As I mentioned to you earlier this month, the Ouya is a console that is equally likely to be either revolutionary or a huge flop. The way it is most likely to fail, in my opinion, was if it proved unable to get any real game developers on board. It seems we can rest at least a little easier. In a post on Kickstarter earlier this morning, Julie Uhrman, developer of the Ouya, announced that she has secured a partnership with Square Enix to bring remade Final Fantasy games to the fledgling console. At first I was far from impressed. Yes, being able to make that announcement certainly boosted my faith in the system, but they weren’t doing anything new. The first six Final Fantasy games have all been remade up to this point, some more times than I cared to count. When I read which game it was that was coming to the Ouya, however, I became a little interested again. Final Fantasy III (not VI as was originally released in the States) has never been remade for a console. There was the odd 3D remake on the Nintendo DS, but that was it. And since the game has never been seen Stateside otherwise, this could be the first chance that many people have to play the game which is otherwise missing from their gaming libraries. What’s more, Uhrman has promised to “deliver Final Fantasy III like you’ve never seen it before,” explaining that the Ouya release is going to be HD.
This seems like it could be great news. I’m a little wary here because I remembered the Ouya’s biggest promise: to be the most free-to-play system on the market. Uhrman does promise a free demo of Final Fantasy III, but that’s nothing that the bigger consoles haven’t been doing for years. Either the price of this game needs to be ridiculously low, or it’ll need to offer free services that hasn’t been seen with the game before, such as free DLC, for me to take the Ouya’s slogan of “A New Kind Of Video Game Console” seriously. Whatever the case may be, it’s implied that Final Fantasy III isn’t the end of the Square Enix partnership. I’m praying that this console will get its own exclusive Final Fantasy game, even if it’s one of the many spin-off titles, which would be the real boost it needs to take off.
The Ouya news doesn’t end there, though. A few days ago, it was also announced that OnLive will be available for the Ouya! For those of you that aren’t familiar, OnLive is a cloud gaming platform available over the Internet. It is a system that offers over 200 streamable video games, all rendered in 720p. Having partnered with the Ouya, all of these will now be accessible from the couch, without needing an Internet-capable television.
With all of this news, the Ouya is certainly going to shake things up when it finally releases. I don’t think it’s ready to charge into the console wars just yet, though. Having OnLive is very cool, but none of those games (great though they may be), are exclusive. They do have one exclusive game, but just one. I’ll stay on the lookout for any more updates that may be had, because with just a little more the Ouya could be the game console it’s promised to be.
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