Speaking to Joystiq during this week’s D.I.C.E. summit, Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman said that consumers can expect yearly updates of the Android-powered, Kickstarter-funded console.
"As it relates to iterating the console and refreshes, our strategy is very much similar to the mobile strategy. There will be a new Ouya every year," Urhman said. “There will be an Ouya 2 and an Ouya 3. We'll take advantage of faster, better processors, take advantage of prices falling.”
Uhrman also explained that Ouya games are tied to each user’s account, meaning that you’ll be able to keep your purchased media even if you upgrade to a newer console.
The basic Ouya model will be available in June for a modest $99, but it’s unclear if future Ouya consoles will hew to that price point or fall with the cost of components. In contrast, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 have largely focused on expanding services (e.g., integrating Netflix and Pandora apps) as a way of keeping users’ attention.
In a speech given at the industry summit, Uhrman also outlined her company’s strategy of providing a small, cheap TV-compatible console for nimble development studios to create games for. Ouya wants to position itself as a platform for innovative, low-cost development while maintaining the strengths of a traditional console: playing games on your couch in front of a television.
It’s entirely possible that I’m not Ouya’s targeted audience, but I’ll admit to balking at the idea of a yearly upgrade -- I haven’t bought a new cellphone in five years, and I have no plans to get rid of my iPad 2 in the near future, my enjoyment of iOS games notwithstanding. From a practical standpoint, what’s going to happen to all those outdated Ouya consoles every year? Get your landfills ready.