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Submitted by Endgame Studios on Wed, 18/07/12 - 9:37 PM Permalink

Hmm, no word on criticisms to do with a couple of the big ticket items - piracy/hacking and only a passing comment about the store model.

Ouya certainly has polarised people. I have to say I find all these unqualified declarations of support or opposition on day one of a console a bit odd. There's nowhere near sufficient information to make a business case for the platform yet, and as Morgan himself says, it's "a long way from free" to get product across onto it.

Endgame is a backer too, but more on a "wait and see" basis. Declaring that we'll definitely be investing money in bringing product to it is incredibly premature from a commercial perspective. Unless Morgan knows something we don't, no one knows anything about the store model yet - developer revenue split, minimum quality or genre requirements to get a game on there, what marketing support we'll get from the makers, plus many more critical issues. I doubt the makers even have the answers to any of this yet.

As far as I'm aware, we don't even know what games they'll permit on their store. Will the manufacturers allow everything and anything to go on the store in a truly "open" spirit? If so, what's to stop it turning into the Chrome or App store - rife with copyright violations, a dumping ground for every iOS game ever made (which means a lot of casual games which seems like an awful fit for a core gamer console) - or worse, malware? On the other hand, if they impose quality regulations, what's the criteria? And if you're a backer are you guaranteed a birth on the store, regardless of any of this? (It certainly reads that way on Kickstarter).

I also think it's a bit premature to declare 40,000 users as being evidence of a market. As many others have already pointed out, it's a long long way from Steam's 40 million. Currently it's at 0.1% of Steam's market. It may become a market but it has a ways to go. If you're selling iOS content on a store with even 5 million users, you'd need to somehow justify asking $10 or $15 for a game they could get on the App Store for $0.99. Now with 500+ "premium" product window opportunities on offer for the first year, the first-to-market idea is well and truly gone. I'd guess they'd need to hit around 4 or 5 million unit sales before it's worth thinking about (or a 100-fold increase from where it is now). It's all possible, but you can't extrapolate that from where it is now. For example, the 3DS sold 200,000 units on day one and everyone branded it an abject failure!

Personally, I'm now a bit wary of Ouya after they doubled their developer pledge availability. Given that it's supposed to be special exposure for your game for the first year, suddenly that's now shared with about 500 other games instead of the original 250. It speaks of making decisions on the run and that is scary when you're talking about investing time and cash in bringing product to the platform. We're certainly continually evaluating our support - will see how it goes.

Don't get me wrong: I hope it's a success, and that it works out for many Aussie devs including Defiant and Endgame, but from a business perspective, I really believe "we'll see how it goes" is the only reasonable commercial disposition until a lot more information unfolds over coming months. My guess is that's why you're not seeing many (any?) other developers declaring their hand just yet.

Submitted by morgan on Thu, 19/07/12 - 11:32 AM Permalink

The short answer to all of those, for us at least, is that we've got enough freedom to support the sorts of projects we want to make happen - even if it's not strictly free for us to do so (ie, not all our decisions need a proven business case, some are purely speculative). We'd love there to be an open console for us to make games for, so committing to making games for the open console in development is ultimately worthwhile.

They're trying to do something crazy. We like crazy! There are for sure a bunch of things to be ironed out, but that's life. That's part of the reason we're bringing a variety of games over - to test the waters and see what works, and if it's worthwhile.

We'll definitely let people know how it goes.

Submitted by Endgame Studios on Thu, 19/07/12 - 9:20 PM Permalink

Interesting approach. Good luck with it, I hope it works out as you're anticipating. You never know, we may be there too with Fractured Soul. For a small indie crew like us those details are vital, but awesome that you guys are funded well enough to forge on regardless. Keep us all in the loop with it!

Submitted by souri on Fri, 20/07/12 - 12:55 PM Permalink

As a consumer, I'll be all over this device! Even if it fails to gain traction as a game console, it'll still make for a great for a hackable youtube/vimeo streamer, photo/media player etc.. If it's gonna have access to Google Play marketplace, it'll be useful for many other things too.

