Julie Uhrman, CEO of the Android-based Ouya games console company, announced that the system will receive refreshed hardware on an annual basis.
Speaking at the DICE Summit, Uhrman says that the annual upgrade will take advantage of faster and more powerful processors as they are developed, and still maintain a $99 price point. However, you don’t have to worry about throwing out your games library and starting over every year. Uhrman assures us that the Android-based OS will allow each new console to preserve backwards compatibility with older games. Although older consoles may be unable to run more advanced 3D titles as time goes on. The consoles naming conventions will reflect the annual refreshes, such as Ouya 2, Ouya 3, and onward.
The idea of having hardware outdated on a regular annual schedule may be a turn-off for some, but the company seems confident that the system’s low price and unified OS is a selling point to encourage upgrade purchases and prevent fragmenting the audience. And in a time when smart-phones, tablets, and MP3 players seem to be updated regularly on a 2-year cycle, then maybe it isn’t so unusual for a game console to try this tactic. And 2-years of Ouyas will still be far less expensive then the latest phones and tablets.
Ouya is set to arrive on store shelves this June for $99.