Can Ouya take on the PS4 and Xbox 720 (Next)?

Posted by Trent Nouveau

The $99 Android-powered Ouya console boasts a definite advantage over its console rivals in terms of price, but can it effectively compete against powerful next-gen systems like Sony's Playstation 4 (PS4) and Microsoft's Xbox 720 (Next)?

Although only time will tell for certain, a number of industry analysts remain cautiously optimistic about Ouya's chances.

"It's been a long time since a new console was introduced, and it is likely that pricing for consoles will go up," said Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities.

"[So] by coming in at a lower price point and challenging the existing pricing model for TV-based games, Ouya could hit a sweet spot with gamers."

Billy Pidgeon, an analyst for Inside Network, expressed similar sentiments.

"All these other systems coming out create a lot of noise and confusion, but I don't think it impacts things much.High end hardware? To me, that's not going to have a disruptive effect," he told CNBC.

"[However,] there's going to be impact on [traditional] consoles. Expectations for penetration and sales velocity [of those systems] are going to be overly high. They're not going to sell like they have in the past. People are buying fewer packaged goods, and you're dealing with smaller user bases today."

Eric Handler of MKM Partners concurred.

"I think it could be that indie device of choice for games that don't cost $60... [Of course], it depends on how well it can be marketed. ... The question is: Can you make the casual
stuff compelling by adding a joystick to it?"

Ouya founder and CEO Julie Uhrman certainly thinks you can.

"We need to rethink television gaming," said Uhrman. "We need to do for games what cable did to traditional television... Who says it has to be a 60-hour game? It can be six hours. We just get it to gamers and see if they like it, then build the next six hours."

As TG Daily previously reported, the $99 Ouya console runs Android Jelly Bean (4.1-4.2) and is powered by an Nvidia Tegra 3 chip.

Additional key specs include 8 GB internal flash memory, 1 GB RAM, HDMI (1080p), Nvidia ULP GeForce GPU, USB 2, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth LE 4.0, Ethernet port and a wireless controller.

Unsurprisingly, Ouya is already prepping an updated version of the console, with Uhrman going so far as to say a new iteration of the system will be available each and every year with as much mobile processing power as possible under the hood.

"If we could do it for less than $99, we would. Our strategy is very much similar to the mobile strategy. There will be a new Ouya every year. There will be an Ouya 2 and an Ouya 3," Uhrman said back in February.

"We'll take advantage of faster, better processors, take advantage of prices falling. So if we can get more than 8GB of Flash in our box, we will."