Android gaming is huge via smartphones and tablets. Via Android powered home micro-consoles, not so much. A couple of years ago when the OUYA was kicking ass and taking names on Kickstarter no one would have thought the platform would struggle to find their footing in a virtually non-existent market. By non-existent we mean a market where there were basically no other companies putting out a device that could hook up to your TV like a console and deliver traditional gaming experiences with Android games. Alas, OUYA for all its intriguing features and promises has had a hard go of it. That doesn’t mean the OUYA is dead.
On the contrary they’re seemingly anything but. Last year there were rumors that they were partnering with Xiaomi and as of today the Wall Street Journal is reporting that they’ve gotten a huge investment in the amount of $10 million from online merchant website Alibaba last month, according to sources familiar with the matter. If this pans out to be true, OUYA may just have some new tricks up its sleeve. The question is what does it plan to do with said funding and how will they plan to reengage the gamer? It’s possible that OUYA could be looking to expand in the Chinese gaming market which reportedly has a huge growth potential, but nothing is confirmed at this time.
The issue with OUYA wasn’t necessarily that it didn’t offer up a great product, more so that it was facing stiff competition from other companies who are already well invested into the home gaming market here in the U.S., like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo with their Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo consoles. With this new round of funding from Alibaba, the rumor is that OUYA plans to place its entire library of 1,000 plus games on Alibaba’s set top box, not too unlike the scenario we heard from the plans of injecting OUYA’s library of games into upcoming Xiaomi TV’s. Whether or not this means we’ll see anything new from OUYA here in the U.S. is uncertain, but this is still good news for anyone who was and is still generally excited about the OUYA platform. While this could be really good news for OUYA, it also serves its own purpose for Alibaba’s future plans, which is to potentially get the set top box into the hands of more Chinese consumers and to that end get those consumers surfing Alibaba’s online store.