The Ouya Second Coming

The Ouya has had an interesting life.  Born from crowd funding, this little tiny machine promised to bring the power of Android to the home console market.  Shortly after its release however, the Ouya crashed.  Bleak as it was, the little Ouya is not done yet.

By Robert Graves

We live in a world of connections.  We are connected to each other with new and improving electronics.  We are economically connected to a globalized market.  Through this market internet companies connect back to us at home.  The Information Age brought us great advancements in technologies that facilitate these transfers.  Now, without thinking about it, we can watch computer generated alien robots fight on our phones.

Digital streaming has become a staple of American living.  Music, movies, and even TV shows are available sometimes even for free.  The new generation of heavy weights like Netflix and Amazon are gobbling up market share from the old telecom giants.  The paradigm shift in entertainment availability has a personal touch that inspires even more connectivity.

And all the heavy weights are here.  Netflix dominates the video spectrum although Amazon Prime and Google’s Youtube are trying hard to grab space.  Hulu, a joint project developed by the established TV companies, tries its best as well, but is still saddled with the problems of the old epoch.  Paying for limited content that laced with ads seems primordial at this point.
Since we’ve only come into this new age,  not all consumers have access to the technology required to use these services.  At their base you can always use them on your computer, but that experience is limited at best and not what the consumer is used to.  Game consoles are the next obvious choice as a computer connected to your TV.  While they target technology adopters, gamers only represent a small fraction of users.  Smart devices have arrived as the industry answer.  Blu Ray players, set top boxes, and even the TV’s themselves have become connected to the world wide web.

Apple, Google, Amazon, Roku, Microsoft, Sony all produce devices that allow users to take their Television experience to the next level.  All of these companies are juggernauts in the industry.  But can you guess the one who is missing?

Alibaba is China’s answer to these American companies.  It is comparable to Ebay or Amazon but with the market scaling of China and India.  And as one of the world’s largest market places, Alibaba wants to try its hand at digital media as well.

Flash back to 2012.  The Ouya was created as a set top console with internet capabilities, easily enough to do from its Android OS beginnings.  Although it was an established company with all its ducks in a row, the market just didn’t want to accept it.  Even though its outlook was grim, this failing was perfect timing.  Alibaba had capital and needed a way to break into the set top market.  These star crossed companies shook hands and $10 million dollar deal was struck.

Alibaba now has a digital window directly into consumers homes.  As an internet based company, they now have a platform to sell merchandise, apps and games, and other digital media.  Alibaba can now host a streaming movie and tv company and do so while skipping the hardware issue and the resurgent Ouya will finally get to fulfill its original promise.

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