WRITTEN BY: WARREN C. BENNETT
Welcome to Random Thoughts Random Gift Guide for a Random Christmas! Over the next few weeks, Random Thoughts and the Gaming Goddess website are putting up items we think would be good for various people. These are high quality products that come in at a relatively low price. Today we are focusing on the retro game enthusiast.
In a world where Personal Computers, cell phones and new consoles are pushing the boundaries of the gaming experience, there are many that long for the relative simplicity of older games. These people could want to play through the experiences they had in their youth or it could be younger people just tired of all the modern hype. A name is given to this group, one that does a good job of summing it all up: Retro Gamers.
Since I am considered a retro gamer by many, I have tried out a product that can easily bring this experience to the Television: The Ouya Microconsole. It is a small box that is a little larger than a Rubik’s cube and fits in almost any entertainment center. It comes with 8 gigs of onboard storage and one controller. It is a wifi enabled console with an Ethernet port on the back along with a HDMI and power connection. You can also add USB storage to help expand the storage for the system.
The guts of this console sport a Tegra 3 chip, the same one used on so many cell phones. This provides enough power to play most consoles considered ‘retro,’ from the NES and Sega Master System to Playstation 1 era games. It helps that the Ouya also sports a gig of memory, more than any retro console had on board.
Although this console does have access to various modern games, it really shines as a Retro Game box. There are at least fifteen well made emulators on the box right now, including multiple emulators for popular game systems like the NES, SNES and Genesis. There are other emulators that work for the relatively uknowninthewest system MSX, Atari 2600, Turbographfx 16 and many others. It really is a great little box for old school gaming.
The controller that comes with the Ouya is okay. The analog sticks and face buttons work well, as do the triggers on the top of the device. The top bumpers aren’t the best and that can be a tad frustrating at times. Luckily the system also allows a user to hook in other controllers, like the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 controller. Many of the emulators have support for brand specific controllers as well, such as Nintendo controllers for certain Nintendo based programs.
All in all the Ouya is an inexpensive box to play older games on the Television. It doesn’t have the fastest processor or a cutting edge graphics card but it does allow a person to easily play old games. This is the main reason to buy the Ouya and why I suggest spending the hundred dollars to buy one for the retro gamer in your life.