At a parking lot across the street from the E3 convention Wednesday, the Entertainment Software Association (the folks who now put on the E3 show) effectively shut down a non-E3 booth set up by open-source console maker Ouya. Police were called in. They checked Ouya’s paper work and after it was determined that Ouya had all their permits in order, the officers drove off on their Segway-esque scooters, but not before posing with one of Ouya’s personnel.
This pavement pounding brouhaha began when Ouya decided to not be an official E3 exhibitor. Instead they rented outdoor space across the street (which we covered here) hoping to attract and interact with folks who strolled by their space on the way to, or from, the Los Angeles Convention Center where the annual show is held. Why would they do such a thing? Think pilot fish, or egret (the bird that lives on top of a rhinoceros)– low risk resource accumulation. It seems that the ESA did not care for this tactic, so in response they rented additional outdoor space directly in front of Ouya’s parking lot booth. The ESA then filled this space with a large semi-truck trailer, physically blocking any view a passerby would have of the Ouya digs. Ouya founder and CEO Julie Uhrman countered the ESA by placing an Ouya banner on the trailer.
Ouya is a crowdfunded, open-source, Android-powered low-cost alternative to a living room gaming console (Playstation, XBox, Wii). It allows any game maker to publish a console game as an Android app. The question then might be “Why play phone games on the big TV?”
The Ouya is not the only open source console soon to be available: 3rd party peripheral company MadCatz recently unveiled it’s Project MOJO. According to International Business Times, the MOJO will be directly interfaced with Amazon app and Google app stores. Finding shelf space in one’s personal gaming set up may be difficult. Should the Ouya go next to the Jaguar, or the Phillips CD-i? Could the MOJO be placed on top of the Dreamcast? Will the path to the Ouya booth be clear to the convention attending public for the rest of the show? Morpheus said it best: Answers are coming.