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Android Open Source Games

Ouya Dev Consoles Ship, SDK Released 169

Posted by Soulskill
from the progress-as-promised dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Earlier this year, the Android-based Ouya game console project raised over nine times as much funding as they initially asked for in their Kickstarter campaign. Now, Ouya developer consoles are starting to ship, and folks on the Ouya team released a video showing what the developers should expect. As explained in the video, the console currently being shipped is by no means the final hardware, but promises to give developers everything they need to start developing apps and games for Ouya. The only surprise is that they decided to add a micro-USB port to the hardware, making it easy to hook up to a PC. The Ouya team has also released an SDK for the device (which they call the ODK — Ouya Development Kit), and have provided most of the source under the Apache 2.0 license. They wrote, 'We think we’ve got a great team of developers here at OUYA, but there’s strength in numbers and a wealth of passionate, talented people out there. We want you, the developers of the world, to work alongside us to continually improve our platform. It’s our hope that releasing a more open ODK will help foster such innovation.'"
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Ouya Dev Consoles Ship, SDK Released

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  • by Xugumad (39311) on Friday December 28, 2012 @10:41AM (#42411093)

    Well, I said it couldn't be done, I was wrong. Very well done to them!

  • Something about them not having a lot of downloads from their site flagged it as possible phishing or malware.
    • by tepples (727027)

      Something about them not having a lot of downloads from their site flagged it as possible phishing or malware.

      If this is anything like the "SmartScreen" reputation system that IE uses, then how is a new site supposed to gain reputation other than by buying it from a CA?

  • by Brian Kendig (1959) on Friday December 28, 2012 @11:02AM (#42411213) Homepage

    "There there, ship." *pats the hull*

  • Isn't the point of Android that any app runs on any device? Why would they then need a developer console (I assume for game developers). That implies they'd make games that only run on the console. Even if they set up their own separate app store, the other 99% of android users would probably find it and get all pissed off that their $600 smartphone can't run basically anything in it. That really defeats the intention of the Android OS. They should have just made it a Linux box in that case.
    • Re:why? (Score:5, Informative)

      by codewarren (927270) on Friday December 28, 2012 @11:16AM (#42411311)

      This is not a "dev" box in the sense that if you are a developer, you need one of these boxes. These are boxes that were specifically awarded to backers that wanted to do development. The only difference between these and the retail boxes is that these are early versions and therefore available earlier than the retail boxes. Also these are in "special edition" cases as a thank you to the devs for their support.

    • Isn't the point of Android that any app runs on any device?

      How many current games can run on a first-generation HTC Dream (T-Mobile G1)? And how can a game that expects a gamepad run if no gamepad is available? True, the workaround of putting a virtual gamepad at the lower corners of the screen works for one button (Sonic). But extending it to two (Bubble Bobble, Mega Man, Contra, Metroidvania, etc.) runs into problems with players blindly reaching for on-screen buttons and missing them, which only become worse with four or six (Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter).

      Why would they then need a developer console (I assume for game developers).

      To ma

    • Isn't the point of Android that any app runs on any device?

      No.

      Why would they then need a developer console

      This uses controllers and not a touchscreen.

      • Well then it DEFINITELY should have been a Linux box just to avoid confusion.
      • The controller does have a touchpad-like area.

        • ...interesting, yes, but irrelevant, just to be clear, since a touchpad is not even the same class of device as a touch screen. In other words, it is not as if existing touchscreen games developed for a phone will be playable on the Ouya because they have this touchpad thing.

  • by kbg (241421) on Friday December 28, 2012 @11:15AM (#42411299)

    What the hell? A fan inside the box? Please tell me this won't be in the final version. Have these guys never heard about heat sinks? The way I would do this would be to have the case be made out of aluminum and the heats sink would be connected to the case utilizing the case itself to dissipate heat

  • No photo? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gordonjcp (186804) on Friday December 28, 2012 @11:16AM (#42411315) Homepage

    Surely it wouldn't have killed them to put a photo of the production verson *somewhere* in the post...?

  • by Short Circuit (52384) <mikemol@gmail.com> on Friday December 28, 2012 @11:27AM (#42411391) Homepage Journal

    When their Kickstarter began, I sent them a message (along with many other folks, I'm sure) that it needed _some_ means of getting a wired internet connection and/or access to by-wire accessories. USB was one of the possibilities I offered.

