Ouya Console Already Lags Behind Current-Gen Mobiles

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Ouya Console Already Lags Behind Current-Gen Mobiles

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Benchmark testing indicates that the Ouya console is already seriously out-muscled by many popular mobile phones and tablets on the market.

The Android-powered Ouya console that made a big splash on Kickstarter hasn't been released to the general public, yet it's already buried in the middle of Futuremark's April 2013 benchmark ranking of mobile devices. With a 1.7 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU and Nvidia GeForce ULP clocked at 520 MHz, the Ouya scored a Futuremark performance rating of 3995, good enough for 78th place on the chart - behind popular mobiles including the HTC One X, the Samsung Galaxy S III and the Sony Xperia V. The top-ranked device, the Xiami MI-2s, managed a Futuremark performance score of 11,324, nearly triple that of the Ouya.

It's not necessarily a surprise given how quickly mobile hardware evolves, but does it matter? It doesn't look great on the surface - numbers don't lie, and nobody brags about 78th place - but in the real world, it probably won't be an issue. For one thing, as VentureBeat noted, most mobile developers aim their products squarely at the most popular hardware on the market, which at the moment would be the Galaxy S III, which scored just a hair over 5000 on the same test, and the Nexus 7 tablet, which actually came in lower, at 3551 - both well within the Ouya's range.

Price is also a factor: The 16GB Wifi-only Nexus 7 is roughly $200 from Google, while the Galaxy S III, unlocked and without carrier subsidy, will set you back $700 at Best Buy. The Ouya is a hundred bucks for a 1080p gaming console that supports streaming video (possibly including Netflix and Hulu at some point in the future), and if your kids get a little rammy and break the thing, it's not the end of the world.

The middling score could prove to be a PR knock against the Ouya, if only because mainstream consumers who have no idea what a Futuremark score actually represents may be put off by the less-than-spectacular showing. But while there is perhaps some value in saying that the Ouya is much slower than the Pantech Vega R3, it's just as valid (sort of) to say that it's also much slower than Susan Arendt's dog Alice. Alice, on the other hand, does not have HDMI out; but the Ouya will not throw up on your carpet. Alice will keep you company when the power goes out. Ouya won't eat the furniture if it doesn't get twice-daily walks. Which is better? Tough call - but it's not the sort of argument that can be settled with a single, arbitrary performance score.

Sources: VentureBeat, Futuremark

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More technology needs to be compared to people's pets. Just putting that out there.

Kind of a shame to see a console with such promise getting such flak - deservedly or not.
(Also - omg, Rituro, our icons are like, the same.)

This was to be expected to a certain degree, theese guys dont have the sort of money and expertise that Sony have, so to get something that can be fairly compared to a Sony product on the first try is an achievement of sorts.

Alice got a Futuremark score of 4377.

Why do I feel the sudden desire to write Ouya vs. Alice fanfiction?

It's a budget, open source console. Did anyone seriously expect it to be cutting edge graphically/processor wise? I didn't.

Parakeettheprawn:
It's a budget, open source console. Did anyone seriously expect it to be cutting edge graphically/processor wise? I didn't.

It still bumps up against the issue of market and viability, though.

The thing costs 100 bucks, which is several hundred dollars cheaper than a lot of those devices.

When it comes to mobile benchmarks, I take all of them with a pinch of salt. Most of the time mobile benchmarking is wildly different. Just look up iPhone/Galaxy comparisons.

This comparison is a bit silly/tells half the story from what I understand. Not only is the Ouya going to get yearly hardware updates to keep the tech reasonably current (or so I've been told), it's a $99 Android console with a controller interface which performs outperforms hardware like the Galaxy S II and compares favourably with the Galaxy S III. Hardware that really isn't that old, and at a fraction of the price. Hell, according to that chart, it outperforms my wife's Nexus 7 that we bought 3 months ago. To say there's a bit of an unwarranted negative slant to the reporting of this whole thing is a bit of an understatement.

Then again, anyone who expected a $99 console to outperform a top of the line $300+ smartphone or tablet is an idiot and no amount of accurate reporting would lead to their developing the proper expectations.

How much horsepower does it need? It's still the specs to keep indie devs happy, which I thought was the point

It's not gonna play Halo 4; it was never meant to

Hmm, if Alice is easily modable then she probably wins. Although those food bills are kind of like a subscription fee and I don't like the idea of that. Does she have a good release line-up and developer support?

Zachary Amaranth:

Parakeettheprawn:
It's a budget, open source console. Did anyone seriously expect it to be cutting edge graphically/processor wise? I didn't.

