MCV spoke to Defiant Development founder Morgan Jaffit today about the surprise success of the Ouya home console on Kickstarter.
The Ouya is an open Android-based console which is aiming at a USD$100 price point and a controller which can easily accommodate ports of both touch screen and dual-thumbstick traditional home console games.
Some people are getting very excited about Ouya, while others are cautious about it being a risky project. Where does Defiant stand?
There’s been a lot of discussion on both sides, but from an independent developer's perspective, devices like Ouya are exactly what we want more of in the market. If we really want that to happen, we’ve got to get behind the people who try and make it happen.
It’s a really credible group of people with a similarly credible amount of money behind them (thanks to the Kickstarter).
I agree with all the comments saying that it’s high risk, but I don’t really care because it’s high risk in a domain where we’d like to see people take more risks. If no one does it, we’re left with what we currently have.
So I think it’s a huge risk. There are a lot of entrenched competitors in that market, and it’s hard to make good hardware, good controllers, to deal with the user base, to create a marketplace where people can sort the good from the bad. All of these are hard pursuits, but I think they’ve got as good a crack as anybody at making it happen, and if there’s a way we can help (even a small way), we’re gung-ho for it!
Where do you see Ouya fitting into the larger console market?
Their goal is to try and take the console space and bring in a device that’s open to developers, users, hackable and with an open app distribution platform.
Unity will work with it relatively easily, as it's basically an Android device with some new nuances to take into account. There's already some Android controller support, so it's not too much of a leap.
One of the things they’ve shown by raising $5 million on Kickstarter is that there’s an audience that really wants this, and I can understand that desire.
Is their proposition a realistic one? Will a scrappy startup console like this find a big enough market for developers such as yourself?
Ouya's initial run (the 80’000 they’re close to having hit) is aimed at being big enough to attract purpose-built games – you need a market of slightly more than that to make a really big purpose-built project happen, and it's those that I’m really excited about. I think they're the future.
I’m excited about those because they can go a whole bunch of places in a whole bunch of ways on such an open device. It makes a good place for indies to go. It’s got the same advantages as any other open platform, and I’m sure we’re going to see some cool stuff on it just because it’s there.
With any new console, you can never quite just build it and they will come, but on the flipside, if you build it and you’ve got no audience but people are free to do interesting things with the platform, it will start to build that audience.
So it's safe to say Defiant is behind the proposition of the console?
Any place where we can go to get our games playable on the couch is really exciting for us!
We’ve got a bunch of ideas that we’d love to do for that type of device, so we want to see it be as much of a success as possible.
Thank you for your time!
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