Friday, August 10, 2012

Does Ouya spell trouble for Wii and later PS & Xbox?

Ouya, the Kickstarter gaming console startup which ended up raising about $8,6M is part of a new breed of startups like Pebble and TikTok. What sets Ouya apart from most other Kickstarter projects is that it appears as if it could have major strategic impact on existing market players such as Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox and cause further disruption within the gaming industry.

The gaming industry have seen increased competition and disruption over the past years, especially in the handheld segment where iOS devices have rapidly taken a large share of the market.

The question is whether Ouya can do the same for the console market by introducing a low-cost, standardized and open source platform. Think AppleTV for gaming. The plan is to reduce the cost of developing games and to untangle the dominance by the established players.

We will have to see if they can get developers onboard to port games to their platform and especially capture new gaming development. This can potentially create problems for the Nintendo Wii, Sony PS and Microsoft Xbox.

I guess we will have to wait and see how Ouya executes their plan with their newfound stash of cash and what the user experience will be like. Openness is great but the question is whether it will sell any consoles outside small but significant core of users. If it also ends up being sleek, easy to use, stable and can protect developers from piracy as well as being open, then I bet they will sell more boxes than they can make.

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