I'm still in that 'wait and see' boat like Grant on whether it will really take off though - in a way, I think having a dedicated games console for your living room is still a foot stuck in the past, despite it being a digital distribution platform and more open. We've got phones and tablets that can can connect to our tv's, and blue-tooth controllers that connect to our devices already, which makes a dedicated android-based games console a little bit redundant. However, while I have an iPhone and iPad to do this, I still want a device to keep soley in my living room to do the media/streaming thing, so the Ouya still appeals to me for that purpose.

Anyway, there's still a whole lot of unkowns about the Ouya that I'm sure developers are eager to know about, and you've got to wonder if they can handle the entire ecosystem that comes with a manufacturing and distributing a product, and supporting a digital distribution platform, it's developers and consumers. It seems like a huge undertaking to me.

Submitted by Endgame Studios on Sun, 29/07/12 - 9:44 PM Permalink

Interesting tweets from Simon Carless on the subject last night:

Semi-disgusted with the OnLive/Ouya announce. Ouya pitched _heavily_ as 'open game console' and they're randomly introducing middlemen?
(Of course, Ouya's more wish fulfillment than reality, but PLEASE don't fund 'make it up as we go along' shenanigans in the future.)
For those @-y me, I know that OnLive is 'just an option', but Ouya's Kickstarter traded heavily on indie cred to get $5 million.
So if Ouya launched with a 'you can play Darksiders II' angle (OnLive PR!) it would've broken their 'indies need you!' angle.
I don't believe the 'possibility space' that Kickstarter folks funded for Ouya is honest, based on things like this. Shutting up now :)
And natively dev-ing for Ouya is even LESS enticing if you're competing against OnLive-streamed games on a multiple-choice dashboard. GAH.

This is what I was getting at with the 'making decisions on the run'. With OnLive there'll likely be way too much day one competition for any indie to make any real money. I hope Ouya can get it together, but we're seriously re-thinking our support for the device now. I imagine Morgan's probably not over the moon at this latest development either.

Submitted by souri on Mon, 27/08/12 - 9:55 PM Permalink

Interesting update on OnLive is that it recently laid off half it's employees and went through bankruptcy before getting bought out by a venture capitalist, which means this collaboration has a fairly tough task at being realised.

I do like the idea of OnLive, however. Paying a small flat fee to 'rent' and stream a huge catalogue of games seems inevitable to happen. Spotify, Netflix etc has shown how much consumers enjoy media via subscription, and it seems Sony's onboard for streaming games on the PS4 after acquiring David Perry's GaiKai, and Microsoft might have something up their sleeves too.

The Ouya kickstarter campaign has already exceeded the expectations of many, despite only starting up just a week ago. At the moment, Ouya has received over $5 million dollars worth of supporter backing and has another three weeks left to bring in even more funds. The momentous enthusiasm for the new Android-based console has been equally met with a fair amount of criticism and scepticism from many in the games industry, but it has a staunch supporter in at least one Australian games development studio.

Ouya aims to counter the movement away from console gaming and bring the gamers back to the TV by providing a cheap, open, and even hackable console platform. Games developers, especially those who are independent, will be enticed by the low barrier of entry and ease of games distribution that Ouya promises, which is a stark contrast to the huge amounts of funds required for a SDK to develop on the traditional games console to produce packaged products that have a limited shelf life at retail.

Digital Distribution is one of the big reasons why Morgan Jaffit, from Brisbane's Defiant Development, is onboard with Ouya. He's has put down a list with another five great reasons why he's so enthusiastic about Ouya which also serves as a way to counter some of the criticisms thrown at the idea of an open Android console. The most striking in the list is Jaffit's thoughts on Ouya's success, and why it doesn't need to take on the console giants of Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo to succeed. From Jaffit's blog post...

(Morgan) We don't see Ouya as a replacement for the current set of consoles, but as a new device. A device that's easy for developers to get onto, and offers users the potential to do new and exciting things with their hardware. It can (and will) live alongside the current consoles - but it doesn't have to beat them to make a huge difference.

