Tuesday, July 17, 2012

OUYA: Are We Too Worried About Piracy?

In my OUYA article posted yesterday, which you can find here, I wanted to highlight a couple things that people may have missed with the flood of articles and (sometimes misguided) information. I wanted to show the possibilities that OUYA possesses, while trying to show some flaws people believe the system has. Piracy is something that a lot of people fear will be the downfall of this console, but if you recall, I didn't mention it. Why, though?

OUYA is a console for the people. It's meant to, above all, get a different kind of system out on the market for developers to let loose on. An alternative to the mainstream consoles we are so used to seeing, so to speak. Now, developing for the system is supposed to be incredibly friendly for developers of old, and even newcomers, for a couple reasons. It's completely free of licensing, retail, publishing, and even software development kit (SDK for short) fees, since it is based on the Android operating system. Like I stated in my last article, all games on the OUYA will be free to a certain extent. They will either follow a free-to-play model (much like Team Fortress 2), or they might have the game free up until a certain point (like World of Warcraft's "Play free until level 20" deal), or at least a demo so you can try before you buy. Bare with me, I'm getting to the point of this post right now :).

In a recent interview between CEO of OUYA Julie Uhrman and Eurogamer (which can be found here), Julie brushes of this piracy concern stating:
"OUYA will be just as secure as any other Android-powered device. In fact, because all the paid content will require authentication with OUYA's servers, we have an added layer of security. Hacking and openness are about getting what you want to do with the hardware. Rooting the device won't give you any more access to the software."
It's great to hear from the head of the OUYA team about some of these concerns, seeing as some people didn't really take the right information from the original Kickstarter page.

Piracy happens, and there isn't much we can do about it. It's a ridiculously touchy subject, an I'm not ready to crucify myself with information that may be incorrect (I don't want to die, I just started this blog!). I do know, however, that hacking =/= piracy. Hacking, as used by the OUYA Kickstarter page, was used to describe how you could make the console fit your needs, whether it be through physical console changes, or rooting the software to make it fit your style. Piracy is the illegal practice of copying and licensing software, therefore giving people free access to a product you would only be able to use by buying a license, or buying the right to use it. See, I told you they weren't the same.

The final point I want to make is about the user base I foresee purchasing and using this console. Hobbyists, tinkerers, game developers trying to get a start on their career, and in general, the "not-so-mainstream". Indie games (indie meaning not mainstream or AAA published titles, but I'll get to that in a completely different post) are finding huge success on the market right now, for being a creative, fun, and intellectual break from the watered down conventional industry gaming has become recently. It's brought out the best in consumers and developers alike. I want to point out a little something called the Humble Indie Bundle. Not only is it fun to say, but it's become a movement and a half on the PC side of gaming. It's a charity "event" of sorts that gathers the cream of the crop of indie games and sells them in a bundle. Usually about 5 or so games, you are allowed to pick the price you want to pay, and how it is divided among the developers, the event handlers, and the charities they are involved with. The last bundle made over $5 million, and that's not a number to smirk at. These small and usually out there titles mean something to people, and with all the free incentives OUYA offers, I don't see piracy being a problem at all.

Leave your comments, concerns, and suggestions for future topics in the comments below, and as always, thanks for reading, stay tuned, and stay sweet! :)

1 comment:

  1. I agree and the way I see it this could be the perfect way for users of android phones to connect their game preferences and stats to the console. Piracy is the least of their problems right now since this console is still under development.There is so much that can be done with an open sourced console.