    Now devs for Ouya can turn around and leverage that USB port to allow the Ouya device to latch on to a PC's network connection. Excellent.

    (Page doesn't seem to show if it's USB2 or 3. At this point, I sure hope it's USB 3...)

    • by Narishma (822073)

      It has an ethernet port as well as USB.

    • It looks to me like the console has an ethernet port. If for some reason, you need it to connect to a PC, couldn't you use a crossover cable?
      • My chief complaint was that in the original announcement, they were only going to support wifi for networking, yet it was supposed to be useful for gaming and streaming video.

        The problem is that wifi is terrible for both of those use cases. It's bad on its own for latency purposes, and then there's spectrum contention. I raised these points in response to their Kickstarter drive, and it looks like they turned around and added those features. If I'd known they would, I would have donated on the Kickstarter.

        • Ah. totally understandable. For me, it really depends on the usage case, but I generally prefer wired connections. If I weren't living in a rented house, I'd have GigE everywhere.
          • You still can. Just use proper cable hiding tools and techniques. Like whatever they use to make power cables running across floors OSHA-safe. :)

    • by freeze128 (544774)
      The unboxing video on their website shows an ethernet jack, as well as a couple of USB ports.
    • Unfortunately, if you scroll to the bottom of this [www.ouya.tv] page to see the specs, it is USB 2.0. That's great for peripherals and basic PC connectivity, but with only 8GB of internal storage, having fast access to external storage would have been nice. I'll still be getting one, though ;)
  • by markdavis (642305) on Friday December 28, 2012 @11:28AM (#42411395)

    I am still not sure I understand the purpose of the OUYA. If it doesn't run existing Android games, then it is just another locked-down device/market from someone else. What's the big whoop? Just the fact that is runs Android?? Wouldn't a device that runs standard Android and has access to all the existing games in Google Play be far more desirable?

    The hardware will be near zero-profit and they will just rake in the money from sales of apps on their proprietary "store". Why would developers want to lock themselves into another, different store with different rules, and target only the Ouya?

    Wasn't the excitement to have a cheap set-top box that could play inexpensive Android games? If it is a separate, proprietary marketplace, then the selection will be dismal, the prices much higher, and you won't be able to use those apps on any other non-Ouya device.

    Plus, if you already paid for Android games on the Google Play or Amazon App Store, they won't run on the Ouya either. I don't see how this is a good thing. Despite it running an Android fork, it is just another semi-proprietary platform.

    I would rather pay more for a really "open" set-top box with decent hardware, joysticks, and have it just use Google Play and link to my existing account. They can make money off the box.

    • Wouldn't a device that runs standard Android and has access to all the existing games in Google Play be far more desirable?

      Some genres work better with a capacitive multitouch screen. Games in these genres belong in the Google Play Store first and Amazon Appstore once they're successful on Google Play Store. (Amazon charges an annual fee.) Other genres work better with a gamepad. Games in these genres belong in the Ouya store. They could be published in the Google Play Store, but as I understand it, it's not easy to get solid sales figures for external gamepads such as iCade and iControlPad products.

      Why would developers want to lock themselves into another, different store with different rules, and target only the Ouya?

      Because not all developers a

    • by ikaruga (2725453)
      The big whoop is that it's a game console from kickstarter. That is it. It's trendy, people that don't know how to use money will buy it.
    • by fredan (54788)

      I am still not sure I understand the purpose of the OUYA. If it doesn't run existing Android games, then it is just another locked-down device/market from someone else.

      You are right and this is why the Ouya will fail bigtimes.

      This _IS THE_ streaming device for TV/FILM content connected to your TV of century!

      Get it? A device that you can play games with and when you tried of the games, watch some movies instead! Or tried of the movies, play some games!

      Why is Ouya not in bed with Netflix on thisone?

    • by kbg (241421)

      Well since it is based on Android, Android developers can take their existing games make only small changes and then release them for the Ouya.

  • Will this take bluetooth standard controllers?
    From the video it looks like they are shipping without real directional buttons and instead have the same braindead Xbox design.

    Also put the fucking sticks in the middle where they belong, just clone a PS3 controller or thrustmaster and be done with it.

