Published on June 26th, 2013 | by Craig Forshey1
Unboxing The OUYA Launch Model
Despite numerous delays and shipping problems the Android based OUYA console has finally arrived on store shelves. Originally starting out as a humble Kickstarter project, the OUYA has been fully realized and is now ready to shake up the gaming industry with its ambitious premise.
With the line between mobile graphics and current generation console hardware beginning to blur more and more, what if an Android game box outfitted with the latest tech and backed by the indie gaming community were to go toe to toe with Sony and Microsoft? While it remains to be seen if the OUYA will be a commercial success or not, this little cube has already worked its way into our hearts.
So let’s take a look at the very first Android console dedicated to independent gaming!
The OUYA comes with everything you need to start gaming right out of the box. A standard OUYA package consists of the bluetooth controller, a power supply, an HDMI cable, 2 AA batteries, and the console itself. Including batteries in the box was a nice touch since people wont have to immediately look for batteries to begin enjoying their new system. The HDMI cable on the other hand is entirely too short unless you plan to keep your OUYA right next to your TV. Everything is packaged nicely and covered in some sort of protective tape which although difficult to remove keeps the OUYA in pristine condition.
The OUYA controller is easily the best wireless gaming accessory we’ve ever used thanks to its professional design and well placed trackpad implementation. While navigating even a tailor made UI on a controller is usually a frustrating experience, the ability to effortlessly switch to touch input when the controller hits a dead end is an innovative design choice and one that should become a standard feature in future consoles. By sharing the general layout and weight distribution as the Xbox 360 controller, OUYA hopes to make the transition to this new way of gaming as easy as possible. The face buttons are smooth and responsive, with a feel similar to the iconic Playstation Dual Shock controller, and the analog sticks grip to the thumbs perfectly although the triggers take more pressure than they should to activate.
And now we move on to the centerpiece of any good gaming system, the box itself. This magical Rubik’s Cube sized device sports Android 4.1.2, a Tegra 3 quad core processor, 1GB of DDR3 memory, and a wealth of different connection options. Designed with a minimal aesthetic in mind, the OUYA looks like a fairly unassuming piece of electronics with only the unconsole’s logo adorning its frontside. A button on the top serves as the on/off switch and sits flush with the OUYA’s surface.
While the OUYA is all business in the front, it’s a party around back. In addition to the obligatory power source and HDMI connections there is a standard USB port, a micro USB port, and even a slot for an Ethernet cable. The USB port, a welcome inclusion, not only allows for expandable storage but also enables a host of Android accessories like keyboards, mice, and even other game controllers. The micro USB port was primarily intended to be the OUYA’s connection to your computer but can also connect to your smartphone and even function as a second standard USB port with the use of a USB OTG cable.
I’ll admit, like many gamers when I first heard about the OUYA months ago I was skeptical to say the least. But having spent a short while with it we can happily say that the OUYA came through on all its promises and then some(unless you’re a Kickstarter backer still waiting on your unit!). The system is professionally made, elegantly designed, and highly portable. From the controller to the UI to the box itself, the OUYA is a quality product and easily the best Android device around for dedicated gaming.
We’ll have more on the OUYA in the coming days including a hands on look at its UI and launch title line up along with a full review.