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Ouya UI Gets A Face Lift With Latest Firmware

Ouya LogoI have had my Ouya for nearly two weeks now. I wrote up my first thoughts on the console over at our sister site Divine Knight Gaming last week. While I love the console in general, the UI had left some to be desired. Browsing for games was a pain and installing games required popups and elements of the default Android OS. Additionally, downloading and installing games was a two part process, meaning you had to initiate the download and then later initiate the install.

How excited was I when Ouya announced the latest firmware update and how it made a number of changes to the UI and user experience. The biggest update, at least in my opinion, is the single click download and install. Games will now automatically install. That is a huge improvement in the user experience. Other updates include a completely redesigned Discover section. Previously, it was a series of text menus and games didn’t show until you selected a specific category. Now we have a list of categories, such as Popular and New, that include the games for that category directly under it. A very nice change.

I do have one complaint about the latest updates, not with the firmware but with the changes to the Ouya Development Kit. The latest update allows for developer controlled region restrictions. While the Ouya itself is region free, developers now have the ability to select regions to not allow their games to be sold in. I don’t think that region restrictions are a good thing for gamers and the industry as a whole. It would be better for Ouya owners to not have them at all.

Overall a great update to a great console. And with that, I plan on posting a series of reviews of games available on the Ouya. I will be writing the first ones over the coming week. Look forward to them.

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