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ActRaiser

Moderator
Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 753
Reply with quote  #1 
Anyone interested in helping to launch a new console?

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ouya/ouya-a-new-kind-of-video-game-console

It's Android based, $95, comes with 1 controller, and launches in March 2013.  All in all it's not bad.  Really, it's something you could do using your Android phone today with an HDMI cable and Bluetooth controller.  Although this looks a wee bit sexier than plugging the Droid into the tv.

A touch portion on the controller allows for easier conversions of existing Android apps/games.

ActRaiser

Moderator
Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 753
Reply with quote  #2 
Well, that didn't take long.

They've already reached over $3,000,000 in start up funds.  Their original goal was $950,000 and had a month to reach their goal.  They hit that goal in 8 hours.  

Looks like this might actually launch as obviously, there's a market for it.

What's interesting is every game that will be offered through the service will have some type of demo or free-to-play aspect.  

If the D-pads are good (heck even if they aren't) I'll probably buy one to keep upstairs.  We have two main tvs.  One upstairs and one downstairs.  The downstairs is typically where I hang out and play vids, but it would be nice to have a cheap console and media center upstairs.

Anyone else interested in a new console?
videogamecritic

Moderator
Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 2,395
Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ActRaiser
  
Looks like this might actually launch as obviously, there's a market for it.


This is quite the logical leap.  For all we know, some rich guy (who was already on board) may have contributed 95% of that.
Atarifever

Moderator
Registered: 04/05/12
Posts: 1,044
Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by videogamecritic
Quote:
Originally Posted by ActRaiser
  
Looks like this might actually launch as obviously, there's a market for it.


This is quite the logical leap.  For all we know, some rich guy (who was already on board) may have contributed 95% of that.

We do know what was donated and by how many people.  Check the right side of the screen there.  So far, with many days to go, there are already 26,000+ donors. 
Oltobaz

Moderator
Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 729
Reply with quote  #5 
I might get this.
videogamecritic

Moderator
Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 2,395
Reply with quote  #6 
Really?  Over 26K donors?

I find it hard to believe there is such a groundswell of support considering how many similar efforts have fizzled out.
Atarifever

Moderator
Registered: 04/05/12
Posts: 1,044
Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by videogamecritic
Really?  Over 26K donors?

I find it hard to believe there is such a groundswell of support considering how many similar efforts have fizzled out.

But it's Kickstarter, not the stock market.  As this is a little outside your wheelhouse, I'll assume you haven't really been following these.  Basically, people (normal people, not investors) hear an idea they like on Kickstarter, then they support it, and for supporting it they are given what basically amounts to pre-order bonuses.  The original example is Tim Schafer's Adventure game, where the rewards were, for most donors, a copy of the game and a documentary about its making. 

Here's the video he did to launch this whole thing (for big videogame projects anway).


If you look at the tiered rewards for this, the vast majority of donors are at the $99 tier, where the "bonus" is the console.  So for 22,000 donors, this wasn't a donation.  It was a pre-order. 

So when you read about a Kickstarter, you're not reading about investors.  You're reading about a developer, entrpenuer, small company, guy in his basement, etc. offering a niche product to people.  In exchange for funding the niche product, they get to see it exist, and often, get the first copies. 

This isn't Ouya being made by investors.  It's 22,000 people saying "yes, if you make that, I will buy it because it sounds cool.  Here's the money now."

The benefit for the maker is that they OWN the product when it is done.  The benefit for the people is that they get the thing they thought looked cool. 



MooTheKow

Registered: 06/21/12
Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #8 
From what I've seen - sounds like this project is fishy.  The costs are simply too low for what they're offering.   People over at the OpenPandora forums (including the guy who built/sells an open-source ARM-based handheld):

http://boards.openpandora.org/index.php?/topic/9175-ouya-android-based-open-gaming-console/

Couple notes:
1) Kickstarter takes approximately 10% of the money donated -- so you're actually looking at this device for like $86.
2) Parts alone for the console would be very very difficult to manage for that price.  Plus you have to throw in cost for assembly (would be hard to hit that price even using the worst-of-the-worst slave labor in china).  Plus you have to throw in development costs, wages for employees, etc.
3) The controller isn't negligible in that cost either - certainly not one with built in wifi ..
4) you have licensing costs to include ( pretty sure you can't just use bluetooth and 802.11n without paying money).


