This week, you couldn't dodge the Ouya. Already the most successful gaming Kickstarter yet with four weeks still left to run, it is a project that sells a dream. A $99 console that runs on Android aiming for a March 2013 launch, at the time of writing it has captured the imagination of 35,000 people to the tune of 4.4 million dollars, and counting fast. There's just one thing: the Ouya will never appear, and even if it does is doomed.
It's amazing how much has so far been written about the Ouya's capabilities without acknowledging the fact that its Kickstarter pitch is deliberately deceptive. The thing that engenders immediate distrust is the weaselly language and dubious claims made by the company's CEO and co-founder, Julie Uhrman, who does most of the talking in the pitch video.
First of all there's the use of 'free to play', with specific reference to popular examples of this model like Triple Town, League of Legends and Team Fortress 2. It's claimed all games on Ouya will be free to play. This is not the case. A game with a demo, according to the Ouya definition, is free to play. The phrase refers to a specific business model, and Ouya gives appropriate examples, but then... it's just not borne out.