Upgraded OUYA Android games console launches – second time lucky?

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A new version of the OUYA Android games console has been launched in America. The new version promises more memory and better performance – could it meet the expectations of those who were disappointed by version one?

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Presumably pronounced “Ooh-yeah”, in the style of Duffman from The Simpsons, the Ouya was an early success for the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, raising over $8.5million dollars after only originally shooting for $900k. The premise was pretty simple: an Android powered games console that plugs into your TV, bringing the Android platform’s biggest games to the big screen. It won a lot of attention and a lot of backers – including the support of Minecraft creator Notch.

Unfortunately the reality wasn’t quite as glamorous as the pre-publicity – with the first generation of the device criticised for unpowered hardware, controller lag and dodgy software. OUYA? OUNO more like.

The company though are hoping they can remedy this with the new version of the console, which has just gone on sale Stateside for $130. The new version boasts double the on-board memory, up to 16GB from 8GB, and boosted wifi connectivity – in addition to firmware enhancements that they say will lead to better performance. They’ve also refined the controller, and given the actual console a matte black finish.

Whether this will prove disruptive remains to be seen – whilst everything is pointing towards more serious gaming on Android – whether there is enough “big screen” games on the platform is an open question. Whilst Android has a lot of games… you can’t really play Candy Crush on your TV.

We’ve no word yet on when the new model will reach the UK – but will update you when we know!

James O’Malley
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