  • I already have a phone in my hands that has more CPU power than the Ooya, it has an HDMI port, and I play games on it all the time using my PS3 controller. Why would I buy this device? It seems like it would be LESS convenient than what I already have, which is a powerful game console that follows me everywhere and can be plugged into ANY TV in about 3 seconds.... this is a less-powerful console tethered to my house that would mean something else I have to carry around?

    I don't understand who the target market for this thing is or who is going to buy it. I am a geek, a gamer, and an Android fanatic. You would think I would be the ideal target market for this device. But if I don't see any use for it, then I don't think there is much hope in the broader marketplace. To me it is a solution looking for a problem.

    They got two things right... that mobile is the future of gaming, and that Android is going to rule the market. But what they got wrong is the assumption that standalone consoles are going to stay around. Who need a standalone console when your phone is more powerful? All you need is a CONTROLLER. They should have put their project into making a seamless bluetooth controller experience that worked for any phone (the PS3 controller solution is great when you have it working but is a bit convoluted for a newbie to set up).

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Have you found a good solution for HMDI plugs?

      All the ones on my devices are on the back and a bitch to get too. What I want is a way to plug my phone in to the front of the TV area and hook it up to wall power while doing so. A docking device would be best probably.

      • by brunes69 (86786)

        Mine is MHL, so it's just part of the USB jack.

        But to be honest, in 6-12 months HDMI out will be obsolete. Miracast mirroing is going to mean no one will bother with wires anymore. My phone supports it, waiting for my TV firmware to be updated. Supported by default in JellyBean 4.1.2

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          I meant on the other end, or are you leaving this cable in all the time?

          I would rather not play games over such a slow link.

    • by kwerle (39371)

      I don't have that.

    • I already have a phone in my hands that has more CPU power than the Ooya, it has an HDMI port, and I play games on it all the time using my PS3 controller. Why would I buy this device?

      The fact that not enough other people connect PS3 controllers to their phones is enough to discourage game developers from targeting Android phones with PS3 controllers. If I were to develop a game targeting Android phones with PS3 controllers, how big could I expect my market to be? Are there even published sales figures for the iCade or iControlPad to reassure developers that the market for gamepad games on Android isn't entirely unprofitable?

      All you need is a CONTROLLER.

      And only one Android phone has ever been bundled with one: the Xperia Play by Sony.

      the PS3 controller solution is great when you have it working but is a bit convoluted for a newbie to set up

      And Android 4.2 broke the Wii controller solution.

      • by brunes69 (86786)

        The fact that not enough other people connect PS3 controllers to their phones is enough to discourage game developers from targeting Android phones with PS3 controllers. If I were to develop a game targeting Android phones with PS3 controllers...

        You don't need to "target" people with controllers... a controller in Android is just another input device. You can use a controller in Android with ANY game that supports keyboard input.

        And only one Android phone has ever been bundled with one: the Xperia Play by Sony.

        Which is what I am saying. All that is needed is a seamless foolproof controller solution, and good marketing, and partnering with publishers. You don't need to make a ground-up console with crappy CPU and GPU specs. Consoles are yesterday's news. They went about this totally wrong.

        • a controller in Android is just another input device. You can use a controller in Android with ANY game that supports keyboard input.

          For one thing, how does an analog joystick translate into keyboard input? For another, the game has to be developed with keyboard input in mind. If there aren't enough people who already carry what the application sees as a gaming keyboard, then developers aren't likely to target Android devices with gaming keyboards, instead targeting other platforms whose users are more likely to already own gaming keyboards.

          All that is needed is a seamless foolproof controller solution, and good marketing, and partnering with publishers.

          Good luck getting this sort of marketing and partnering in a market already dominated by Microsoft

        • by am 2k (217885)

          You don't need to "target" people with controllers... a controller in Android is just another input device. You can use a controller in Android with ANY game that supports keyboard input.

          Anything that's more complicated than "plug it into the power socket and the TV and turn it on" doesn't work in the consumer space, and that includes buying two distinct pieces of electronics you have to combine yourself. Even that people have to set up WiFi is a huge problem at the moment. Don't forget that being an Android fanatic also means that you have a lot more knowledge than the target market.

          Touch screen and keyboard/controller input are totally different from a game developer point of view, and ne

          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            This.

            The average consumer can't even deal with a receiver and a couple devices.

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