It still bumps up against the issue of market and viability, though.

People still play Gameboy games instead of modern day games more than I'd ever imagine, so really, it's just a matter of how popular the system's games are. Right now it's main developer to beat is going to be Madfinger, what with Dead Trigger, Samurai 2, and that TPS who's name I can't remember... Shadowtrigger? Shadowgun! That's the name.

Not really an issue. Games will be targeted at the Ouya rather than all Android devices which should allow some optimisations. There aren't many Android games that require an overly powerful platform in any case.

It shouldn't be too surprising considering it doesn't cost nearly what a lot of more expensive smartphones do. Then again, those smart phones do more than just playing games. Why anyone would actually want the Ouya is beyond me, it just sounds like something people wanted to support because OMG KICKSTARTER CONSOLE rather than what it actually does (play cheap Android games most people play mainly on the toilet).

And yes, I'm aware of the potential of "homebrew" games or whatever the kids are calling it nowadays, but I've been promised that before.

Well, don't most new phones cost upwards of $500 when you buy them brand new? Considering the Ouya's price point, I think that's fairly decent. Still don't think I'll buy into it though, if I want to play android games, I have my Galaxy Nexus which is just fine.

VanQ:
Well, don't most new phones cost upwards of $500 when you buy them brand new? Considering the Ouya's price point, I think that's fairly decent. Still don't think I'll buy into it though, if I want to play android games, I have my Galaxy Nexus which is just fine.

without a renewal/new contract, sure. Otherwise, I'd consider them competitively priced.

Eh, it's 100 bucks. This was expected, but will probably still be used by people too lazy to find actual flaws with the Ouya.

The specs feel fairly irrelevant to me. Android game development isn't held back as much by processing power as it is by the lack of a proper control scheme.

Touchscreen controls are really limited and inadequate for most game genres, which is the number 1 reason we basically only see 5 miunte "toilet games" for Android (and iPhone).

The Ouya has enough power to give devs a pretty wide range of possibilities, without the limitations of a touchscreen controller and has a VERY low price point. If it manages to reach that critical mass where there's enough interest from both developers and consumers it could become a major hit.

Chaosian:
Kind of a shame to see a console with such promise getting such flak - deservedly or not.
(Also - omg, Rituro, our icons are like, the same.)

What promise? That it'd be Newgrounds the console? Hooray I guess?

Parakeettheprawn:

Zachary Amaranth:

Parakeettheprawn:
It's a budget, open source console. Did anyone seriously expect it to be cutting edge graphically/processor wise? I didn't.

It still bumps up against the issue of market and viability, though.

People still play Gameboy games instead of modern day games more than I'd ever imagine, so really, it's just a matter of how popular the system's games are. Right now it's main developer to beat is going to be Madfinger, what with Dead Trigger, Samurai 2, and that TPS who's name I can't remember... Shadowtrigger? Shadowgun! That's the name.

Exactly. They play Gameboy. Which is portable and doesn't require a TV. Which is why they play games on their phone, some even playing Gameboy games on their phone.

"Here, yeah, that experience but you're stuck in one spot! Hey, where are you going?" For some things there's a reason they end up on Kickstarter and businesses won't invest in them. This is one of those things. There's no point where anyone should go "Hey yeah, that's a good idea." then dump a ton of money into it.

Vivi22:
This comparison is a bit silly/tells half the story from what I understand. Not only is the Ouya going to get yearly hardware updates to keep the tech reasonably current (or so I've been told), it's a $99 Android console with a controller interface which performs outperforms hardware like the Galaxy S II and compares favourably with the Galaxy S III.

Better? You mean where they were getting very noticable lag with a very basic blutooth controller setup? The kind of controller that has plenty of cheap knockoffs, that doesn't have this sort of lag between device and controller. And weren't even designed for specific devices.

Its not the most powerful ARM device out there that is true but if history has taught us anything its that console specs don't matter diddly squat. Just look at the PS1 or the PS2 both where amazing consoles yet both inferior specs wise to the N64 and gamecube respectively yet both where far more successful.

Good games is what makes a system not how many points you get on a silly benchmark.

Why do i get the feeling that most of this negative oh look how crap the OUYA is are instigated by the larger manufactures of consoles.

I will wait until i use my OUYA before i make any judgements, it is still a beta.

Andy Chalk:
It's not necessarily a surprise given how quickly mobile hardware evolves, but does it matter?

