Gamestick and Ouya are Kickstarter darlings. Both received positive press in their early days thanks to indie excitement and Ouya’s starry-eyed optimism about its ability to change the game industry. These consoles were idealized as safe havens for indie game developers, a place where everyone would have a chance and truly revolutionary titles could see massive success.
In truth, that vision hasn’t panned out. All the talk about catering to developers lost sight of the fact that a bad console won’t attract players, and developers can’t sell games on a console few people play. And unfortunately, both the Gamestick and Ouya are bad consoles.
What’s the issue? Everything. Neither offers a comfortable controller. Neither has enough power to render 3D games in the detail gamers demand. Neither has a particularly good storefront or interface. And neither has a significant library of great games to play.
If you’re looking for a console and don’t have much to spend, Nintendo’s Wii Mini with Mario Kart now sells for $99.99 in North America and Europe. Better controls, better games and a better digital store make it a superior choice.