Jaffit has expressed his studio's intentions on supporting the new console, and seeing as they've had experience on the Android platform, they'll have absolutely no problems easing in.

So what say you? Will Ouya mark the new era of gaming, or will it fail spectacularly in living up to its potential?

News
Does anyone remember the video below of a project by some students over in Germany of a full-body motion controlled Fruit Ninja inspired game, uploaded late last March? It certainly got many a Fruit Ninja enthusiast's tongue wagging on the potential of a much more capable XBox360 Kinect version of their favourite fruit slicing game. Well, it looks like Fruit Ninja developers, Halfbrick Studios, have been quietly working on just that. However, the only reason why anyone why's about it is because they've been outed by the Korean games rating board who've listed Fruit Ninja Kinect as a newly classified title. You can see the game listed on the games rating board's site here, although if your Korean is as non-existent as mine, you're just going to recognise the title name and the date of classification. Halfbrick Studios may also be currently working on a promotion to tie in with the new title, having just tweeted a casting call for a suitable actor for a new Fruit Ninja video just last week. If you fit the requirements and you can manage kicking the hell out of other guys in fruit outfits in true ninja style, why not give the Halfbrick guys a call!
Casting call! Looking for a young, Asian male actor who is good at martial arts for a new fruit ninja video! Must live in Brisbane Australia
News

Of the 77 million PlayStation accounts that were compromised from Sony's PlayStation Network last week, roughly 600,000 of those belong to Australian gamers. That's 65 percent of the 1.15 million Australian PlayStation3 owners who are registered on the network that are now at considerable risk of identity or credit card theft, security experts are warning.

The Sydney Morning Herald and the Herald Sun were quick to gather the thoughts of security experts following Sony's recent admission that hackers were able to break through their online network and download confidential information of registered users including their user names, passwords, addresses, birth dates, and possibly credit card details. The experts are warning that there is enough private information for considerable acts of identity theft and fraud, and paint a frightening picture of what could happen if your personal information lands in the hands of the wrong kind of people...

From SMH.com.au....

The head of the police fraud squad, Detective Superintendent Col Dyson, said, ''If you're armed with enough personal information, you could basically do anything that the legitimate person could do.'

'Personal or financial information is a valuable commodity and generally these days we find organised groups harvesting information and then selling it to other groups to use.'

Online security expert, Geordie Guy, describes some of the possibilities of what criminals can do with the private information to the Herald Sun...

"This is the sort of information people can use to apply for a (fake) driver's licence or buy a couch interest-free from Harvey Norman....

Huge pools of data like this are going to have enormous appeal to crooks on the black market"

A former privacy commissioner, Malcolm Crompton, has given some blunt advise to those who may be affected from the security breach...

Anybody who has given their details to PlayStation should be in touch with their bank pretty damn quickly

News

Pocketful of Megabytes has an insightful interview with Halfbrick Studios Chief Marketing Officer, Phil Larsen, about various aspects of the games released by the studio in recent times including their latest Xbox Live Arcade platform title, Raskulls. Their biggest hit, however, is Fruit Ninja, an arcade fruit slicing game which has amassed over 2 million sales on the Appstore for the iPhone and iPod.

When the opportunity to bring Fruit Ninja to the tens of millions of Android handsets out in the market arose late last year, Halfbrick was on board. They claimed the #1 paid game app position in the Android Market within 24 hours of release, but on further inspection, the actual sales numbers were disappointing. Pocketgamer.biz estimated the app only made between 5,000 and 10,000 sales, despite being in the top position on the app chart.

In this interview, Phil expressed how the Android marketplace has fallen short of providing a similar kind of service as the Appstore and described the market size differences between the two platforms as "significant". From Pocketful of Megabytes...

