New Toy – Ouya


Although I’d heard of the Ouya and looked at the various reviews etc I’d not contemplated getting one just yet but as I stopped by to pickup the latest Retro Gamer magazine I popped into the next store for a looksee as they had a giant Ouya poster in the window.

Sadly no demo model to have a play around on and on the Ouya shelves, all was bare apart from one. The chap behind the counter says that they didn’t have a massive amount to sell at launch but what stock they did have were brought pretty much within a few hours. This last one was another batch of stock and I thought, what the heck and ponied it for it.

I’ve read quite a bit about the poor build quality on the joypad with various bits being a bit on the rough side. Mine seems ok but would have to agree that the shoulder buttons are a bit flimsy.

The little trackpad is very sensitive but once you get used to it it becomes very handy when you need to navigate without keyboard and mouse.

I’ve not had a great deal of time with my Ouya today but setup was really simple. Plug in, detect wireless network, setup account, receive a few updates, reboot and game away.


Of the all the apps, the first place I went too, being a retro gamer, was of course the emulators. Once installed, you just browse to your rom location and off you go – the Ouya only has a measly 8gb of onboard storage, so dumping Roms onto a fat USB stick is advisable.

This thing certainly handles emulation of a wide range of systems without breaking a sweat and having analogue, digital and enough fire buttons on hand means that you can set up the controller to your liking. The PSX emulation is surprisingly nippy!

As far as the Ouya game store, I’ve only tried firm favourite Canabalt, which looks stunning in 1080HD and the rather funky twin stick music blaster Dub War.

Sadly, and rather disappointing, is the Pinball arcade. Here I was hoping to swap my ipad for large screen versions of classic pinball tables but there’s so much lag and poor framerate it’s just horrendous. Lets hope there’s a proper Ouya version to come out soon.

Lastly, I side loaded XBMC, pointed it at my NAS and let it scrape all my movie. It works perfectly on the Ouya with no audio/video issues whatsoever. Maybe this little box of tricks will replace my PC based media centre.

It’s still early days but so far it’s been fun to play around with this little box.


13 responses to “New Toy – Ouya

  1. Hi Stiggy, great post not dropped you a line for a while, would be great if you could give a bit more info on the retro side(what retro Emu work good eg N64 if you get a chance.Dont know a lot about this device but may be my answer to large screen retro.
    Look forward to any updates you can give, all the best


  2. Hey buddy, sure I can post a little bit more as I take a closer look. What I am happy to report are the fact that there’s a heap of emulators in the ‘app store’ by Robert Broglia who makes those wonderful .emu range of emulators. The advantage, as well as being feature rich and having high compatibility, is that the menu system follows the same layout so that setup and navigating around is very simplified and perfect for joypad input.

    I was amazed at the speed of his NeoGeo emulator and the c64 emulator is a breeze to use even without access to a keyboard.

  3. Hi bud
    Thats great to hear, you prob just cost me a £100 as I think one of these sound better all the time 😉

  4. Yeah it’s quite a neat little device. Of course, you can run emulators, XBMC and co. on a whole range of other devices, but for its size and hardware specs including that all important sofa gaming must I.e a wireless controller, you can’t really go wrong for £100

  5. You have a lot to answer for Stiggy! Just took the plunge and ordered one from Amazon arrives tomorrow 😉

    Emu all the way and Xbmc, you got any tips for the little box pal?



  6. Excellent my friend, I’m sure you’re going to have fun with it….and hopefully in time for the weekend too. I’m still tinkering myself but if you’ve got any questions when you’ve got setup etc you know where I am.

  7. No doubt will do,got Xbmc working on myS3 and IPad however not convinced I’m getting the best out it.
    Get out of hospital tomorrow so will be bed/house bound for next few weeks so hopefully get a good chance to play around with it:-)

  8. Eek, I hope you’re on the mend then mate. The Ouya sounds the perfect recovery aid then!

    To be honest, I only installed XBMC to just have a mess around with it really just like on the Rasp Pi, but found that it worked so well and streamed really nicely via wifi from my NAS, i’m finding i’m using it more than my PC based HTPC. Even the controller switches off to conserve battery power whilst I’m watching a movie (although it doesn’t to this until after a good 5 min).

  9. NAS – Network Attached Storage

    Basically a big fat networked external harddrive that stores all my pictures, movies, TV shows & music etc. XBMC can be configured to browse to the contents of the NAS via my wireless LAN and allow me to stream my digital content directly to my Ouya. It just means i can access more stuff than filling up a small USB stick plugged into the Ouya.

    Here’s a link to the blog post i wrote about my NAS. A brilliant bit of kit.

    Hehe, and my homemade NAS/PC which i fitted into a Commodore 1541 disk drive 🙂

  10. Cheers Stiggy(although the links missing)

    I have found that in XBMC it hangs then crashes sometimes! Have you found that?
    Great bit of kit and I am enjoying playing around with it, any tips or good pointers you’ve come across?
    Is it possible to have a play market app on it or am I being silly 🙂

    Cheers Stiggy

  11. Hey there, glad it arrive o.k. and you’re having fun. I haven’t had any issues with XBMC yet although I’m not sure if I’m using a different build to what you’re using? The guide I followed was –

    I don’t think you can install directly from the Play store but you can use it (and you Android device + file browser app) to sideload .apk files over to the Ouya. I’ve not really experimented with this though as I don’t have any Android devices myself, it’s all iPads and iPhones here!

  12. Ok cheers
    I used the XBMC hub wizard for Ouya may be a glitch, out interest what zx emulator do use?

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