After a few months of speculation, Razer has stepped in to purchase Ouya. The crowd-funded game console is now under the peripheral company's wing and Razer will continue to use the Ouya brand name while also appropriating the necessary tech into their own Android TV line of products.
Eurogamer did an extensive write-up on the acquisition, explaining how Ouya will still exist as a brand – since apparently it carries some kind of market weight, I just don't know where exactly – but a lot of the technology that powers the Android console will also be used in Razer's own Forge TV. The idea is that Razer will create its own home entertainment ecosystem centered around indie and AAA games running on Android technology. According to co-founder and CEO of Razer, Min-Liang Tan, the acquisition will help Razer grow their software library reach while also giving them access to more living room Android technology...
Razer has a long-term vision for Android TV and Android-based TV consoles, such as the Xiaomi Mi Box and Alibaba Tmall Box, to which Ouya already publishes, […] Ouya's work with game developers, both triple A and indies, went a long way in bringing Android games to the living room and Razer intends to further that work. This acquisition is envisaged to usher more developers and content to the Android TV platform.
Unlike a lot of other acquisitions out there, Razer has opted to keep the Ouya staff. They will continue to work at the company while Razer works out the logistics and advancements of their now intertwined company endeavors.
The whole move isn't too shocking given that Razer has long sought to get into the home console game in some capacity. Then again so has Nvidia. Both companies have been attempting to leverage the popularity of mobile gaming as a way to reach the mass casual audiences. In Nvidia's case they've been attempting to use the Shield as a way to raise interest in hardcore PC gaming amongst mobile gamers. In the case of Razer, they're attempting to us the large mobile base and the home console base to take up interest in Android TV technology.
So far, the Android TV endeavors have not been successful when it comes to gaming.
There are things like the Chrome TV and the Amazon Fire TV, but most hardcore gamers want a powerful unit to play the latest and greatest games. Even if gamers might like playing sprite-based, pixel titles every once in a while, there are times when the urge to play something grand like Crysis, The Last of Us or Star Citizen becomes an urge that cannot be resisted, and for those aforementioned titles an Android TV console is not powerful enough to run those games.
Nevertheless, Brian Fargo from inXile Entertainment has faith in Razer's foresight for the Android TV market, stating...
When it comes to gamers, Min clearly knows what he is doing, […] I'm certain that he has clever ideas on how to make his many initiatives with Forge TV fit well with all the titles and hard work that Ouya put in.
The Ouya will continue to function as a brand, but expect to see more of Razer's Forge TV making frequent appearances with more software support moving forward.