Yes. Yes it does. The problem is that the Ouya is not, in fact, mobile. Someone who buys a phone or tablet expects to be able to do all kinds of phoney/tablety things with it, so the fact that several months down the line it might not be able to play some of the latest games is not really a deal at all, let alone a big one. Someone who buys a games console, however, probably expects to be able to play games on it. A dedicated gaming machine that can barely even match up to the last generation of phones is unlikely to go down well with people wanting to play the latest games.

Ultimately, there just doesn't seem to be a market for it. It's rather under-powered, so it's not going to be popular with people wanting the latest and greatest games. It's not mobile, so it loses all the advantages that have made mobile gaming a thing in the first place. It's not special - existing consoles may not be as powerful as a PC but developers make games specifically for them so raw power doesn't matter so much, but Ouya is just another Android machine and won't have all those exclusives. So who is actually going to want one? It's an Android console that isn't particularly good as either an Android device or a console. It's basically a reverse Blade - all of their weaknesses, none of their strengths.

It's a very cheap tegra 3 based machine. Tegra 3 has been in many phones and tablets over the last year, including mine. It's not a bad little chip really. For £70 or so, it's actually a pretty good deal for very cheap gaming.

Still, i wouldn't rag on the Ouya that much, the PS4 only has about 2 years before it's beaten by phones on the CPU front (8 jaguar cores, of which the 4 core varients are designed for ultra mobile devices like tablets and netbooks anyway), and probably 5 years on the GPU side at best. So don't be mean to a cheap mini console based on phone tech if you're a 'hardcore' console fan, because you'll only invite a lot of flak yourself when the iPad 6 (or so) smooshes the PS4 into the pavement, followed in short order by most phones.

You'd deserve it, of course, for the sheer hypocracy of calling anyone with a PC elistist when people say the current consoles are slow and old, yet saying the Ouya is underpowered and slow is fine.

The Ouya's purpose is cheap android gaming on TVs, to which end it's hardware is well suited. Remember, the Ouya will be updated on the hardware side quite often too.

I am i personally interested in the Ouya? not really, like i said at the top, i already have something as powerful in the form of my phone, but i can see why it would be a good thing. Android gaming is 'current' gaming and is supported by new releases all the time. So a cheap entry into it with a little machine good enough to play anything on Android well seems a good thing to me.

Frostbite3789:

Vivi22:
This comparison is a bit silly/tells half the story from what I understand. Not only is the Ouya going to get yearly hardware updates to keep the tech reasonably current (or so I've been told), it's a $99 Android console with a controller interface which performs outperforms hardware like the Galaxy S II and compares favourably with the Galaxy S III.

Better? You mean where they were getting very noticable lag with a very basic blutooth controller setup? The kind of controller that has plenty of cheap knockoffs, that doesn't have this sort of lag between device and controller. And weren't even designed for specific devices.

I made a single simple mention of it having a controller and you felt the need to quote my post to say that the controller for a console which has yet to see it's official release has some bugs?

Could I ask why you felt the need to direct this at me because I really couldn't care less unless the controller still has lag issues when the system is finally on store shelves. If there's some point you're trying to make to me specifically other than a non-final console has bugs then I'm not sure what it is. And if that is the point you're trying to make to me then my response would be a simple "no shit."

But I wasn't specifically addressing the controller aside from mentioning it has one. My real point is that the reporting on the power of the actual hardware is at least a little bit unfairly slanted/unnecessarily doom and gloom.

GodzillaGuy92:
Why do I feel the sudden desire to write Ouya vs. Alice fanfiction?

Alice x Ouya fanfiction? She was a dog, he was a videogame console, but together they found love.

Chapter 1 - The arrival
Alice was confuse her owner wasnt paying attention to her instead fawning over this new smal box.

It's hard to write deliberately bad fanfiction, the above sentence is stil readable.

I think if they didn't try to make this a console and instead made it a hand-held with actual control pad and buttons then it would seem more viable. Maybe I'm being dense, but I just don't see what market this console is trying to serve, other than an extreme niche of technophiles and tech-tinkerer/hacker types. It's trying to be a console in the sense that you plug it into the TV and plug a physical controller to it; yet, I don't really see it being able to compete in terms of game selection and construction with what one can obtain on current consoles. I think this mainly because I expect that the kind of games it will get will be a bunch of Android mobile games, which are going to be built with touch, not pad controllers, in mind. So the gaming experience won't be comparable to existing consoles, even though this is supposed to be a console. Couple this with the fact that some of the most popular Android mobile devices best it in terms of performance, one may as well just stick with the Android mobile device, rather than buying this. I really see the only people buying this would be those who just have to have every piece of technology and those who just like technology they can hack or tinker with. Otherwise, this just feels like a hobby toy or a solution in search of a problem. But, then maybe it'll do better than I expect. Just, right now, I'm not seeing the viability of this product beyond a very small niche.

