The opening salvos in the Console Wars, 2013 Edition are just beginning. We have Nvidia’s Shield appearing later this week, and today the OUYA micro-console appears in stores. OUYA, the Kickstarter-funded Android-based console retails for $99 with controller and hooks right into your TV set, hoping to grab a spot away from other consoles.
OUYA is in retail locations across the U.S., Canada, and U.K., including Amazon, Best Buy, GAME, GameStop, and Target. The console has a library of more than 170+ free-to-try games and media apps in 1080p HD to start. More than 17,000 developers have registered to develop OUYA games, so it’s a good bet we’ll see many more games from companies like Sega, Square Enix, and Double Fine Productions as well as many indie developers.
“It’s incredible to think that a little under a year ago OUYA was just an idea — we wanted to do something completely new in console gaming: build a $99 game console, with no discs to buy, open to all developers, and affordable to all gamers,” said Julie Uhrman, CEO and co-founder of OUYA. “Today, OUYA is real. Console gaming has never needed something new more than it does now.”
It’s not clear how well the console will do against the well-established competition from Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. The current-gen consoles from the Big Three are likely to see price cuts this fall that will put them close to the OUYA’s $99 price point. Game prices will be the big difference, with all of OUYA’s games being at least free to try out, and most are either free-to-play or much less expensive than normal console games.