This past June marked the end of the servers handling the store for the Ouya console. Many articles marked the occasion with headlines like, “This Is the End of the Ouya.” Ouya related Reddit posts and forums experienced a slight up take, at least my notifications from them did. The truth is, the end of the Ouya had come and gone long before June 25th.
I wasn’t an original backer but bought a console shortly after launch. I was swayed by the numerous emulators that ran on the device. Since that time, Raspberry Pi hardware has taken the place of my Ouya as my retro emulation device. Still, I would power up my little aluminum cube for some of the games unique to it. And Doom. Naysayers will point out that the Ouya was a failure from the start. They wouldn’t be too far off the mark, yet miss a crucial point. Those who took a chance with it found a neat little console that filled a niche most didn’t know needed filling. I find it ironic that many indie titles that have garnered so much press today, Stardew Valley, Hollow Knight, Hyper Light Drifter, etc. have graphics that look like something right off an Ouya. No, it wasn’t going to run the Doom remake but the original Doom on Doom-GLES ran better than it did back in 1996. Still that didn’t seem to be enough for journalists and game store employees who wanted a competitor to Sony’s and Microsoft’s latest. That was never going to happen. Still the Ouya lived up to my expectation and was well worth the price.
Where does it go from here? The consoles themselves still work and any games that don’t require a server check in will play. Who knows, perhaps the community will find another way to serve up games to it. Games can also be side loaded to the Ouya if you have the APK file for the game. So, if you still own one, it might be worth holding onto, I know I’m keeping mine. If you see one on eBay that might be another story. If you like to tinker it might be fun to see what you can do, but beyond that you aren’t going to get very far at this point. I think video game history will record this one as a cautious tail of what can happen when hype goes beyond all measure of reality.