OUYA Signs Deal with Alibaba, Moves into China

Rumor has it that the Chinese conglomerate has just invested $10 million so that its games library moves to the Alibaba’s set-top box.

While the investments hasn’t been confirmed (nor denied) by OUYA, the California-based console maker admitted that its game library will be available on Alibaba’s YunOS platform. In case you’re not familiar with the name, you should know that it is a modified version of Android that is (paradoxically, if I may say so) meant to compete against Google’s mobile OS in China. While at a later point OUYA’s patents will prove useful in Chinese smartphones, for the time being, it will be available on the Tmall set-top box.

OUYA’s streaming service is what must have caught Alibaba’s attention, since the game console is cited as capable to handle such titles as soccer game Winning Eleven 2014 and fighting game Street Fighter 4. Other than that, it seems like Alibaba is not interested in OUYA’s controller, and will provide its own for the set-top box.

“Markets, like China, without the baggage of the US console market, could be the game console leaders in ten years. That’s where OUYA wants to be,” mentioned OUYA CEO Julie Uhrman, thus emphasizing that the US market has its own importance. OUYA will continue to exist in the US, despite its ups and downs. The 2012 crowdfunding campaign proved a major success, having raised more than 9 times the funding goal, but things took a turn for the worse when the company failed to deliver the consoles to its backers on time. The next year wasn’t that bad for OUYA, as it was sold out on Amazon. In 2014, the company released the second version of the console with slightly better specs and a higher (and some think unjustified) price. Now it seems that OUYA is sailing to new shores, and that can only be good for the company.

This new move won’t really affect people outside of China, or not just yet. Knowing the huge number of potential customers in this country, the other console manufacturers should be scared. I’m not sure if YunOS has a great future ahead, though, but Android consoles will certainly become a thing in the not so distant future. OUYA was only the beginning of it all.

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