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Android DRM Piracy Games

Why We Should Remain Skeptical of the Ouya Android Console 184

Posted by Soulskill
from the guilty-until-proven-awesome dept.
An anonymous reader writes "We recently talked about the 'Ouya' console — a conceptual Android-based gaming device that's had a massively successful Kickstarter campaign. While most people are excited about such a non-traditional console, editorials at 1Up and Eurogamer have expressed some more realistic skepticism about the claims being made and the company's ability to meet those claims. Quoting: 'Even if we set aside the issue of install base, one of Ouya's selling points could make developers wary of investing in it. Through the pitch video and on the Kickstarter page, Ouya emphasizes the ability to root the system and hack it without fear of voiding the warranty. With a standard USB port and Bluetooth support, it will be possible to use controllers and peripherals with it other than the one it comes with. What this also opens the door for is piracy and emulation. No doubt a chunk of the audience interested in Ouya are those intrigued by the idea of having a box that hooks up to a TV and can run Super Nintendo or Genesis emulators. Others will look at the system's open nature as an invitation to play its games for free; if it's as open as advertised, it should not be difficult to obtain and run illegally downloaded copies of Ouya games.' Ouya CEO Julia Uhrman has responded to the skepticism, saying, 'Ouya will be just as secure as any other Android-powered device. In fact, because all the paid content will require authentication with Ouya's servers, we have an added layer of security. Hacking and openness are about getting what you want to do with the hardware. Rooting the device won't give you any more access to the software.'"
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Why We Should Remain Skeptical of the Ouya Android Console

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  • So, always on DRM? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @02:51AM (#40670427)

    "all the paid content will require authentication with Ouya's servers"

    So it'll have Ubi-style always-on DRM. Nice.

    I was kind of interested in this project, but upon reflection I'm getting increasingly more sceptical. Too many spurious claims, not enough hard detail. I'll see how (if) it pans out, but I'm glad I'm not a backer.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @03:05AM (#40670495)

    I'm an electronics designer and the first thing that jumps out at me is that they want to use a Tegra 3 processor. From having detailed conversations with another SoC manufacturer in the same class I'm certain there is no chance in hell they will be able to purchase that processor with only, say, 50k consoles being produced (35k Kickstarter backers at the time of writing).

    When we tried it the SoC manufacturer was willing to deal with us at a level of 1 million units and stated they might _consider_ 500k units/pa if we could guarantee a ramp-up.

    So this sounds like a total load of shit based on that single glaring fact.

  • Piracy... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bert64 (520050) <bert@s[ ]hdot.fi ... m ['las' in gap]> on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @04:01AM (#40670779) Homepage

    It's already trivially easy to pirate games on all the other gaming platforms... And most of them are also capable of running emulators.

    What's really needed however, is a modern day equivalent of the Amiga. A system with a good selection of games, the insert and boot simplicity of a console, and a proper computer underpinning the system that allows people to learn more should they wish to do so. Think about it like this:

    Parents don't want to buy their kids a games console because it's not very educational, all it does is play games.
    Kids may not be terribly interested in learning how a computer works to start with, but if the facility is there then curiosity will often get the better of them.
    Most importantly, the system needs to encourage people to learn about it, and needs to have a simple procedure to return it to a working state regardless of how much you've messed with it.

    As for piracy, all the various anti piracy measures do is limit casual piracy, that is kids sharing copies of games with friends, or buying a single copy of a game to play at a lan party... These schemes inevitably get cracked anyway, and instead of buying one copy to share those kids will simply obtain a pirate copy to start with.

  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @04:15AM (#40670841) Journal

    It's like venture capitalism without the capitalism.

    It's not hard to understand. It's like Free Software and attempts to pidgeonhole it along very rigid lines will always fail simply because it serves multiple purposes.

    I helped fund a film which is now being made. From my point of view it's just distributed patronage.

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