Game Console Ouya Lures Buyers With $99 Price Tag | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Game Console Ouya Lures Buyers With $99 Price Tag

Play associated audio

Sony and Microsoft are preparing to launch their latest gaming consoles this fall with price tags from $400 for the PlayStation 4 and $500 for the Xbox One. But this week, a $99 game console went on sale and sold out at Target and Amazon.

The Ouya was designed to break down barriers between game developers and game fans, and its launchpad came from those communities, which supported it to the tune of $8.6 million on Kickstarter.

The console was the idea of Julie Uhrman. "The O in Ouya stands for openness," she says. "U is for universal and the YA just completed it. Ouya sounds good to say."

Uhrman gets passionate as she talks about bringing openness and universality to the way people buy and sell games. On a console like the Xbox or PlayStation, people have to spend $60 to buy a game they haven't played. The Ouya lets gamers try it for free, and game developers can decide on a price.

"The developers have total freedom on how they want to monetize that content. So it could be a free demo, and then you can unlock the full version of the game for $19," Uhrman says.

The Ouya is a box the size of a Rubik's Cube made of aluminum and plastic. It comes with one game controller; you can buy additional controllers for $50 each.

Uhrman says she got inspired to build the Ouya because big console games like Call of Duty or Madden NFL cost tens of millions of dollars to make.

"Very few developers can do that, in fact, and you can see that because you don't see a lot of new content," she says.

So, instead of making games for consoles and TVs, a lot of developers limit themselves to mobile phones and tablets. The Ouya launched with more than 135 games, and the Ouya game store works like Apple's app store. Ouya gets a 30 percent cut, and the game maker gets 70 percent.

But its graphics don't hold a candle to the Xbox 360 or the PlayStation 3, and when Sony and Microsoft release their new consoles this fall, they'll look even better. But for a lot of gamers, $99 for the Ouya may be about the right price to pay to scratch that itch to play games.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

In 'Transparent,' Transgender Issues Are A Family Affair

Amazon Studios' Transparent features a slate of well-known actors playing a family dealing with the revelation that the person they'd known as Mort, their father, is a transgender woman.
NPR

Syrup Induces Pumpkin-Spiced Fever Dreams

Hugh Merwin, an editor at Grub Street, bought a 63-ounce jug of pumpkin spice syrup and put it in just about everything he ate for four days. As he tells NPR's Scott Simon, it did not go well.
NPR

All Eyes On Obama, World Leaders At Climate Change Summit

More than 120 leaders are expected to attend the one-day climate summit sponsored by the United Nations. They've been instructed to arrive with "bold ideas" to slow the rise in global temperatures.
NPR

Drivers, Passengers Say Uber App Doesn't Always Yield Best Routes

People love Uber, but they often complain the Uber app's built-in navigation doesn't give its drivers the best directions. The company says the app helps drivers and passengers travel efficiently.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.