Our OUYA dev console arrived late this week, and we were certainly eager to toy around with it and get our latest build of A Tofu Tail up and running on the hardware. The following are our observations and thoughts.
*We understand that this is an early build of the console and not a final production unit. The GUI and hardware will likely see changes/improvements.
The OUYA is extremely small in comparison to other consoles; just slightly bigger than a Rubik’s Cube. The early dev units come in a special see-though housing with OUYADEVS etched into the side and includes two controllers with the same housing, HDMI cable, micro USB cable, and power cable. The console has a single USB, micro USB, HDMI, and ethernet port and also has built in Wi-Fi. Another nice touch is the 1/4″ thick circular rubberized pad on the bottom of the console to keep it in place on hard surfaces.
The GUI is extremely clean and simple; exactly the opposite of how the Xbox 360 dashboard. Microsoft take note, the OUYA menus would only be considered confusing if you can’t read English. We are still curious to see how it will evolve as there seems to be a lot of real estate that could be used for ads or promotions.
The controller is a bit of a mixed bag. The layout of very similar to the Xbox 360 controller (one of our personal favorites) even going so far as to mimic the color placement on the face buttons. A smart move on their part, as we all get used to the placement the O·U·Y·A layout.
Taking a closer look at the controller you can see that the faces on each of side of the controller are removable for installing two AA batteries and are held in place by magnets (“how do they work?”), which begs for controller customization. Our only gripe with the shoulder buttons is that our fingers did not rest on them comfortably. But our biggest complaint is with the D-pad; it’s horrible! Up until now we thought it wasn’t possible for a controller to have a D-pad worse than that of the Xbox 360. Thankfully, Jules Kane stated in their unboxing video that they are still tweaking the D-pad.
We opened up the console to take a look at the inside and were pleasantly surprised to see a sizable fan. We uploaded additional high-res images of the board and the console itself here.
New Updates: Besides getting A Tofu Tail running on the OUYA hardware, we’ve got another core game mechanic programmed that we are really excited about. Getting the OUYA controls working was a snap, but we did some response testing and still need to make a few adjustments. We are now focusing on code optimization, back-end data management, and fixing a few new bugs that came up due to differences between PC and Android. Menus are also being worked on and implemented.
We can’t tell you how excited we are to finally be working with the real hardware. Our thanks goes out to everyone at OUYA for hooking us up with our dev console, and to all of our followers for your kind words, awesome feedback, and support!
Pictured: Ryan (left), Ryan (right), Doug (at home)
Photography courtesy of Jessica Sell