Jason Scott of the Internet Archive has announced that OUYA owners somehow have good news in 2019. Originally the home of such indie hits as Towerfall and Super Indie Karts, the cheap gaming machine barely lasted a year on the market before being acquired by Razer. The ecosystem went down officially in June of this year but some aren’t letting those games die.
Since then, OUYA consoles have been little more than paperweights, with the games that people purchased being reverted to demos due to the shutdown. Archivists had preserved over 1,500 games from the console’s library, but playing the games on the console itself wasn’t a possibility until earlier this week. The nonprofit Archive, which also runs the Internet WayBack Machine and several other preservation efforts, has assisted in the revival of the console’s basic functionality.
For the first time, a digital only console ecosystem has been brought back to life. It only took someone banging their head against it for years and some archive on the internet that could hold the gigabytes of data and serve them to now working OUYAs. https://t.co/dpHKtYowr6
— Jason Scott (@textfiles) November 25, 2019
In a rather detailed report, archivist Christian Weiske detailed the process of writing a new ecosystem for the system that would load the archived games. This includes getting help from former OUYA employees to implement the software and remembering exactly what the original OUYA frontend actually looked like so it could be recreated somewhat accurately.
It’s not perfect, as several of the Ouya’s media servers were already down, leading to games loading without screenshots or video accompaniment. Players also can’t play premium games on the service as of yet, although Christian says that making these games usable is one of the next steps in the process. There’s no mention of whether gamers will be able to recover their lost purchases at any point with this software, but that seems unlikely without some positive intervention from Razer.
The new marketplace software was built in three weeks and went live this past Friday. Players on the OUYA Saviors Discord server are already using it with no complaints, and there are instructions on Christian’s website if you to want to once again utilize the Stradivarius of video game controllers to check out some emulators.