PL: Well, despite some enthusiastic Android gamers claiming otherwise, that market is much smaller than iTunes by a significant margin. Android devices are selling very well, but the core gaming ecosystem is not set up like the App Store is in regards to usability and consistency. There are no checks or reviews on Android – you upload your game, or app, or program of any kind, and it is live on the store immediately. Overall, game downloads are much lower on Android, even at the top of the charts.

Google themselves have recently acknowledged that they're "not happy" with the low number of paid apps purchased in their marketplace and promised to resolve many of the current issues, some of which were described by Phil above, later this year.

News

Australian and New Zealand iPad game developers, I hope you've managed to somehow secure your new shiny Apple-made tablet for development, because Apple has announced that it will delay the global roll out of the iPad by one month. The iPad was launched in North America on the 3rd of April, with a promised launch everywhere else (well, mainly Spain, UK, Canada, France, Australia, Germany, Italy and Switzerland) a few weeks later on the 28th.

Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming demand in the U.S, Apple are going to fulfil those needs first before giving other countries a chance on purchasing the wonder tablet. I guess you'll have to keep testing your work on the iPad SDK emulator for the time being.

From the Apple press release...

Although we have delivered more than 500,000 iPads during its first week, demand is far higher than we predicted and will likely continue to exceed our supply over the next several weeks as more people see and touch an iPad™. We have also taken a large number of pre-orders for iPad 3G models for delivery by the end of April.

Faced with this surprisingly strong US demand, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the international launch of iPad by one month, until the end of May. We will announce international pricing and begin taking online pre-orders on Monday, May 10. We know that many international customers waiting to buy an iPad will be disappointed by this news, but we hope they will be pleased to learn the reason-the iPad is a runaway success in the US thus far.

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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 01/04/10 - 6:56 AM Permalink

"According to Community Manager Alexandra Peters, they plan to get a friend in the US to buy a bunch of iPad’s when they drop and FedEx them to Australia."

"A simple solution, no doubt, but astonishing in my mind, that it’s come to that."

Seriously dude? Astonishing? Hardly. This is the sort of thing we have to put up with all the time. If it's not release date overlap it's price point.

Not news.

Think selling over 2 million copies of Flight Control, and developing the 5+ million downloaded Real Racing GTI for the iPhone/iPod Touch gives you any special treatment regarding iPad development from Apple? Think again!

Firemint, the Melbourne developer of those highly awarded and popular games, will be not be given any special help from Apple as they hammer out Flight Control HD designed specifically for the iPad. Currently, Apple have provided developers with a software emulator to develop iPad applications with, however, nothing beats refining and fine tuning the final application on the actual hardware itself.

While the launch date for the iPad is just over a week away in the U.S, Australian and New Zealand iPad application developers are left high and dry and will have to wait another entire month on top of that when it is launched locally to get their apps tested on the hardware.

thenextweb.com reports that Firemint will be taking a rather low-tech solution in solving that issue, and it's one that you wouldn't expect to see from such a top tiered App-store developer. From Thennextweb.com...

According to Community Manager Alexandra Peters, they plan to get a friend in the US to buy a bunch of iPad’s when they drop and FedEx them to Australia.

A simple solution, no doubt, but astonishing in my mind, that it’s come to that.

News
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 05/09/09 - 11:51 PM Permalink

all i am going to say is HOLY FUCK

Submitted by designerwatts on Sun, 06/09/09 - 12:17 AM Permalink

"That's in line with the European price points."

I love it when price justifiers use a point like this. Because truly the price of what it is in a country so many thousands of miles away is completely Irrelevant.

If they had stated outright a more localised reason why this piece of hardware is so expensive, like for instance the cost to ship things down here, or the many taxes that imported items face. Or that it may have some new hardware that's completely kick ass and expensive to manufacture; Then I could maybe...possibly take them seriously.

But saying. "It's expensive here because it's expensive there." Doesn't really tell me a damm thing.

I will eat my hat the day a marketing exac comes out and says: "You know what. We priced it this high because we know early adopters in australia will pay that price. No other reason. We just want maximum predicted profits."

