The emergence of these Android-based STB consoles like Ouya seems like some pretty bad news for the big money consoles from Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. Apparently the knock on them so far is that they don't have enough good games, but you know that will change.
Yeah, that's very appealing. I like how on their website it says "You shouldn't have to buy anything you don't love" or something like that. Letting people try the games for free is a very smart strategy that I think will really help them. I have read in a couple places, though, that their games are not so hot right now. But that will change.
I think wrong conclusions are being made. The only new console out now is the Nintendo Wii U. It hasn't sold well because the new feature, a tablet console, hasn't excited fans or software developers. Also, Sony and Microsoft game console sales are down because people are waiting for the new (incompatible) consoles.
I don't think it is right to extrapolate from this and say that the other new consoles won't do well when they come out.
Also, the graphics capabilities of the Ouya are far below the others, and doesn't have a large staff/budget to encourage game development (and modern games often cost more than high-budget Hollywood movies to develop) so I don't see high-end games getting ported to it.
I'll admit I have seen Ouya in action. I do really like the concept. I suppose for the hard core gamer, the graphics capabilities of the XBOX One and PS 4 will be the thing that keeps them buying. But the original Wii proved that there are a lot of people that are willing live without the latest and greatest graphics in favor of something less expensive with cool new features.
One massive problem with the marketing of game consoles is that it has been traditionally based on graphics power. This will collapse though, because as complexity increases, the advancements become harder to "see at a glance".
In the past we were making massive leaps and bounds between consoles in terms of horsepower and detail. We were going 8 bit to 16 bit, and these kind of changes (doubling and even exponential in some cases) are easy to see. You can literally glance and see the difference. However, as we get closer to photo realism the changes become more and more of a technical nature. We brag about things like sub-surface scattering and real time ray tracing, but from across the room these can't be used to convey a before/after leap. Though there may actually be a multiplying of graphical power, the advances are in the details.
The console makers are realizing this and attempting to find other ways to convey the advancements. Nintendo realized this quite a while ago and is slightly ahead of the game, but Microsoft can be seen focusing on interesting input methods and peripheral features more and more now as well.
Interestingly Sony seems to have stepped back a little bit.I didn't see anything about their motion controllers or camera systems on the latest round of press.