In case you are wondering what “Death throes” look like for a game console, here’s a pretty good indicator:
In an attempt to get some attention for the failing console, Ouya now will let you gain access to the entire library* of Ouya content for the mere cost of $60. Granted, at least Ouya is still trying but with little to no news about actual content coming along for the unit, trying is not good enough.
Ouya is an interesting case, in terms of seeing if price would win over everything. Certainly it helped them a little bit, I have a friend who loves his Ouya but he is the only person I have seen offer it any decent praise. He also does not have a lot of the other Android console devices out there.
And that is one big piece of the problem. If Ouya was the *only* Android console on the market then it would be in a much better position. But it is not. It also wouldn’t have that 800+ game library they brag about but that doesn’t help very much when so many of those games were made to run on a plethora of devices.
They have at least worked a little at getting exclusives but I had to take some time to figure out what those exclusives are. If you go to their website, Ouya exclusives are not obvious, just what are most popular. So this is a failure of marketing on their end, where as a serious gamer I don’t know what it is that is supposed to make this stand out apart from price. As a casual gamer, they have to look at this list and see 1) a big list of games so that their eyes glaze over 2) Many of them are available on about any device under the sun 3) If there is something exclusive it can get lost in the mess and who knows if any of that exclusive content is worth getting the console for.
With the big consoles, many people buy those just because they understand that they are going to get certain games with their company of choice. If you buy Nintendo, you can expect well crafted, well-thought out games that probably fit into a character you know like Mario or Zelda. Buy Sony or Microsoft and you can expect a lot of action/FPS games along with a few titles that have made a name for themselves (Halo, Uncharted, Call of Duty ver. 507, every Madden, Minecraft, and so on). Ouya has F2P exclusive games like Soul Fjord but where I had to dig to find this, it’s not the game that’s moving the needle on the mass market (even though it looks like ti may be amusing)
I’m not saying I want Ouya to fail, I like options that the market can offer. I like the development options it has, I like the price. I had forgotten it was even around though for some months until this article popped up and I am just noticing the steps they are taking that do not lead to success. I remember the failure of the NUON pretty well – it was marked by long periods of no news that turned heads or even no news at all. As pointed out by Ars Technica, practically no one discussed the Ouya this past E3. If you can’t get any attention during the week where we ask you to market to us, then that is indicative of a real problem.
*With caveats of course, in that content in F2P games that requires microtransactions still requires those microtransactions.