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 24/09/09 - 6:09 PM Permalink

so add another 10% for GST... and this SHOULD be selling for around AU$318.

That's a massive $130 Sony Tax just cos we live DownUnder.

Add in the disquiet from EB Games not stocking it and I'm thinking we're gonna see a major price reduction not long after it's release. Unless they've already decided not to manufacture too many.

Has Sony not heard there's a little Global Economic issue going on at the moment?

If there's so much less in the damn thing (50% smaller, 40% lighter) why oh why is the price 40% more?

Hahahaha.

Guess we'll see in a week, or two, what happens.

Sony's OLED Walkman is also a silly price. They've already dropped in down a $100 from the original online price but it's still way over the top compared to Apple.

This PSP Go doesn't stack up against an iPod Touch when you can get a 32g model for AU$399. An the games on that are getting better every week... :)

Oh, and you CAN actually type on the touch screen. I hate entering text on my PSP1000. Too time consuming to do anything worthwhile so talking about surfing the net and sending emails is just something most people are not going to do with it. My iPhone though just makes doing all that, on the go, so damn easy. The number of people I see doing exactly the same thing while at the shops is growing every week.

Sony, where's your head at??? :)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 27/09/09 - 11:30 AM Permalink

"Sony, where's your head at??? :)"

prob up their ass

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 29/09/09 - 10:25 PM Permalink

Damn, thats waaaaaay overpriced.

I totally wanted a PSP Go, Oh well. I think I'll just have to deal with my pretty shocking looking PSP-1000. Suprisingly enough.

Oh well, I got a few new games for it so that will keep me entertained for a few months until the price eventually drops.

Final Fantasy = FTW :D

Oh, Theory Time!!
The reason why the PSP GO is so overpriced: Sony decided to put a few carats of diamons inside the machine where you can't see them. Have a look (Btw, Have fun destroying your new PSP Go!)

Muahahaha!

Uhh, nvm.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 01/10/09 - 4:09 AM Permalink

TO ALL... DO NOT FRET IN 2 DAYS GO TO HELLENICWHOLESALE ON EBAY.COM.AU AND BUY YOUR NEW PSP GO FOR JUST.... $360AUD PLUS $20 POSTAGE.... OUR OFFICE IS IN MELB AND DONT RISK IT WITH OVERSEAS SELLERS.
HELLENICWHOLESALE BRING THE WORLD TO YOU!
THANKS

Kotaku AU has been keeping a keen eye out on the Australian prices for the new PSP Go and the PS3 slim products coming from Sony, and found themselves a bit astonished when the price was announced. From Kotaku AU...

Sony has confirmed the PSPgo will launch in Australia on October 1 and retail for $449.95. That's in line with the European price points, but considerably more expensive than the US.

It's also - remarkably - just $50 shy of the price of the new PS3 Slim.

The new PS3 price is a very welcomed drop from the previous retail price, but wow, the PSP Go sure does seem like a very pricey alternative in comparison.

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Submitted by designerwatts on Thu, 23/07/09 - 1:15 PM Permalink

It makes sense that they're approaching Sony's new hand-held the way they are.

When I think of a psp I expect games that are similar in scope and design as the PS2 era. When I think iPhone I expect more casual games like flight control and bejewelled. So expectations of both the depth and budget of a psp game is higher.

Adding to that is the PSPs track record. The first iteration ultimately failed to create a large enough niche for itself and the Nintendo DS ended up dominating the hand-held market. Sony has to come up with some pretty solid and compelling selling points in order to make non-sony developers go back to their system and spend the possible millions to develop a quality title on it.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 25/07/09 - 6:03 PM Permalink

Readign this article made me think of something...

"The shorter the path between developer and consumer, the faster the market can grow and innovate"

Are we seeing the beginning of the end of game publishers? iphone apps store, a sony equivlent, XBLA, steam, etc. etc.

Will developers need a publisher to bridge the gape between them and the customer in the future?

