Is The OUYA Game Console A PS4, Xbox One Killer?
As of June 25rd, 2013, Ouya became both available, and immediately sold out, at several major distributors. Ouya, a $99 console gaming alternative, is the second highest earning Kickstarter campaign of all time, and the number one highest earner in the games category. The original $950,000 Kickstarter goal was overfunded 904 percent, putting the final pledged amount to $8,596,474. At day one launch, there were 179 games available that are all free to try out before purchasing.
The addition of the Ouya ($99) adds to the already major year for consoles. Later this year, the PS4 ($399) and Xbox One ($499) will also be released. These higher end consoles typically go through a few to several years before an upgrade system is released.
So what makes the Ouya so special? Can’t gamers wait for bigger and better consoles to be available later this year? The reality of the matter is that it’s not about bigger or better when it comes to the gaming community, it’s about providing value.
When it comes to providing value to gamers, the Ouya does so with not just its price, but with it’s openness and providing more options for the entire gaming industry.
The $99 price point puts the Ouya as a cheap alternative to what is being offered by Sony Corp (PS4), Microsoft Corp (XBox One) and Nintendo Co Ltd (Wii U). The Ouya uses the open Android mobile platform as the engine. Games on the Ouya range from $2 to $4. The Ouya comes with one controller, with additional controllers costing $49 each.
Affordability was obviously an important factor when making the Ouya. Most console gaming units cost $250-$500, with games being in the $50-$80 range. Additionally, the current standard practice of console gaming includes purchasable downloadable content (DLC) that costs the user $15-$30 each package. Making gaming easily affordable is one of Ouya’s selling points, but it will need more than a cheap price to bring in the sales.
Ouya’s response to how they are going to provide quality gaming for a low price is by opening the platform to any interested developer. The Android powered Ouya lets app developers relocate their already developed apps to the Ouya market. If developers are interested, they are also able to create new games on the popular Ouya platform. The Ouya allows anyone, anywhere, to make a fun game, put it on the market, and make money similar to how people have been doing so with smartphone apps.
This indie movement is increasingly taking place all over the world. Etsy allows creatives in the art industry to make money from their wares. Kickstarter allowed anyone with an idea to market it to the public. And now, with the Ouya, game makers are being given an open console gaming playground to have fun with.
Ouya founder Julie Uhrman had the following to say about the how Ouya provides a choice:
“Ouya is not an ‘either-or’ decision. It stands on its own and it’s something that gamers are going to want in addition to whatever device plays the game that they’ve been playing for the last five years.”
The strategy behind the Ouya is not to take over the video game market, but to simply peck at it by giving people a choice. DFC intelligence reports that the size of global video game market revenue is $66 billion. It is estimated the the industry will be worth $78 billion in 2017. If a peck is all Ouya is going for, a peck in that size of a market will generate a great amount of revenue.
Game over? More like, to be continued…
Ouya has established an alternative to console gaming, and it’s not just by offering a lower cost platform. Ouya allows indie developers access to the growing video game market. The highly successful Ouya, shown by an extremely successful Kickstarter and a sold out launch, shows that there was a lack of attention for this type of device in the video game industry.
Ouya will not be a competitor to the PS4 or Xbox One because it does not provide the same offerings as those major consoles. Instead, it will provide an alternative source of value to gamers. The Ouya will not take a market share of PS4 or XBox One — it will perpetuate the increases of revenue for the entire console gaming market.