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In the last part of this three part blog I basically did an introduction for people who have no idea what the Ouya is. In this part I will go into some details about what the Ouya can do, what it has under the hood and a basic rundown of the Ouya store.

So for starters the Ouya is basically an Android phone with a specialized UI overlay on top of the standard Android OS. So basically it runs android but has been made to look and function better for display on a TV and use with a game controller.

Under the hood the Android powered Ouya is essentially a mid to high end Android phone. It has a 1.7ghz quad core Nvidea Tegra 3 CPU with 8Gb onboard memory and 1Gb ram. It also has an HDMI port, ethernet, two USB ports and has Bluetooth and WiFi as well.

So now that you know what the Ouya runs on and what the specs are let’s get into what this tiny console does. Like I said before this console is powered by Android. However it does not get its content from the Google Play store like you might expect. Instead Ouya has their own app store. This actually makes a lot of sense in a way since this console is not a phone and thus not all apps and games will work with the controller or will even look good on your TV. So that being said, the console does ship with over 100 games available through their app store.

The games are essentially Android games upscaled for your TV and made to work with a controller. The sad thing right now is that the majority of the games are very simple and don’t really show off what the console can do. A few examples they have are Vector, a side scrolling run and jump game akin to Temple Run with pretty cool silhouette style graphics and The Ball which is a first person maze/ puzzle game where you have to push and pull this giant ball around to open doors and solve puzzles. The bright side of at lease a game like The Ball is it does show off some pretty great graphics for an Android Powered game console.

Another really cool thing about the Ouya is the fact that at launch, June 4th 2013, you will be able to download three Nintendo emulators which will let you play your favorite NES, SNES and N64 games again on your TV at no charge. To me, this is the main reason I will be buying this console. To be able to play Golden Eye, the original Final Fantasy games and all the amazing SNES games I love is amazing. And they will be releasing other emulators for other consoles like the Sega Genesis, Atari and others in the future as well.

Now like I said this console does not have the Google Play store which is a definite con for this system. To not have access to all the great apps and games there are out there out of the box definitely sucks and could be a major problem if they can’t keep the games coming quickly enough to their own store. The advantage again though is this is an Android device. So you can “side load” any app or game you want. Side loading is essentially downloading the .apk file(like a .exe on windows) and then putting it on a USB stick and putting it on the Ouya manually. While this is possible and I have seen videos of people playing games like Shadow Gun, an amazing graphics heavy first person shooter, or running apps like Netflix or other video streaming apps, it is not easy for the average consumer and thus only the people who care enough or know android will be able to do this.

So that’s a basic rundown of what the console can do and some basics on hardware and software for those who want to know more about this newcomer to the gaming market. In the next part I will discuss what the Ouya needs to succeed and give some final thoughts on the potential of a platform like this.

Richard
@riche_613

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