Ouya games aren’t just for the Ouya console anymore.
Earlier this week, we learned that the Android-based microconsole is now going to share its online store with other hardware makers, and now that plan is already coming to fruition. Ouya revealed today that it is planning to bring its digital-distribution channel to the Mad Catz gaming system, called M.O.J.O., as part of the Ouya Everywhere initiative. This will help Ouya’s store reach more customers, and it will help Mad Catz by providing television-optimized titles for the M.O.J.O., which Mad Catz will now sell for $200 instead of $250.
“Up until now, the game console experience has been locked inside a box,” Ouya chief executive Julie Uhrman said in a statement. “Together with the hardware veterans at Mad Catz, we end that. Today’s announcement signifies the inception of a truly open platform where independent developers can bring their creations to the platforms where gamers actually play: everywhere.”
M.O.J.O. will still have access to the Google Play app market, which enables gamers to purchase a title once and own it on the microconsole as well as their phone or tablet. The Play store does not, however, put an emphasis on physical controls. Mad Catz hardware uses a traditional-style controller and connects to the TV, which makes playing many touchscreen apps impossible.
Ouya’s store, on the other hand, has more than 400 titles that developers designed to work with a joypad and a TV set.
The M.O.J.O is $100 more than the $99 Ouya, but it also has the much more powerful Nvidia Tegra 4 processor (a chip that’s often found in tablets), and it supports Mad Catz GameSmart mouse, keyboard, and other peripherals. The Everywhere program is one way that Uhrman’s company can keep up with the rapidly developing mobile sector without having to release new hardware every six months.
“This agreement with Ouya encapsulates our vision of an open software platform powered by M.O.J.O.’s high-performance hardware, and supported by the entire ecosystem of GameSmart gaming accessories,” Mad Catz chief executive Darren Richardson said. “We believe today’s announcements will widen the appeal of M.O.J.O. introducing it to a greater number of passionate gamers.”
The Ouya debuted last year to a significant amount of hype about the microconsole’s capability to disrupt software distribution. New consoles from Sony and Microsoft have since overshadowed the Ouya, but the concept of an inexpensive, discless box for TVs still has some buzz. Rumors suggest that major companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple are all considering devices similar to Ouya. Amazon even recently acquired a studio to potentially bolster its first-party offerings.
To continue competing, Ouya will have to establish the value of its digital store. The Everywhere initiative is one way of potentially accomplishing that. The company needs to try something since its biggest (and really only) hit, the four-player fighting game Towerfall, is heading to PS4 on March 11.