Ouya CEO on mobile gaming: 'You're not having an emotional experience'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
AI at Expand: Apple's iOS devices and other mobile platforms may be leading a revolution in the games industry, but the CEO of one upstart gaming company says the shift to mobile has resulted in a wave of games that lack the emotional depth one can experience on traditional consoles.

Uhrman
Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman speaks at Expand


Speaking at Engadget's Expand conference, Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman panned the state of mobile gaming, saying that the experience users get on tablets such as Apple's iPad and iPhone isn't as full as what's possible on consoles.

"You're not having an emotional experience on a tablet," Uhrman explained, asked about what makes the Android-based Ouya console stand out from the larger trend toward mobile gaming. "You're not engaged. It's more of a distraction."

Part of keeping the emotional aspect of gaming, Uhrman said, is in keeping the controller as an integral part of the experience. A number of companies have introduced controller peripherals for both Android and iOS devices, bringing a more traditional aspect to mobile gaming. These devices, however, largely see sparse support from developers, who cannot typically afford to develop exclusively for controllers.

Ouya


The Ouya console's very design, Uhrman said, lends itself to greater emotional investment in a game. The controller is made from aluminum, and the cold feel of the metal upon picking up the device immediately gets gamers feeling something about the game.

Uhrman described herself as an old-school gamer, saying she would like to see the industry turn back to the television as the primary gaming portal. The rise of mobile operating systems and their open-to-all development paradigm, she said, represents a real opportunity for the gaming sector.

"We want to really enable creativity," Uhrman explained, "and bring games back to the television, but we wanted to do it in an inexpensive and accessible way. We wanted to bring the best business model ? mobile ? to the television. That means you have to build something that's incredibly powerful and yet inexpensive."

The Android 4.0-powered console is one of the greater success stories in crowdfunding site Kickstarter's history, hitting its $1 million funding goal in eight hours, with a new supporter roughly every 5.59 seconds. It will ship to early backers in late March, and several thousand developers are said to be looking to port or make games for the console.

infinityblade
Low development costs and high profits made "Infinity Blade" on iOS one of the most profitable ever for publisher Epic Games.


Ouya will enter a gaming industry much changed over the past five years. The introduction of Apple's iPhone ? and Google's Android platform ? gave smaller developers a massive potential audience for their games, as well as a method of publishing and distribution much easier than the ones seen on traditional gaming consoles. Since then, mobile devices have captured the attention of developers, with even some large companies seeing their most profitable releases coming from mobile. A number of developers currently view Apple as a gaming giant with the potential to upend the industry if it decides to focus more on gaming.

As mobile platforms have grown in strength, traditional home and portable consoles have suffered. Nintendo's follow-up to its wildly popular Wii console, the Wii-U, has seen middling sales, forcing the gaming giant to scale back its earlier sales predictions and move up major releases in order to generate interest. Sony's PlayStation Vita portable console, already seeing lackluster sales, recently received a price cut in order to make it more competitive with mobile devices like the iPad.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 95
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    "You're not having an emotional experience


     


    Maybe focus more on storytelling and gameplay mechanics than on graphics. 




    I'm ignoring the 'on a tablet' bit, because it doesn't matter the manner in which you have the experience; it can't be improved on a console if there isn't one to begin with.

  • Reply 2 of 95
    I'm excited by the potential of the Ouya system. Bringing the mobile pricing structure and ease of development to the TV with a physical controller is a niche that no one has exploited yet (and no, plugging your phone into a TV doesn't count). The Ouya also has the standard video streaming apps that smart TV's have.

    That said, an Apple TV with a physical gaming controller would crush this.
  • Reply 3 of 95
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by willb2064 View Post

    That said, an Apple TV with a physical gaming controller would crush this.


     


    An Apple TV with an iDevice as the controller would still crush it.

  • Reply 4 of 95
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,969member
    An Apple TV with an iDevice as the controller would still crush it.

    Perhaps but nothing beats a proper controller.
  • Reply 5 of 95
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

    Perhaps but nothing beats a proper controller.




    Ooh. Challenge. And, as an aside, the concept of "proper".

  • Reply 6 of 95
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,214member


    Here's a flash for you, Julie. Real emotional experiences happen in life. 

  • Reply 7 of 95
    This poor fellow is confusing form with content. His philosophy doesn't bode well for his company. Pretty limited thinking and disregard for the direction and possibility of the market.
  • Reply 8 of 95
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Proper: Something that can be thrown across the room in anger after getting killed for the twentieth time (and not cost you a fortune to replace)

    ;)
  • Reply 9 of 95
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by earthlingdave View Post



    This poor fellow is confusing form with content. His philosophy doesn't bode well for his company. Pretty limited thinking and disregard for the direction and possibility of the market.




