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Android Games Hardware

Ouya Performance Not Particularly Exciting 305

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the indrema-repeats-itself dept.
hypnosec writes "Results of recent benchmark tests reveal that Ouya is not up to the mark and there are over 70 other ARM devices that perform better than the gaming console. Futuremark, which is known for its benchmarks like 3DMark and PCMark, benchmarked mobile devices and the Tegra 3 powered Ouya has been ranked 73rd." Of course, most of the those devices cost a lot more than $100 without carrier subsidies.
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Ouya Performance Not Particularly Exciting

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  • by ninlilizi (2759613) on Monday April 15, 2013 @06:43PM (#43456689) Homepage

    As the early Nintendo days can attest.

  • by ButchDeLoria (2772751) on Monday April 15, 2013 @06:45PM (#43456697)
    This. Sadly, I personally don't think that Ouya content is going to be able to carry it though.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15, 2013 @06:54PM (#43456799)

    I think it is far more interesting that it scored higher than the majority of other tegra 3 devices which cost far more. I never really expected it to be performance impressive by the time it shipped. It is running on a 1 year old chip.

    Of course it is going to be outpaced by the newer devices.

  • by ChefJeff789 (2020526) on Monday April 15, 2013 @06:57PM (#43456827)
    So? This thing was never meant to be a PS4. The OUYA has my attention for several reasons: 1.) It's a kickstarter project and I hope it's successful for the sake of those that bet so much on it. 2.) It's cheap - consoles are never this inexpensive. The Wii was cheap, but the controllers were ungodly expensive (granted, the OUYA controllers aren't that cheap either). 3.) It's open. This is perhaps most important. I had more fun hacking a Wii and turning into an emulator box and a media streamer than I've ever had with my old, dusty Xbox 360. If I can do that with the blessing of the company who's box I just purchased, hell yes I'll buy one.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15, 2013 @07:00PM (#43456853)

    A lot of the the new, popular indie games available aren't exactly taxing on system requirements. Granted some of them could stand a bit of optimization, but having a common framework and a fixed hardware target (exacly what the Ouya provides) really will help there.

    I've got a nice overclock sandy bridge i5 and a high end video card in my gaming system. While I enjoy many of the newer A-list titles with all of their eye candy, I probably put a lot more gaming hours in to titles like minecraft (mostly mod packs like tekkit or FTB), binding of issac, don't starve, super meat boy, and a lot of others that can be had for a couple of bucks on steam.

    While not the fastest thing in the world, I still think the ouya could put a lot of very good games in to the hands of eager players for a very good price. The big console makers miss the mark on indie titles, requiring way too much money for development and focusing way too heavily on monitization at the expense of gameplay.

  • by dagamer34 (1012833) on Monday April 15, 2013 @07:10PM (#43456933)
    It is one of the highest bins of the Tegra 3 line, clocked at 1.7Ghz. Most Tegra SoC variants are 1.3Ghz or 1.4Ghz because they have to worry about battery life.
  • by AdamHaun (43173) on Monday April 15, 2013 @07:24PM (#43457029) Journal

    In fact the only problem it has is making out the quality from the...not so quality

    Which is not a problem we should dismiss out of hand. The exact same problem killed Atari (and the American video game market with it [wikipedia.org]) back in the 80s. When the NES was introduced, Nintendo had some pretty strict quality/quantity control [wikipedia.org] to prevent that from happening again, as well as its own magazine to inform gamers about what was available. Perhaps aggregate reviews on the internet will fulfill the same function today.

  • Re:And... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@noSPam.gmail.com> on Monday April 15, 2013 @07:26PM (#43457035) Homepage Journal

    The OUYA is a self-contained computer. It is only missing a display.

    You also have to consider that an OUYA with a controller is $100, and that a controller by itself is $50. So this is basically a $50 self-contained computer. I expect the performance to match/or exceed that of other $50 self-contained computers.

  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Monday April 15, 2013 @07:28PM (#43457041)

    Early Nintendo days? For the first half of its history Nintendo hardware generally outclassed its competitors. NES was a LOT better than than the Sega MasterSystem. SNES make Genesis look downright feeble, and despite their decision to stick to cartridges, N64 was far more capable than PSX or the Saturn from the standpoint of processing power. Heck even Gamecube was in many ways superior to PS2 and Xbox.

    Nintendo's whole "quality content on inferior hardware" dance really only started on the Wii.

  • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@noSPam.gmail.com> on Monday April 15, 2013 @07:29PM (#43457047) Homepage Journal

    Software developers wanted to be paid to write software?

    Those scoundrels!

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday April 15, 2013 @07:31PM (#43457059) Journal

    It's also worth noting, just for the sake of balance, that '73d in benchmarks' is a close to meaningless figure, equivalent to declaring that a given computer with, say, an i5 CPU is "not even in the top hundred" because you can buy hundreds of distinct SKUs that have i7 CPUs.

    On the benchmark page [futuremark.com] you can see that major swaths of the benchmark list are near duplicates.

