A couple of months in I really really want to like it but I don't. I really don't. The concept is very cool, the Indie games for it are really cool and there's some great emulators out there for it BUT... there are too many negatives to make this right.
The controller just isn't up to standards, the thumb-pad touches the sides of the mold so it feels cheap and not well designed. What this also creates is a feeling of unresponsiveness on the thumb-pad button itself as it seems to get stuck in a depressed position quite often. The analog joysticks are actually the best bit of the controllers as they are of a good quality, but they do grind on the top of the controller's surface-plates creating a lot of plastic powder that will no doubt foul up button functionality in the future. The action buttons suffer a similar fate as the thumb-pad button - the holes on the surface of the controller are too narrow with too little margins for the buttons to move freely so they end up actually getting caught underneath the top of the controller. The touch interface area / mousepad is on the controller is actually quite nifty.
But there's more, read below to find out what it is...
Luckily the interface has improved over the past months so it is able to actually launch a program that is installed on the unit from any of the lists it shows up in which is more logical. Networking is troublesome on the unit as sadly it always refuses to connect to my WiFi after powering on. When I go to the settings it always says my WiFi is already connected and then it actually connects in the other menus as well. But after running a game or getting back to the home menu the WiFi connection issues pop up again - that's in a room where other WiFi equipment has no issues at all. The thing has a fan that kicks in - I loathe fans and this one is actually pretty loud. And why is it that on ALL TVs I tried the screen has so much over-scan that in a lot of games and emulators essential parts of the interface just are invisible. Not one just TV but multiple TVs (about 5) and changing the setting in the settings menu does nothing at all. And that overscan issue is a major negative.
Now Gameplay really is suffering. The controller is very laggy. Especially noticeable on the thumb-pad and the action buttons. Not so much on the analog sticks which is quite consistent for various games. There are games that have less lag then others but all suffer. It's like trying to play a game on an flat-screen TV with all the bells and whistles going with no game-mode - there is a huge delay between a button press and a response on the screen. So much that it basically renders a lot of older arcade games unplayable. I reckon for casual gamers this may not be a big issue but for me as a retro gamer being used to more or less instant responses from my NES, SNES, MEGADRIVE/GENESIS pads this is a huge joke.
I kept it connected and turned it on every once in a while, trying to play a game and or hoping to see the lag issues resolved. But to no avail. It remains as bad as it was at the beginning.
The second controller I foolishly got for it works.... but not really. It will not sync with my OUYA as a second controller. Something like this should work effortlessly and the sheer fact that it doesn't actually made me not want to try to do so. What I also not wanted to do is hook up a PS3 or XBOX 360 controller. I am so bummed out by it that I just shoved it back into its box and it is going to remain in my attic in a plastic crate.
The little thank you for believing sheet I almost incinerated... What are your experiences with the OUYA?
It's all that I feared, Mark, which is why I chose not to support it. Of course, I got my own Kickstarter boondoggle, the GCW-Zero, so there's that...
I am a backer of the Ouya and am using it for several months now.
My experience is great!
I love it and love the games.
The only downside (actually a huge downside) is that the Ouya only connects to its own expensive controllers and doesn't connect to generic bluetooth controllers...
I thought it was supposed to also work with 360 (and PS3?) controllers?
That is correct. It will work with wired PS3 and XBox360 controllers. However, my experience with that is a sketchy at best and useless at worst. Some programs for some reason won't map the buttons properly or the analog joysticks deadzone is constantly stuck in up. Just some weird things. Aside from that I am enjoying mine. I got it for my birthday from my wife. I have 10 or so games on it. I hope it continues and makes a profit.
In game controller support is what it all boils down to indeed. Quite a few of the apps and games actually need you to use the mouse cursor on the touch pad in the middle of the controller. Combine that with what Nathaniel stated and the use of 3rd party non-Ouya controllers is pretty much not worth it.
Nathaniel, glad you are enjoying yours! Especially when it's a birthday present.
"And why is it that on ALL TVs I tried the screen has so much over-scan that in a lot of games and emulators essential parts of the interface just are invisible. Not one just TV but multiple TVs (about 5) and changing the setting in the settings menu does nothing at all. And that overscan issue is a major negative."
1.) What you are likely seeing is the result of games not optimized for consoles with a TV connected to it. Well designed console games always factor in the overscan area and never place important stuff in them like scores, health bars etc.
2.) If you have a Full HD TV or one of the few lucky HD-only TVs that support it: Activate "Per Pixel Mode" (or "True Pixel Mode" or "1:1 Pixel Mode" or whatever the manufacturer calls it) for all your digital sources (games consoles, Blu-ray players, harddisk media players, set top boxes etc.).
If you only have HD-only TVs (with a pixel count of, say, 1366x768 or so) then may likely not have this option. The problem is that for compatibility reasons to analog source material many older and/or smaller TVs don't support Per Pixel Mode and always overscan the image they get, even if it's digital data. They do that by zooming digitally into the data - this not only leads to "information loss" but also reduces sharpness or acuity.
Per Pixel Mode essentially works by disabling this digital zoom and a 1080p image with 1920x1080 pixels/frame would fit perfectly on a Full HD display. A source pixel would be mapped 1:1 on a display pixel - this is why one should get at least a Full HD set if possible. This is the best quality one can get short of a 4K display.
Many Full HD TVs also can show a 720p video stream without problems on their 1080p panel with decent upscaling, because of the 1.5 factor - this is relatively easy to do - so, like I said, one should always enable Per Pixel Mode for digital sources whenever possible.