Whether you love or hate the idea of an Android-based gaming console, Ouya is becoming pretty hard to ignore. Earlier today it flew past $4 million in total pledges, just a few days after the Kickstarter campaign launched. There are obviously a lot of people out there who are intrigued by such a project, but there seems to be just as many who don’t think Ouya will be a success.
One such person Craig Rothwell, who some of you may remember as one of the people responsible for the open source handheld Pandora. Pandora didn’t succeed like Rothwell was hoping it would, and today he told Pocket Gamer that Ouya may be doomed to fail before it even leaves the gate:
My feelings are that at that price – and remember you have to take off the Kickstarter fees, which brings the console and touchpad-equipped controller in at less than $99 – they will be making a loss on each unit sold.
But selling a console at a loss is certainly nothing new. Microsoft and Sony have been doing it with the Xbox 360 and PS3 for most of this generation, instead making money from developer fees. Rothwell also warns that Ouya’s in trouble there too, as the manufacturers are asking for a 30% cut in order to release games for the console. Since that 30% is more or less the industry standard, Rothwell says there’s no incentive to produce games for Ouya’s smaller market when they could be making games for other devices with a larger following.
With this literal overnight success, Ouya now has a lot to think about. The group has 27 days left before they can received their money and get to work, and in the meantime, pledges are still coming in at a pretty astounding rate. A lot of people are trusting that Ouya can put out an Android console with staying power, but unfortunately we won’t know if it can until a long time after the Kickstarter wraps up. Let’s just hope that the folks at Ouya thought this through completely before jumping head first into the crowdfunding game!