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Digital and Nontraditional: Breaking Down Ouya, Steam Box, And Other New Wave Systems

What makes each of these systems unique, and what factors will result in their failure or success?

By: Chris Pereira January 15, 2013

If 2012 was the year of crowdfunding, it's looking more and more as if 2013 will be the year of the nontraditional games console. Apparent one-offs like Ouya attracting $8.5 million on Kickstarter and the notion of a Steam Box have given way to numerous others trying their hand at developing some sort of gaming system. There has been talk in the past of a one console future; whether or not that's where we're ultimately headed, in the short term it seems abundantly clear that there is no lack of interest in being a company that puts hardware in gamers' homes.

For years it's been said that companies like Microsoft and Sony wanted to take over the living room. They've attempted to do this by expanding upon the functionality offered in the boxes they already have in place. As we are quickly approaching the point at which both of those companies will again be competing to sell new pieces of multi-use hardware, we're seeing quite a few other companies line up to get into the living room, but with much more gaming-oriented systems: There's Ouya, the various Steam Boxes, Shield, GameStick, and Razer Edge, to say nothing of lesser-known ones such as eSfere.




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