    The top 20-odd spots are "quad-core Krait 300 Adreno 320", with the bulk of the next 50 being "dual-core Krait 300 Adreno 320".

    The oddballs are "2 GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2580 PowerVR SGX544MP2", Samsung's "Up to 1.7 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 Mali-T604" and one or two other minor variants.

    It's actually pretty surprising how much variation their is(in at least one case a dual Krait benchmarked ahead of several quad Kraits, allegedly at the same clock speed, and the ASUS transformer with a slower Tegra3 benches ahead of the OUYA with a higher clocked and otherwise identical SoC); but there Just. Aren't. That. Many. SoCs at the high end of the market.

    There are definitely faster chips(especially on the CPU side, Nvidia went a bit light on the CPU side on the theory, unsurprising for them, that GPU is what counts); but only a handful, just used in 70-odd devices.

    This fact doesn't make the Tegra3 any faster in an absolute sense; but there aren't even enough SoCs on the market for something to meaningfully be '73d'

  • Re:And... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Shoten (260439) on Monday April 15, 2013 @07:35PM (#43457081)

    The raw part cost of a smartphone SoC is a tiny portion of the bill of materials (BOM), maybe 10-15%. CPU is maybe $30 at the very high end? So for a box like the OUYA where the CPU is probably the biggest cost and they don't have to worry about a display, camera, battery, cellular radios, or massive amounts of storage, they probably could have sprung for a Snapdragon 600 or Tegra 4. Only thing is it would have delayed the product by 6 months since those chips are in high demand from smartphone OEMs.

    Take a look at this cost breakdown analysis of the GS4: http://www.isuppli.com/Teardowns/News/Pages/Samsung-Galaxy-S4-Carries-236-Bill-of-Materials-IHS-iSuppli-Virtual-Teardown-Reveals.aspx [isuppli.com] $236 worth of parts selling for $699 just shows you how things are roughly priced (granted, MSRP - BOM != profit, but Samsung is in a pretty good position). Also you'll learn the biggest conspiracy of smartphones ever: it does NOT cost $100 to go from 16GB NAND to 32GB, or 32->64, or 64->128.

    Yes, but what you're forgetting about is the opportunity cost. If you can make a $100 device that competes equally with a $300 device simply by lowering your profit margin, that's not the whole picture. To design and start producing that device, you need funding. That capital typically comes from people who want a return on their investment, and lower risk. The smaller your profit margin, the closer you are to not being profitable at all if you miscalculated, incorrectly estimated, or failed to account for something. And even if you hit exactly your intended margin, you still end up providing a lower return on investment than if you had charged more...or, in this case, if you lower the hardware costs. Also, keep in mind that a $5 hardware cost difference matters less, profit-wise, on a $300 device than it does on a $100 device.

    Hardware isn't designed and built in a vacuum; these things happen in the context of a business, as well as in the context of an entire industry.

  • by jxander (2605655) on Monday April 15, 2013 @07:47PM (#43457145)

    One : Because hardware tends to kill content.

    Devs these days are more concerned about rendering amazing graphics, and epic cut scenes, and *hey put down the controller you're screwing up all my hard work... just sit there and watch the awesome happen. When the cutscene is over you can walk down the hallway to the next cutscene.* Video games used to be a method to tell stories, now all the time and budget for narrative has gone by the wayside in order to cram more pixels into each frame. Plus, there's only so much real estate on physical media. Bluray is, what, 25 - 50 GB. And the aforementioned cut scenes take a lot of room, so instead of 50+ hour epics, we get a lot of 10-hour quickies, for the same price. (just plowed through dishonored over the weekend, hard mode, "Clean Hands," 9 hours)

    And two : Because right now, that really isn't a choice.

    XBox and PS3 are mostly focused on annual franchises that are near sure-fire hits : Battlefield, Modern Warfare, Call of Duty, Madden, FIFA, Halo, etc. Release a new game each year with Title n+1, same graphics, add a few bells and whistles, maybe a new map or two, and you're printing money. WiiU has a grand total of like 2 games that aren't Dance or Party games (or dance-party games)

    Asking for both is even less of an option when you factor in the $100 mark. Less than 1/3 the price of a current iPod Touch. This is a toy, at the moment. A playground for developers to see what they can do, and for people to run old emulators, XBMC or whatever else they can think up. If it catches on, and sw devs enjoy it, maybe it'll pick up steam and release a more powerful version... Time will tell. At the very least, it's nice to see someone else trying.

  • by Holmwood (899130) on Monday April 15, 2013 @07:54PM (#43457179)

    This could well be very true. I backed it on Kickstarter precisely because I wanted a low power ARM-based 1080p media device that was more flexible than offerings from Sony, MS, Nintendo. Had no real interest in it personally as a gaming console.

