My son wants to write a console video game. ID@Xbox turned down our application because, well, he’s never written a video game. He’s not a Playstation player, so not that either. I dislike Nintendo. What console can he write for? The OUYA, an Android OS based game console!

The OUYA

Image courtesy of engadget

I haven’t programmed Java in a while; I didn’t find it too hard to refamiliarize myself with the language. Harder to fathom, I had to learn the Android application platform. A couple of days on Safari Books Online got me up to speed on that subject. Then, I plied my knowledge of OpenGL ES from iOS development and, voila!, a game. A simple game, but a game nonetheless.

What’s Wrong with OUYA?

I found some problems with the whole development experience:

  • I found the documentation for the controller somewhat confusing.
  • The controller kind of sucks.
  • I have to install Java. (So, thank Goodness for VMWare and the permissive licensing for OS X Mavericks on virtual machines.)
  • A crazy amount of controversy around its Free the Games Fund.
  • An API that still doesn’t give the programmer full access to the hardware.

What’s Right with OUYA?

  • $99
  • Free-to-play model for games
  • The Free the Games Fund
  • $99 (Yeah, I’m cheap.)