Submitted by designerwatts on Sat, 25/07/09 - 6:46 PM Permalink

Realistically. You need publishers for a number of important reasons. And most of the time they are not the devil. :)

They provide the millions of dollars of funding for larger projects like mostly anything seen on the PS3 / XBOX 360 that comes in hard-disk format.

They fund large scale MMOs like World of Warcraft, Warhammer Online and Age of Conan.

They take care of extensive legales, copyrights , expensive marketing and they publish/distribute the game in hard format.

We are moving into an age where smaller projects that are distributed online can be feasible without help from a big publishing name. But even the smallest of projects can cost a few million to produce, and that money has to come from somewhere. :)

Submitted by souri on Sat, 25/07/09 - 7:24 PM Permalink

Publishers are needed to fund the big bucks required for marketing and development and they're very much well onboard with digital distribution, so they aren't going anywhere. Besides, someone's gotta take the losses from all the titles that don't break even..

Firemint are taking a cautious approach with the new contender in the handheld market, the PSPgo, as a game development platform. Sony's latest gaming gadget is set to take on the iPhone and Nintendo dsi, although it seems Sony may find it tough getting independent developers on board for it.

In an article featured at Gameindustry.biz, Firemint CEO, Rob Murray, talks about the differences in the games expected for the PSPgo compared to what's on the iPhone, and expresses some concerns on the barrier of entry for development on the PSPgo.

While the cost of development on the iPhone has attracted a huge amount of developers with a one-off $99 USD publishing requirement, PSPgo development will require a purchase of a $1,500 USD license kit. From Gameindustry.biz...

(Robert Murray) The big lesson Sony can take from the App Store and apply to its PSPgo digital distribution model is making things easy for both developers and customers...

The shorter the path between developer and consumer, the faster the market can grow and innovate

News
Submitted by Sabre070 on Tue, 02/06/09 - 10:56 PM Permalink

I don't think it would've even made me laugh without the remix.

Submitted by souri on Wed, 03/06/09 - 2:38 PM Permalink

What else is everyone excited about from this years e3?

I'm looking forward to Brink!

http://www.splashdamage.com/brink

The screenshots (which Splash Damage have assured are not photoshop) look like finished Concept Art masterpieces! It truly looks beautiful. Oh, and it's a squad based shooter by the guys who've done two awesome games (Wolfenstein:Enemy Territory and ET: Quake Wars), and it looks like they're pushing the genre forward.

I don't know how they top themselves year after year, from giant enemy crabs, Riiiidge Racer (remember that one), to the awkward Warhawke controller presentation, there's always something to chuckle about regarding e3 presentations. This one is, however, quite honestly the funniest clip to ever come from e3.

WELL BAM there it is - REMIX from jaroshbarksdale on Vimeo.

News
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 20/03/09 - 10:54 PM Permalink

Don't forget that the existing user base of 100m won't be able to access the appstore unless they buy the new hardware. The userbase will be small until some of those 100m upgrade. It's a pretty expensive upgrade for not a lot of extra hardware, although the extra cpu speed and memory will be useful. I wonder how many DS Lite owners are likely to upgrade. For those with an original DS, it seems more reasonable in the current financial climate...

If you need any further clue that we're entering a golden era for casual games, take a look in Nintendo's direction. It looks like Nintendo have been prepping developers for their upcoming appstore for downloadable game and application content. Platforms as the iPhone (30 million units), Xbox 360 (28 million), PS3 (22 million), Nintendo WIi (nearly 50 million), and the PC all provide some healthy choices for casual game offerings, but with a concentrated user base of a whopping 100 million gamers, the market leader is set to be a huge player in the downloadable casual games market with their new handheld.

From developmag.com...

Sources which attended the top-secret Nintendo Developer Conference in London this week have told us that Nintendo has a plan in place that will push developers towards producing short-form content for its new DSi handheld.

The device includes access to the DS Shop and DSi Ware, but instead of emphasising game downloads - as has been done with previously with Wii/WiiWare - Nintendo is encouraging developers to think about making shorter 'applications', both of a games and non-game variety for the DSi.

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