ARM console fails to live up to expectations

Hopes that ARM might be able to push itself into the gaming market have been dashed as the Ouya console failed to live up to its expectations.

Benchmark tests are coming out which reveal that Ouya is not at all up to scratch and there are over 70 other mobile devices that have performed better.

Ouya is shipping only to developers who had signed up and customers who had pre-ordered the gaming console. It is not expected to be sold to the great unwashed until the summer.

However, the benchmarks suggest that even for the comparatively cheap sub $100 price, it is going to be a turkey.

The android based gaming console packs a NvidiaTegra 3 System-on-Chip (SoC) and the quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor is clocked at 1.7GHz. The graphics leans on the Nvidia A GeForce ULP.

But the Tegra 3 is a little slower than Nvidia’s latest efforts, the Tegra 4 and is pretty much a chocolate teapot when it comes to games.

Futuremark’s benchmarking on mobile devices has ranked Ouya at 73rd. This means that smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S II plus and Galaxy Grand performed better. In fact Ouya would have been better off powered by Qualcomm processors with Adreno 320 graphics.

This is all a bit of a pity. Ouya had a few good things going for it. It was the the first totally open video game console and could have allowed a lot of tinkering from its users. Tinkering is widely seen as the way to get the next generation of developers roped into the IT industry and with a $99 price tag it was the sort of gizmo kids could buy.

It would have also moved the console market away from the x86 spec and allowed a greater cross-fertilisation between the ARM based mobile market and other hardware.