Cloud gaming services like OnLive and Gaikai are a way to bring modern PC games on much less powerful hardware than what you’d normally need if you installed the game on your own PC. They are also great for democratizing the console market and gaming hardware in general, because you can now use less powerful consoles to play games that look just as good.
I think the OnLive support helped the Vizio Co-Star become this popular, although it’s definitely not the only factor, and probably not even the main one. But anything helps and I think it will help OUYA become a more interesting device as well. OnLive says support for OUYA means that:
- OnLive will deliver a full console-class experience, bringing hundreds of top-tier games from more than 80 publishers to the OUYA console for play on demand.
- OUYA owners will be able to jump in and play any of these games both at home on their OUYA console, and on the go on PCs, Macs, tablets and phones, never leaving a game behind.
- Instant demos will be available for nearly every game in our ever-growing library—from eagerly anticipated indie titles like Ravaged, to hot blockbusters like the upcoming Darksiders® II. Players can experience up to 30 minutes of each game for free before deciding what to buy. If they like it, they can continue playing where the demo left off.
The OUYA team has also showcased its controller for the console, and although it looks interesting, it isn’t a breakthrough in controller design. The company would’ve probably been better off using an off-the-shelf controller that is much cheaper, and also support other types like PS3 or Xbox 360 controllers.
I feel that the controller takes a big chunk of OUYA’s pricing, and I’d rather the company spent the extra money on getting more powerful hardware for 2013, like Tegra 4 or Exynos 5250 processors, which should be more in line with the kind of hardware that smartphones and tablets will feature next year.