As written about last week, Ouya is a $99 Android game console that raised more than one million dollars in its first day on Kickstarter.
With 20 days left to the Kickstarter campaign, there are over 40 thousand backers that have pledged $5,135,349 USD at the time of publishing. This is quite interesting, although there have been mixed reactions to whether this console could really be a viable alternative to the mainstream consoles or even make it to market.
It's nice for being a (Android) Linux-based console that costs less than $100 USD, which might be able to compete with a Nintendo, but overall I see the PlayStation and Xbox still holding their ground. While I'm not really a gamer myself, what I would really like to see from a Linux-based game console is:
- Rather than Android, ideally I'd like to see a console based upon some other "raw" Linux platform -- Ubuntu Core, Debian, or some creation from scratch. I'm not the biggest fan of Android, but ideally something that's more open and closer to a Linux desktop than Android with a complete OpenGL (non-GLES) stack, the user-space built atop traditional GNU/Linux components, etc. This would also make it easier for game publishers to bring their game(s) to the Linux desktop. If it were a custom Linux platform implementation and the hardware vendor was more into driving game sales with taking a percentage cut, ideally to push out the software platform as their own Linux gaming distribution since game sales would be the real revenue generator.
- Better hardware. Ouya is said to use NVIDIA's Tegra 3 SoC for their hardware. Tegra 3 is fine for lightweight mobile games and Android compatibility, but I don't see it delivering compelling graphics and performance if driving a 1080p OpenGL ES 2.0 game to a large living room display. Of course, better hardware means higher costs, but still ideally seeing something better than a Tegra 3 quad-core with 1GB of RAM and just 8GB of internal storage. By the time Ouya actually ships, the hardware will probably be showing its age.
- An open console. Ideally, minimal Digital Rights Management and other restrictions on the software/hardware.
- Friendliness towards the game developers. Apple, Microsoft, Sony, etc can be a pain in the ass to deal with when it comes to pushing down frequent game updates, taking large percentages of the game sales, etc. It sounds like its a pain in the ass to be a game developer on these other major platforms.
What else would you like to see out of your dream Linux gaming console?