updated 06:09 pm EDT, Sat March 16, 2013
Ouya CEO says she wants to see gaming come back to the television
Gaming on devices such as Apple's iPad and Samsung's Android-powered Galaxy S IV lacks the emotional impact of traditional console gaming, according to one gaming executive. Speaking at Engadget's Expand conference, Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman lamented the lack of depth in mobile games. The Android-powered Ouya console, Uhrman says, will bridge the gap between the accessibility of mobile gaming and the emotional depth made possible by traditional consoles.
"You're not having an emotional experience on a tablet," Uhrman explained, asked about what makes Ouya different from the current mobile gaming trend. "You're not engaged. It's more of a distraction."
Mobile gaming is largely touchscreen-based, and Uhrman believes that fact precludes most mobile games from achieving the sort of emotional investment that comes from handling a controller. The Ouya console's use of a controller, she says, brings back that emotional attachment, and that attachment starts from the moment an Ouya user picks up the controller.
"The controller's aluminum, and if you pick it up after not handling it for a while, it's cold. That immediately puts you right in there with a reaction."
The Ouya console runs Google's Android operating system and will be compatible with games made for that platform. Uhrman says the company has seen encouraging signs from many developers, and that about 7,000 developers have expressed interest in the system so far.
Ouya is one of the most popular success stories in the history of crowdfunding site Kickstarter, quickly attaining its funding goals after it debuted last year . Attracting one supporter roughly every 5.59 seconds, the project surpassed its $1 million initial goal in less than eight hours.
Ouya will begin shipping to the project's initial Kickstarter backers on March 28.