The OUYA gaming console, which has only been on retail for less than a month, has undoubtedly started a new kind of Android gaming scene. But like with any pioneer or trendsetter, there will always be some things that it won’t get right at first, such as the initial user interface for the system. That will, however, soon change once the new update rolls out that will subtly yet effectively change how the OUYA presents games.
Games, of course, are the bread and butter of OUYA and, as such, they should be the main focus of its user interface. That said, the user experience is, in a way, marred when games aren’t presented in an easy to browse and digest manner. In the current iteration of the OUYA system. games are presented as a wall of cover titles, separated into rows of categories and nothing more. While it may work to some extent, people unfamiliar with the games being presented might have a harder time identifying the games. Not to mention that the layout looks quite flat and boring. If you want to see how the OUYA looks and works, you can head on over to our rather extensive review of the device.
OUYA, then, brought in a new designer to help give the interface a fresh new look that makes it not only prettier but also more usable. The layout now makes judicious use of whitespace and isn’t afraid to use text anymore. Game covers are now accompanied by their titles, making it easier for those not yet familiar with the titles to identify and locate them. However, the cover art still hold prime importance, so text headers have been resized accordingly to emphasize this point. A new Recommended category has also been added, accessible via a new system menu page.
This revamped interface should be coming to OUYA owners in a few weeks’ time. But the update isn’t just about looks. It will also bring in additional functionality such as USB storage support and queueing game and content downloads. Unfortunately, the update is also said to bring trialware to the system, automatically downloading certain games that can be played for free up to a certain point but must the be purchased to continue. That is, of course, if you actually end up liking it in the first place.