One of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns of all time is back in the news again. Even though the OUYA isn’t expected to launch until June, the CEO is already giving us a glimpse of what we should expect from the company in the future. In a recent interview CEO Julie Uhrman said “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.” There you have it, we shouldn’t expect a ridiculous 5 or 7 year product cycle from the folks over at OUYA, which is good news to say the least. The first run of OUYA consoles went out to developers last month, and if you were one of the many who invested through Kickstarter you can expect to get yours sometime in April, with a broader release to the public in June. So in theory we should expect the OUYA 2 to ship in May or June of 2014.
It is great to see OUYA taking their queues from the mobile industry instead of the soon-to-be dead (in my humble opinion) gaming console industry. Technology is advancing far too quickly for a product cycle longer than a year or two. Even the auto industry is struggling to keep up with advancing technology as evidenced by the lack of advanced mobile connectivity even in most newer models. Since the OUYA is based on the Tegra 3, we can probably expect the OUYA 2 to be based on the Tegra 4. Although it would be very interesting to see Tegra use the OUYA as a way to show off the potential of its newest chip every year, so maybe we will see the OUYA 2 be one of the first devices to get the Tegra 5, or whatever chip Tegra releases next. Tegra chips take a lot of heat in the mobile space for their lack of LTE compatibility and their battery-draining GPU. But since the OUYA doesn’t have to worry about power consumption or cooling, we might all be surprised to see what kind of graphics this tiny console can crank out.
OUYA has already announced a plethora of games and apps that will launch with the device, and we have also seen the company tweak the design of the controller in response to requests from developers and fans of the product. It may well be that companies like OUYA are the future of the tech industry. Small, agile companies making products that are a collaboration between the OEM and the fans of that product. Of course we will always need large companies like Samsung and Microsoft to develop new technologies, but the failure or success of the OUYA may end up being sending the tech industry into an interesting new direction.