controller."

"Shadowgun, Grand Theft Auto, Asphalt 7, and a surprisingly large number of other high-quality games are available in the Play Store. But Ouya's going its own way with the Ouya Store, and it pales tremendously in comparison."

One big issue The Verge found with the Ouya, is that every game needs to be free to download. This means almost every game on the Ouya store will bombard the player with micro transactions that range from $4.99 to $15.99. Some developers take to the route of asking for donations instead of trying to rip off player's credit cards.

Engadget sees the Ouya as a product not yet out of beta due to the many software problems and the short list of available games.

"The version of OUYA shipping now should be considered a beta release, and anyone hoping for anything more is in for some disappointment. It's simply not ready for retail. The system is rough around the edges in many ways, quite literally when regarding the controller, but the interface and menus also could use work."

"And then there is, of course, the game selection. There are quite a few titles here worth playing, but virtually all of them have been seen elsewhere in one form or another, which makes the initial offering a bit hard to get excited about. Additionally, the vast majorities are what we'd broadly call "mobile" games: simple experiences and simple graphics that are fine for casual play, but lack the kind of immersion you might want when you get settled in at home on your couch."

We'll attempt to get our hands on the Ouya when it launches in June. Keep an eye out for our full review of the device as we'll be dissecting it to find out if this little game console is worth your time and money.

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