That they've received so many donations for this project kind of boggles my mind... if they can't pull of what they're claiming they can - I'm pretty sure they have absolutely zero obligation to actually deliver any sort of product to the people who have donated over 3 million dollars... craziness.
ActRaiser

Moderator
Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 753
Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MooTheKow
From what I've seen - sounds like this project is fishy.  The costs are simply too low for what they're offering.   People over at the OpenPandora forums (including the guy who built/sells an open-source ARM-based handheld):

http://boards.openpandora.org/index.php?/topic/9175-ouya-android-based-open-gaming-console/

Couple notes:
1) Kickstarter takes approximately 10% of the money donated -- so you're actually looking at this device for like $86.
2) Parts alone for the console would be very very difficult to manage for that price.  Plus you have to throw in cost for assembly (would be hard to hit that price even using the worst-of-the-worst slave labor in china).  Plus you have to throw in development costs, wages for employees, etc.
3) The controller isn't negligible in that cost either - certainly not one with built in wifi ..
4) you have licensing costs to include ( pretty sure you can't just use bluetooth and 802.11n without paying money).


That they've received so many donations for this project kind of boggles my mind... if they can't pull of what they're claiming they can - I'm pretty sure they have absolutely zero obligation to actually deliver any sort of product to the people who have donated over 3 million dollars... craziness.


If I read everything correctly it's a give the razor away for free and sell the razor blades model.  They'll get a cut of all software sold through their channel.  Heck, this is the exact same model all gaming companies have used in the past.  The exception will be there won't be any up front licensing fees required to gain development boxes up front.

The main guy complaining on the Pandora forum offers a competitive product (sort of).  He has a vested interest in complaining.  Although I have zero interest in spending 600 EUR on a portable linux laptop like device, that's just crazy (although cool).

Bluetooth and Wifi are unlicensed frequencies in the ISM Band.  It's when you start getting into some Fixed Wireless/Metropolitan Area Networks (non802.16a) and Wireless Wide Area Networks that are licensced.  Think of your GSM, CDMA, 1xRTT, EDGE, LTE, 802.16m, ie cell phone networks that are licensced.

Anyone can use Bluetooth and 802.11 c, d, e, f, h, i, n without incurring licensing fees.  RIM/Blackberry put out a white paper explaining this stuff.  I only know as I had to research this stuff for work a couple weeks ago and am looking at a graphic image at the moment that shows licensed and unlicensed frequencies.

On the parts piece, I'd expect the costs to drop by March of 2013 as the chip that's in it will be old by then.  Nvidia will have come out with a newer version/faster/etc.  Either way their business model supports selling the product at cost or slightly at a loss with the hope that the user will buy games/apps/etc online.  If they're at a 30% margin, they'll do well.  They'll have to pay at a minimum 2-3% in payment processing fees.  Either way an effective margin of 27% to cover hosting and distribution is still one hell of a sound business model.  

The key is getting users to continue to buy stuff as time goes on and not just buy a few things and then let it set.  An active community will help.

I think I'm talking myself into buying one.

Atarifever

Moderator
Registered: 04/05/12
Posts: 1,044
Reply with quote  #10 
Yeah, this isn't really any more fishy than any other big budget, gaming related Kickstarter.  If it fails, yes, you get nothing.  That's true for any of these Kickstarters really.  That's the risk.  It's why I wouldn't back anything that wasn't going to give me a product that already exists (artwork, another game, documentary about the process (success or failure) etc. as a reward.  But that's me.

The system really doesn't have to be less than $87, or indeed, be less than they sell them for.  Onlive has, many times, given away their console system with a controller for simply buying a subscription to one of their games (which is only like $70 for the system and the game). 

Let's say they lose $10 a unit on the first batch.  That's 22,000 units at a $10 loss each.  That is $220,000 invested by them, to come up with real pans for, develop, and ship the first units of a new console.  Basically, if a couple guys working on it remortgage their houses, they have launched an entirely new games console, sold the first 22,000 of them, sold the developer kits (that's another tier if you check), and marketed it for free (we're already talking about it), without risking anymore than most people do who start their own small neighbourhood coffee shop.  And they say the market is too full of big companies for anyone else to afford to launch. 

I remember three years ago arguing with a PC gamer on a forum.  He said piracy is only an issue because of the way the market was set up.  He said if people paid developers up front to make games, and in exchange the games were simply released open source style for anyone to download for free when it was done, there wouldn't be a piracy issue.  Everyone who wanted to support the developer could do it on the front end, then the game wouldn't have to make profits on the back end.  I told him he was crazy and that wasn't how the real world worked.  That, outside of rich people paying for works of art to be created, that didn't really describe any real market I could think of that produced IP.  I told him that his idea was, thus, pretty stupid.  Silly me. 
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