    Gender identification fail.  Try again.

  • Reply 10 of 95
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,613member


    Emotional experiences aren't all that commonplace on traditional consoles either; it has nothing to do with form factor.

  • Reply 11 of 95
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,969member
    gtr wrote: »
    Proper: Something that can be thrown across the room in anger after getting killed for the twentieth time (and not cost you a fortune to replace)

    ;)

    Improper: getting hit in the head by said something like I did yesterday when my son threw it in anger.
  • Reply 12 of 95
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I don't know what he's talking about. I get really emotional when it comes to Words with Friends. Finally got my first 500 point game last week. [I]Take that, Mom![/I]* Woo hoo!



    * [SIZE=2]Seriously! She's really tough to beat. She'll remind you of Rose from the [I]Golden Girls[/I] but plays a mean game of WwF and [I]Wheel of Fortune[/I].[/SIZE]
  • Reply 13 of 95
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post



    Improper: getting hit in the head by said something like I did yesterday when my son threw it in anger.


     


    Gaming: It's all about reflexes.


     


    For both you and the gamer. ;)


     


    You're lucky he wasn't playing on an iPad...

  • Reply 14 of 95
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    No, that's not a stretch at all. Really, marketing is about turning even a minor differentiation into a chasm, and trying to sell people on the idea that your side of the chasm is best. And she's trying her best, but I just don't see her argument flying.

    The Ouya is an interesting concept, and it may well get traction. But this argument against mobile devices seems contrived.
  • Reply 15 of 95
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,969member
    gtr wrote: »
    Gaming: It's all about reflexes.

    For both you and the gamer. ;)

    You're lucky he wasn't playing on an iPad...

    I would've need Spidey senses to avoid being hit. I was too busy reading AI to have seen it coming.
  • Reply 16 of 95
    bugsnwbugsnw Posts: 708member


    The only emotional experience I've had with our PS3 is "crap....there went $65..sucky game."


     


    I'm with others anyhow. The emotional experience with gaming is not that high a bar to reach. As Solipsism said, he gets a tingle up his leg playing WWF. Can't argue with that. I absolutely fell in love with Letterpress. I've twisted and turned painfully while playing Real Racing as well.


     


    The games that leave me feeling empty inside are almost any 1st-person shooter title on the PS3, of which there are thousands.


     


    When (if) the Apple TV can play the games we download on our iOS devices and bluetooth controllers abound, that will be very interesting. Though I sure don't mind playing on my iPad while comfy in bed. Both have their strengths.

  • Reply 17 of 95
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,969member
    jeffdm wrote: »
    No, that's not a stretch at all. Really, marketing is about turning even a minor differentiation into a chasm, and trying to sell people on the idea that your side of the chasm is best. And she's trying her best, but I just don't see her argument flying.

    The Ouya is an interesting concept, and it may well get traction. But this argument against mobile devices seems contrived.

    Have you done any serious gaming on a console? I've done so on both and while a mobile game can be lots of fun it cannot duplicate the experience of playing a console game.
  • Reply 18 of 95
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,969member
    bugsnw wrote: »
    The only emotional experience I've had with our PS3 is "crap....there went $65..sucky game."

    I'm with others anyhow. The emotional experience with gaming is not that high a bar to reach. As Solipsism said, he gets a tingle up his leg playing WWF. Can't argue with that. I absolutely fell in love with Letterpress. I've twisted and turned painfully while playing Real Racing as well.

    The games that leave me feeling empty inside are almost any 1st-person shooter title on the PS3, of which there are thousands.

    When (if) the Apple TV can play the games we download on our iOS devices and bluetooth controllers abound, that will be very interesting. Though I sure don't mind playing on my iPad while comfy in bed. Both have their strengths.

    Play Uncharted 1,2, 3 and Heavy Rain.
  • Reply 19 of 95
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,969member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    I don't know what he's talking about. I get really emotional when it comes to Words with Friends. Finally got my first 500 point game last week. Take that, Mom!* Woo hoo!



    * Seriously! She's really tough to beat. She'll remind you of Rose from the Golden Girls but plays a mean game of WwF and Wheel of Fortune.

    WWF? Does it involve saving Pandas? Or did you mean WWE? I've never researched how they lost that moniker after having it for so many years.
  • Reply 20 of 95
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    WWF?

    WwF is Words with Friends.



    PS: Jim Jefferies on Pandas:


    [VIDEO]
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