Ouya plans to deliver newer, more powerful game consoles every year

The first Ouya video game consoles are expected to ship in March. They’ll feature Android software and 1.6 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processors. When the Ouya project was first announced last year, those were some of the most impressive specs available for an Android device.

These days, Tegra 3 is already old hat, with Qualcomm, Samsung, and others already offering faster mobile processors. And NVIDIA’s Tegra 4 platform is set to launch shortly after the Ouya hits the street. So in some ways, the hardware will be dated on day one.

But don’t worry — the next Ouya will be more powerful.

Ouya

Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman tells Engadget and The Verge that the company plans to launch a new game console every year, offering faster processors and other improvements at about the same price.

In other words, you won’t have to wait 5 years to get a next-generation game console the way you do with Nintendo, PlayStation, or Xbox devices. Instead, Ouya is following a mobile phone/tablet-like strategy and putting out new hardware every year.

That means we could see a Tegra 4 based model eventually, or a device with a different, faster mobile chip. Thanks to the falling prices of storage and other components, future Ouya consoles might also have more than 8GB of built-in storage.

Does that mean you’ll have to purchase new games every year? Not necessarily — games purchased from the Ouya Store will be tied to your account, not your hardware. So if you pay $99 to get next year’s model, all of the games you bought for your first-generation Ouya should still be available (although it’s not yet clear if your saved games and other data will be transferred automatically).

With rumors suggesting that the PlayStation 4 could cost more than $400, a $99 Ouya seems like an interesting low-cost alternative. It might not be as powerful as a PS4, but you could buy a new one every year for 4 years and still spend less than you would on Sony’s next-gen game console (if the rumors are correct).

  • Renee Auclair

    I hope they follow the Amazon model of being able to authorize and de-audhorize devices, with games already loaded still playable on devices that have been de-authorized.

  • boonesimpson

    Frankly I don’t love the alternative app stores, I would like for my ouya games (that are phone/tablet compatible) to be accessible on those devices without having an extra store. Conversely I want my google play games to be accessible to my ouya.

    Luckily apps like Carbon and data sync should be some help.

  • ldrn

    But by that same logic, 5 years later, the series of ouyas you bought will have cost more, right?

    • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

      But you’ll have one with current-generation hardware (which 5 years from now might even be more powerful than a PS4… or it might not). More importantly, you don’t *have* to buy a new one every year.

      You can take a phone-like approach and just upgrade every year or two.

      • http://nortonpeabody.blogspot.com/ Norton Peabody

        I applaud the effort and find the Ouya intriguing, however, I wonder what kind of games are going to be available for this device going forward. My Xbox 360 Elite is going on four years old (and counting), cost $399 so that’s roughly a hundred bucks a year (so far), has a plethora of good game titles, is a complete media hub with Netflix, Hulu,Crackle and even has a web browser on board.Not to mention a great online gaming experience. Comparing this nifty little thing to a full fledged console might be a little unfair. I would think Ouya’s big worry is the possible Xbox streaming box that’s rumored to be coming out ….

  • John

    My PS3 is lasting more than 5 years now. I can play PS1 and PS2 games on it. Buying a $99 Ouya every year because current games lag on your “old” hardware doesn’t sound very good.

    • Me

      This definitely makes the Ouya less attractive. You’ll either have to put up with crappy graphics and lag or pay more money making the Ouya more expensive than dedicated consoles with better games in the long run.

  • strider_mt2k

    I just plan on beating on ‘em anyway to be honest.

    It’s likely that my hacking activities could damage it.

    In the unlikely event that I lose interest entirely then I haven’t wasted all that much dough on the system to begin with.

    -so yeah I’m still totally down.

  • GenieMan

    The next versions better be compatible with the controllers to make upgrades cheaper if you have several of them also I would appreciate if it would be possible to just buy a new console without a controller and keep your old ones – lets say $79 for just the console – that would be pretty sweet…

    • GenieMan

      I just checked their website and noticed that they’ve raised the controller price to $49.99 from $30 but when shipping to europe there’s no extra shipping charge (at least when selecting a european country). So when buying a second controller aswell the total price is almost the same for european customers (since the webshop doesn’t add the $20 in shipping it used to). And shipping whithin the US used to be $10…