    That said... I read TFA. It completely misses the point. Sure, because brand new bleeding edge phones have higher performance, Ouya (at #70) is a loser. Good grief. It is a certainty that there will be between 100 and 1000 PCs (and Macs) of varying configurations from reasonable manufacturers that will exceed the PS4 and Xbox 720 when they are released (at #101-#1001). (at octo-core 1.6 GHz Jag and roughly half the performance of a 670 video card it won't be difficult). Does that mean that these consoles are failures and Sony and MS should give up?

    Of course not. They will have defined a stable platform that is "good enough" for some years of gaming, along with interfaces to enable that.

    Ditto, potentially, Ouya.

    Will Ouya succeed? I've no idea, but the raw power of the console is unlikely to be a material issue at this point.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15, 2013 @08:09PM (#43457243)

    Great! Care to show us shipping silicon with all these awesome next-gen specs?

    What's that? They don't exist? Marketers blow smoke up your ass? You don't say!

    Seriously, you're missing the point here. Sure it's easy to imagine something faster and better but by the time you've designed the thing, prototyped it, worked out all the bugs, and had it manafactured it's two years later.

    The tegra is here. It's available now, in quantity. It's popular and a lot of people have a lot of experience working with it. Nvidia is even quite helpful as they want to get in the the mobile/game SoC market. The ouya takes all of that existing work and puts in to a small, cheap package.

  • by Black LED (1957016) on Monday April 15, 2013 @09:01PM (#43457523)
    The ratio of good games to bad games is probably the same as it's always been. Don't tell me you've forgotten about the LOADS of absolute garbage games on older systems.
  • by tuppe666 (904118) on Monday April 15, 2013 @09:48PM (#43457755)

    Sadly, the rule with games available on Android...is that they're almost all terrible. There are very few exceptions.

    Except that is not even remotely true, having owned a Android game console for over 18 months, its my primary source of gaming, and the costs are cheap too. Android is becoming the primary gaming platform.

  • by DrEldarion (114072) on Monday April 15, 2013 @10:11PM (#43457885)

    Those games are almost all either terrible or not up to par compared to big console releases, though - even the bad console games are better than nearly all mobile games. Then when someone invests heavily into making a console-quality mobile game (and prices it accordingly), they get tons of shit for the price point. (see: Final Fantasy Dimensions which drew universal scorn for its pricing, which was HALF what it would have been on a portable console)

    Face it, you can't have great, immersive, polished, professional-quality games for $2.99. Instead, you get what you see now: extremely amateur RPGs, puzzle games that are good for 10 minute stretches but get boring if you play them for more than that in one sitting, etc.

    It's very telling that the only reasons I've heard people say they want an Ouya are 1) XBMC and 2) emulation of old console games.

  • Console Snobbery (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tuppe666 (904118) on Monday April 15, 2013 @11:42PM (#43458285)

    Face it, you can't have great, immersive, polished, professional-quality games for $2.99

    Ignoring the fact that you have not looked at Google Play recently :) Lets spend a little time looking at costs.
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2010/02/anatomy-of-a-60-dollar-video-game.html [latimes.com]

    These figures are rough and back in 2010 by Steve Perlman, founder of OnLive That bring the cost of a video game down to $27. For your $2.99 Andoird game the developers pay $25 for registration to distribute on the Google Play Store. Application developers receive 70 percent of the application price...leaving you with $2.09

    A quick look at the console market http://www.vgchartz.com/ [vgchartz.com] and consoles average about 80M potential customers at the end of a consoles useful life. Android is Heading towards 1Billion activations, and continue to grow [currently only 12.5x larger than Consoles].

    I am making no claims that more money can be made from Android games than tradition console gaming, but comparing on total selling price alone is foolish when Android market is massive and continues to growl; there is no second hand market; risks are smaller; development costs cheaper; Customers buy more games; Alternative revenue streams.

    That is ignoring the fact that your favourite engine spits out binaries that will work on a plethora of platforms...Look at Unity http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unity_(game_engine) [wikipedia.org]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15, 2013 @11:47PM (#43458313)

    Despite your negativity, you've found the mark. The gamble is that there are a lot of people who play Plants vs Zombies, Angry Birds, Mario* and other games that work just fine on a Tegra-3. $100 in, and $50 for 20 games, or $300 in and $50 per game. That cost point is absolutely killer.

    Case and point: My Mom outspent me on gaming last year. She discovered Big Fish and spent $200 in $6 games. The market you mentioned exists.

    If they can expl[oit]ore it they'll win. I like my Ouya so far, the controllers feel good in the hand, and the ported games that I've tried were kind of fun, and if I can trade my Big Mac and Frys for Top Ramen tonight, I'll get to try another. Xbox players, have to do Ramen for a week and a half to do the same.

  • by jakimfett (2629943) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @12:14AM (#43458411) Homepage Journal

    people buy console games to play console-type games: 20+ hours of gameplay, with detailed story lines, excellent graphics, good music (don't underestimate the impact of this), and reasonable level of control.

    With the exception of Skyrim, very few (if any) games have actually delivered more than 10 solid hours of gameplay, much less 20. If you can name me 5 games from this list [wikipedia.org] that are both a console game and 20+ hours of gameplay, I'd be really surprised.

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