The OUYA hasn’t seen many hardware revisions yet, but the company has been experimenting with things like fixing controller issues and increasing the storage options for owners. First, they remedied the problem with USB storage support for things like videos and photos, then added the ability to store games natively on USB sticks and hard drive. That can be finicky, however, and folks do tend to want to use those things as little as possible. The super-white holiday OUYA didn’t just change the color scheme radically, it also doubled the storage capability to 16GB. Some were upset about that extra storage space being reserved for a limited edition version of the system, so the company has decided to make a matte-black version of the system available with that same storage capacity for $130. You’ll also get a sleek controller with a nice black and orange home button.
The salt and pepper contrast of the 16GB units looks awesome, and I can’t help but love how every color pops off of the controller. Going with a matte finish may annoy some who love piano gloss finishes, but honestly, how many people enjoy those now? I think everyone’s had about enough of having to wipe down their super-shiny tablets, or in the case of the modern consoles, the one half of them that are shiny for no logical reason other than to impress people who are enamored by shiny things. We’ve done a lot of features on the OUYA, reviewed some of its best games, and talked about it extensively on the Hardcore Gamer Show.
At $100, the system is a must-buy due to the free-to-try model making it so much easier to experiment with genres you otherwise wouldn’t. Normally, any cost is a barrier to entry, and thus a reason you can put in your head to not try something new. By taking that away, you can at least check something out and see if you like it. Thanks to that setup, I’ve been able to enjoy some genres, like roge-likes, that I haven’t played much of. The same goes for dungeon-crawlers as well. Thanks to sideloading, my love for JRPGs was rekindled as well thanks to Kemco’s offerings playing so smoothly on it. Towerfall, Wrecking Ball Arena, Brick Break Blitz, and Soul Fjord are just a few of the current exclusives worth checking out, and there are other side benefits for the system too. If you love homebrew games or fan translations on classic systems, they can be played on the big screen thanks to tons of emulator support. Some of the most fun I’ve had with it has been with side-loaded games. Sure, not all of them will work perfectly immediately, but with a bit of tinkering, you can usually get some working perfectly.
The revamped definitive versions of classic Sonic games like 1, 2 (complete with the lost level), and Sonic CD all play perfectly the second you get them on the system. If you’ve got an APK extractor for your phone or tablet and don’t want to go through the hassle of getting the Google Play Store on the system, you can check out some games you’ve bought there and see if they work. If you’ve got an Amazon appstore account, it’s super-easy to sideload the app on the system and check out games in your library. Riptide GP 2 works instantly and is quite stable, while the Sonics and most of Kemco’s RPG offerings also work well. Speaking of Amazon, this revamped system is available now from them in both North America and Canada, and you can also pick it up on the OUYA’s official shop as well.