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Ouya CEO says the firm's hardware refresh rate will be more like smartphones

To keep up with developers' demands
Wed Mar 20 2013, 10:18

SAN JOSE: CONSOLE BUILDER Ouya has said that its hardware refresh cycles will be more like those of mobile phones than the corporate giants' games consoles.

Ouya is planning to launch its first Android based games console next week at the Games Developer Conference (GDC). However, speaking at the GPU Technology Conference in San Jose on Tuesday Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman said that its hardware refresh rate will be much shorter than those of games consoles and more like those of mobile phones.

Ouya's games console uses Nvidia's Tegra 3 system on chip (SoC), though unlike the Nexus 7 that also uses the chip, Ouya has slapped a fan on it. According to Uhrman this was due to the firm wanting to run all four of the SoC's cores at full bore to achieve 60FPS.

The problem faced by Ouya is that since it appeared on Kickstarter, Nvidia has already announced Tegra 4 and earlier today the firm's CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said Tegra 5, codenamed Logan, will be shipping by the end of the year. All of this means that games developers, who will develop games to take advantage of hardware found in smartphones and tablets, will ask too much from Ouya's Tegra 3 chip.

Worryingly, Uhrman said that the firm doesn't have a hardware schedule but that it constantly "looks at every new chip that gets released and the cheapest memory", because it needs to deliver its hardware at the much publicised $99 price. 

Typically the giant games console makers - Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony - produce new hardware every five to six years, but given that Nvidia and its rival ARM licensees typically launch new chips every year, the traditional games console hardware refresh cycle will simply not cut it for Ouya if it wants to remain relevant in the Android games console market.

While Uhrman said that the firm will target a hardware refresh rate that is more akin to those of mobile phones, the company might find that the cost of doing so could exceed what it managed to raise through Kickstarter. µ


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