This just makes me laugh. Ouya is going to end up a Crowd Funding cautionary tail.

Other than price, brand new budget console, etc, it should also be noted that the Ouya Team has also stated that they intend to have annual releases of the thing; while I don't necessarily agree with that model (bi-annual should really be the industry norm imo for tech, annual is just too soon), it'll mean that they certainly won't lag behind the competition unlike the 'Big Three' consoles.

Kahani:
Yes. Yes it does. The problem is that the Ouya is not, in fact, mobile. Someone who buys a phone or tablet expects to be able to do all kinds of phoney/tablety things with it, so the fact that several months down the line it might not be able to play some of the latest games is not really a deal at all, let alone a big one. Someone who buys a games console, however, probably expects to be able to play games on it. A dedicated gaming machine that can barely even match up to the last generation of phones is unlikely to go down well with people wanting to play the latest games.

That's why I think messaging is so important. This isn't a hardcore gaming console for people who want such things, it's a low-priced box for casual gamers who don't want to sink $300 or $400 into a "real" console. And a big part of the reason you're seeing such negativity as it ramps up to launch is all the early-days speculation about whether it could compete with the 360 and PS3, which set some very unrealistic expectations. That audience isn't going to be drawn to this console.

It faces a huge uphill battle and I'm inclined to agree with your overall expectation that it's going to bomb, not because it's "bad," but simply because I don't think it's going to reach an appropriate audience. And that audience isn't going to care about Futuremark scores - it's going to care about a gaming/Netflix box for 100 bucks.

"kailus13" post="7.405942.16880157"]

GodzillaGuy92:
Why do I feel the sudden desire to write Ouya vs. Alice fanfiction?

Alice x Ouya fanfiction? She was a dog, he was a videogame console, but together they found love.

Chapter 1 - The arrival
Alice was confuse her owner wasnt paying attention to her instead fawning over this new smal box.

Alice's furry little body yearned for the touch of her masters bald palms and fingers, oh to feel them run through her fur once again! She had to admit though, this smooth silver box sitting in the corner had her curiosity piqued something awful, what could it possibly offer that she couldn't? Alice could also see it had no hair but surely her master much preferred slightly musty, warm fuzziness much like her own. She had to get to the bottom of this.

-----

As an aside, I had no idea today's interview would result in me writing this whilst waiting in the lobby. So many wrong ideas, so little time. <eg>

I think the real question is: With all the things Alice can do, why hasn't there been a Kickstarter? I'd back that. I'm now wondering what the reward levels would be
$0-$5 Tail Wag
$10 Suspiciously sniff trouser leg
$25 Bark furiously at falling leaf of your choice
...
$25,000 Producer credit on "Ouya n' Alice" TV series

I seriously didn't even know that Ouya was still a thing. It may be cheap, but I don't see people clamoring for it.

Andy Chalk:

Kahani:
Yes. Yes it does. The problem is that the Ouya is not, in fact, mobile. Someone who buys a phone or tablet expects to be able to do all kinds of phoney/tablety things with it, so the fact that several months down the line it might not be able to play some of the latest games is not really a deal at all, let alone a big one. Someone who buys a games console, however, probably expects to be able to play games on it. A dedicated gaming machine that can barely even match up to the last generation of phones is unlikely to go down well with people wanting to play the latest games.

That's why I think messaging is so important. This isn't a hardcore gaming console for people who want such things, it's a low-priced box for casual gamers who don't want to sink $300 or $400 into a "real" console. And a big part of the reason you're seeing such negativity as it ramps up to launch is all the early-days speculation about whether it could compete with the 360 and PS3, which set some very unrealistic expectations. That audience isn't going to be drawn to this console.

It faces a huge uphill battle and I'm inclined to agree with your overall expectation that it's going to bomb, not because it's "bad," but simply because I don't think it's going to reach an appropriate audience. And that audience isn't going to care about Futuremark scores - it's going to care about a gaming/Netflix box for 100 bucks.

The Futuremark score won't matter to its target audience, I'll agree to that. The fact that's its not mobile hurts it. The fact that its target audience in the majority of cases has a phone that can do what the Ouya does also hurts it. At this point it costing $100 doesn't matter if it brings absolutely nothing of value to the table compared to other devices that already exist.

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