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I don't recall if I've mentioned it (and I'm far too lazy to go look), but I was one of the backers of the Ouya on Kickstarter. I hadn't given it much thought, except as a thing which might someday soon be real, until this afternoon when the mail arrived with a thump. My mail isn't usually thumpy, so I was surprised by the package I retrieved.

I've literally had it in hand for an hour, so all I've got for you is some pictures and a first impression.


I don't want to say too much about the pictures. I'm obviously not an professional, and they were taken using my phone. I'm sorry.

Anyway, it was all smartly packaged. It didn't have my custom plates, but I'd got an e-mail about that already. (They're coming "soon".) The controllers are simple enough to get apart if you happen to know that they come apart. There was kind of a big to-do about them during the Kickstarter campaign, but they're frankly not that exciting. They look and feel like modern era console controllers. The batteries aren't rechargeables, but I'm of two minds on that. Frankly, if this is the brilliant design that Yves Behar was brought in to do... well, I hope he wasn't paid overly much.

The R2 and L2 buttons are kind of... big? I would describe them as paddles rather than triggers. They feel okay though. I hooked it up to my projector, realised there wasn't an optical audio port (which is what allows me to hear my PS3) and then plugged it into the TV in my man cave instead. It downloaded an update, then restarted and prompted me to sync my controllers. I did, and was in.

Everything about it feels dirt standard. The interface is intuitive, setting up wifi is simple (though I opted to cable in, which it automatically detected and switched to), and most of the cruft of Android OS is hidden away where you won't find it unless you're a busybody like me. I popped the "Discover" menu and went to look for something to download. What I found was... strange.
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Is there nothing here?
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Oh, there you are Square-Enix.
This was the point at which I switched to ethernet instead of WiFi. The switch was near instant, and when I repoped the menu everything looked fine.
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I'm using a cell phone to take pictures of my TV. Again, I'm sorry.
The store isn't super populated, but I set the little box to pull a few demos. After I had commanded it to download a few things my bandwidth went to hell again, and all I could see on new menus were more grey boxes. I opted to see if anything had finished and was rewarded with a single title for my impatience.

I don't actually remember what it's called, but I had to install it before I could play. This mostly consisted of agreeing to the EULA and then waiting 30-seconds, but I can see how this could be irritating for larger titles.

The game itself consisted of riding a barrel rocket into a tower and then ascending as quickly as possible by bouncing on monster's heads. It wasn't deep, but it handled well and I had fun. I'm eager to have other things finish downloading so I can put the system through it's paces. I've got two controllers, and I called PSJ before I opened the packaging. I expect he'll want to come over and help me test, so more opinions soon.

-Zudz
 


Gus
11/06/2013 8:14am

Android anything is just going to get better and better given the fact people love it to the extent they do so I think the outlook for the console is going to be promising. Sure it will be having some teething problems but as a kick starter what else should we be expecting. What would be interesting would be telling us how comfortable those controllers are. Know I always swore by the Xbox 360 one because the sticks were uncomfortable places and the controller felt easy to hold and use for hours without breaking your hand like a ps one does. Row something out there that they should be changing the dpad

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Gus
11/06/2013 8:16am

Wondeful my iPad sent it before I finished. A common problem for a dpad with a rounded body is that you get all manner of inputs when trying to press the intended direction. Pressing up could result in going left at times. So maybe tell them to remove the rounds body and keep just the arrows to stop any cock ups happening by mistake.

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11/06/2013 1:59pm

I'm less concerned with Android fan enthusiasm than I am with Ouya and third-party support. The community is already doing great things (like helping me load Netflix). The games are slim pickings at the moment (unless you sideload or just play ROMs). Still, I'm optimistic.

The D-pad feels pretty good to me. I tend to use it for menus specifically because it feels more accurate than the sticks. I'm not a fighting game guy, so I'm not sure if it's up to those standards. I'll try to get PSJ over soon to render his verdict. He plays a little Street Fighter, so he should be able to provide some more discerning insight.

-Z

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PuppetShowJustice
11/06/2013 2:27pm

If by "plays a little Street Fighter" you mean "Can whoop your ass with Cammy in any game that features Cammy" then I concur.

I look forward to attacking the Ouya controller.

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    Content by PuppetShowJustice (or PSJ), a man with strong opinions about things.

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