The modern day console wars that have raged on for many years seem to have always been dominated by Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony, all competing for the top spot.
In the background of these battles lie other consoles: small startups that don’t have the AAA title games or millions of fans drooling over their new releases like the big name systems.
One of the more successful consoles released in the backdrop is OUYA. The small, sleek, Android-based console made its grand debut online yesterday morning. Since the launch, Amazon has already sold out of the system, which retails at a relatively cheap $99 compared to the $500 Xbox One or $400 Playstation 4 set to release sometime in the near future.
Production of the console started last July when the concept was presented to Kickstarter. The goal for the small company was $950,000, which they achieved a mere 8 hours into the campaign. The company ended up making over $8 million in donations over a month, allowing the company to bring a prototype to market only a year later.
Throughout the process, the company managed to break two Kickstarter records: “most money raised in a 24-hour period — $2.6 million — and fastest Kickstarter to reach a million dollars,” according to an article on Mashable.
The draw of the console is due to its many unique features. The console works on a “free to try, free to love and absolutely free to brag about” system according to the company’s website. OUYA also allows users to connect with many streaming media companies “including XBMC, Plex, VEVO and IHeartRadio,” which could be useful for online marketing companies looking to advertise on other mediums. The biggest feature is, however, the ability for users to hack the device and use it in practically anyway they want. People can program their own games and eventually launch titles of their very own design.
The bigger picture in all of this is that OUYA proved the power of crowdfunding. Websites like Kickstarter are beginning to pop up more and more online, providing ways for social media agencies, small businesses, and regular people to advertise ideas or products. The social part of the site is where people are drawn in. You are presented with an almost unlimited number of projects you can fund and support whatever you want. These sites provide an easy way to see the concepts that you, personally, might want to see become a reality.
While Kickstarter offers many different types of project funding, niche crowdfunding websites are starting to pop up everywhere these days. There are pages for everything from artists and filmmakers, to tech developers and videogame programmers.
Perhaps the success of the OUYA will be the starting point in a long road of ultra successful Kickstarters. The reason is simple, if a product is successful on Kickstarter, it’s because people like it, people want it. If a developer stays true to what they promise on the site, the product will no doubt be a success.