The maker of the OUYA android console has assured us that its $100 gaming system is the perfect toy for not only gamers, but also DIY hobbyists.
iFixit recently did a teardown of the OUYA, and have given the console a repair rating of 9 on a scale of 1 to 10. For $100, you can’t expect much from the actual hardware, but as far as modding and tinkering go, the OUYA will serve up a healthy serving of just that.
As far as the main components go, the OUYA sports an NVIDIA Tegra 3 chip, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage (expandable via USB), and Wi-Fi. All of these core components are easily accessible using a Hex and Philips screw driver. The console’s mainboard easily slides out, and the cooling fan comes off just as quick once the four screws are untightened. The heat sink sitting on top of the Tegra chip, however, is really the only obstacle for tinkerers as it is soldered on instead of being clipped on. According to OUYA engineers, the soldered on method was chosen because it provided more stability than simple clipping mechanisms.
The console’s gamepad was, too, taken apart using a Philips as well as some force to unhinge certain parts.
It seems like OUYA is indeed selling exactly what it is advertising. For gamers who believe in the growth of gaming on the Android platform, the cube-like OUYA will deliver using the necessary hardware. For DIY enthusiasts, OUYA can easily be taken apart and dissected. This question remains, however: Will developers be attracted to the OUYA model? Or will OUYA backers and future buyers be stuck with a cube that doesn’t offer much in term of gaming substance?