With the Ouya shipping out to stores later this month, opinions and expectations are mixed and many would-be Ouya players are standing on the sidelines. On the one hand, many players with early Ouyas have complained about weak performance and a lack of compelling titles. On the other hand, the Ouya’s release date has been pushed back due to higher than expected demand, so stores are obviously betting big on the console. Regardless of the pros and cons, I recently discovered something that could push hesitant players off the fence and straight into the pre-order lines.
I took a look into the list of over 100 launch titles available for Ouya so far, and at first I was quite underwhelmed. Most of the titles appeared to be small indie games with unimpressive graphics – games that I would rather play for free on my PC rather than paying for a console version. However, as I browsed the titles, I discovered a gem that made my mind explode in nerdy bliss, and suddenly I saw a world of new possibilities for the Android-based console. I discovered a range of classic-console emulators, from SNES, to N64, and even Atari 2600, which means the Ouya could eventually be turned into every classic console you’ve ever loved, all in a single box. And since ROMs are free (as long as you own the original game), the Ouya can provide access to virtually any classic console game ever made for a total cost of $99. I’m getting one.
Here are a few classic-console emulators available on Ouya at launch:
I’m more excited about EMUya than any of the others. This emulator will support NES ROMs at launch and will add support for Atari 2600, SNES, and Gameboy soon after. The amazing thing about EMUya is the inclusion of an indie game store directly in the app, allowing indie developers to create games specifically for the architecture of NES, SNES, or Atari 2600 to be played on Ouya consoles.
This SNES emulator boasts the ability to scan ROMs directly from a smartphone, creating a neat visual library of games with original cover art. Super GNES will also feature built in support for Game Genie and Pro Action Replay codes, allowing players to relive the days of typing in those long secret codes. The emulator supports networked multiplayer via WiFi or Bluetooth, and it looks like it might be free (no price is listed on Ouya’s website).
This open-source N64 emulator is an Ouya port of the Android version of Mupen64Plus. It’s free and lightweight, and the fact that its open source means its likely to be extended and enhanced over time. Call me crazy, but I’m most looking forward to replaying the first three Turok titles for N64.
Snes9x EX Plus
Snes9x is one of the most popular SNES emulators available for PC, and its the one that I’ve logged the most hours in. Snes9x EX Plus is an open-source project based off of Snes9x, and the Ouya listing claims nearly 100% game compatibility. If this open-source port is anything like it’s namesake, it could emerge as the most popular emulator for Ouya.