Resurrected Entertainment

Archive for the 'Android' category

Ouya Unboxing and First Thoughts

June 22, 2013

The Ouya arrived in the mail yesterday, I was an early backer but an international one, so I was further down the shipment date list. Here are a few shots of the initial unpacking:

The packaging was tidy and simple, nothing elaborate like an Apple product. The boot process was simple and after joining my wireless network and pairing the Bluetooth joystick, then applying the first system update, the console was ready… but not fully working. After the update, things got a little flakey, the Bluetooth pairing was lost and while the device knew about the wireless network it had previously joined, it wasn’t actually connected. I discovered this bug while attempting to sign in to the Ouya network and it reported the error. To fix it, I needed to toggle wireless networking, which caused it to rejoin the network and the adventure was able to continue.

I am able to use a keyboard and mouse with the console, although the mouse doesn’t seem to work in the “Discover” panel when selecting games but the joystick works just fine. Here you can download any game you want and more than one at the same time, but it is difficult to see the progress of each game as it downloads. This would be an ideal option for the “Play” tab which remains empty until the game has completely downloaded; instead, it could show you which games are currently being installed and the progress for each. The progress bar overlay they use in the Discover panel is not a particularly good color and tends to blend in a little too well with most the thumbnails.

Every game is free to try, which is a really nice model because some titles I think I will like, end up being not what I expected and thus collect dust on my system or shelf. It’s also a much better model for tentative gamers since they can try out more games in a worry free model. Although as an added enhancment, I would like to know the price of a game ahead of time, just in case the price does not match my expectations so I don’t waste time playing a game I will never buy. Hopefully, little features like wish lists will be forthcoming in future updates.

The Ouya is coming, but are you excited enough?

June 19, 2013

Ok, so there isn’t a whole lot to be excited about in terms of a revolutionary hardware platform, but I think the people behind the Ouya seem to have made a nice machine. Yes, it runs Android, and no it’s not a phone. Unfortunately, there are a number of people making that comparison, and yes, there are Android phones out there with better hardware, but the Ouya is not a phone. It’s a stable Android platform which game makers can target like a console. This is something that has dogged the Android development environment for years because of the rapid and large scale changes to the Android SDK after every major version and the hardware offerings themselves. It’s hard work to ensure your latest Android game runs flawlessly on the numerous bits of Android jetsome floating about in the market, and wouldn’t it be easier if the hardware platform didn’t change on a weekly basis? The Ouya tries to solve this problem as well as giving Android gamers a better gaming environment than a phone, which I am sure is something you think is pretty special, but it does lack a bit of flexibility in the input and output arena. It’s also a beautiful platform for Indie developers looking to release cool software for your living room; I am sure there are lots of opportunities just waiting there for creative programmers looking to take a slice of the Android pie. Think about it, what other options were there for you to release software on a computing device in the living room? The Xbox 360, the PS3, the Wii U? These are great platforms but I would hardly call them accessible to very small development companies. Not to mention, these platforms are only interested in releasing games for the most part. There is the odd piece of software like Netflix, but the bulk of 3rd party offerings is in the entertainment market.