When the Android and Kickstarter driven Ouya was announced it stirred up quite a bit of excitement. Players and independent game developers alike were excited to see a home console that would be open for more indy sized games. Not only would it be easier for smaller companies to develop on but it would allow direct downloads for customers instead of them having to buy actual physical copies of games. The new console plans to do all of this while still keeping it’s price point at a mere $99. Larger game companies were however less thrilled about it’s announcement. With it’s low price point and low cost games it’s possible the Ouya will be as disruptive to the game industry as the system developer itself has claimed it will be. But will it be able to compete with the AAA companies that have already successful characters and series at their backs? With the help of Sega it looks like they’ll have exactly the kind of recognizable figure they’re looking for.
The Blue Hedgehog’s Low Cost Housing
Sega has officially teamed up with Ouya and announced their near launch lineup via Games Industry International. The Ouya itself launches on June 25th and our favorite hedgehog will be zooming onto it with a trio of games only days later on the 27th. This trio will include Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2, and Sonic CD. Sonic the Hedgehog is a well know character and a video game icon. With such an easily recognized character on their console it’s possible the Ouya will do well enough to bring in other notable game series. With the ease of which a small company can develop for the Ouya perhaps they will end up with a mascot all their own. Ouya founder and chief executive officer Julie Uhrman commented on the new partnership and exceptional openness of the console.
“Sega is an example of the types of developers that are coming to Ouya. We’ve always said that because Ouya is open, we lower the barriers for any type of developer, whether it’s AAA or a newcomer. We’re going to see all types of developers and games on Ouya. We’re excited to have Sega as a partner, they’re a great publisher. Sonic is an iconic brand and we think it’s just going to add to the fun of playing on Ouya,” She commented to the site.
Low Cost Console, Higher Cost Games
The release price of $99 makes the Ouya an almost irresistible buy. Not only is the console cheap but without the physical production costs we should see games launching at well below the familiar $60 mark. The Sonic games will be launching at $6.99 a piece, which is well below what we might expect any home console game to be sold at. On the surface it seems as if this is exactly what we want from the new console. But these games have already seen release on Android and iOS. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 hit Google Play at $3.99 and the App Store at $1.99 while Sonic CD is available on both for $2.99. That means that our new low cost system will be launching these games at about double what they were upon mobile release. Now I understand that it costs more to bring games to a home console, even if it is the Ouya. But when the company is trying to sell the low development barriers and low cost to customers it’s worth keeping in mind that your phone might have that market tackled already.