it's still just an android that attaches to a tv (and offers no advantage over attaching your actual android to your tv and plugging in a joystick)
- A Nexus 7 costs $250. An Ouya will cost $99 + maybe $30-$90 for extra controllers - which you'd have to get anyway for console-style gaming on a tablet, plus having to deal with a driver app on quasi-standard hardware. The Ouya is the more accessible option here for all but the most hardcore of consumers.
- There's no 3G data plan nonsense to deal with, as with most Android devices. You buy the device, you hook it up, that's it. It's $99 once, not $99 per month. Big difference in total cost of ownership.
it'll likely have at least as high a rate of piracy as the android does,
on traditional consoles, they have to worry about used game sales, which arguably has the same effect as piracy (developer doesn't get paid). give players a reason not to pirate your game, or at least give you money somehow if they happen to like it.
also piracy is at least as much of a problem on PC as it is on any other type of device.
it requires in-game microtransactions rather than traditional sales
that's not true. there has to be a freely playable version of the game, but nothing says it has to be entirely F2P. you could release a free demo and charge for the full version, as with shareware, which has been around for ages as a business model for indies.
you have to buy a new one every year (especially if you want to test your game on all of them different versions of ouya), etc.
the same problem exists with all smartphone development, and it's mostly mitigated by the hardware not making too revolutionary of leaps within a single generation. also, using an engine (i.e. unity) will effectively outsource this problem, and you only really need to deal with changes in screen size standards, which occur far less often in TVs than in mobile devices.
While I doubt that it will be all flowers and sing-a-longs in developing for the Ouya, I also don't think it's completely hopeless, either. It stands to expand the market for console gaming by launching at a lower price point than any console has ever done (except maybe the original game boy, if you dont adjust for inflation?) and being designed straight-out with digital distribution as the primary way of buying games. It also eliminates the long-running assumption that only top-flight, well-funded studios are able to make quality console games and should thus be the only ones given top-priority access to the market.
What remains to be seen are, as you say, actual hardware sales numbers, workable price points for the games themselves, actual effect of piracy on sales vs other mitigating factors, and how much of a practical requirement F2P becomes relative to the other consoles on the market.
As a primary platform, sure, I'm still a little skeptical at this point, but I don't have to look at it that way. I can take my Android games, rework them a little bit to work with a d-pad and buttons instead of a touchscreen, and bam - Ouya game. (ok maybe there's a couple of other steps involved but you get the idea).
Sure, it might not even succeed, but at $99 for a *dev kit* and hardly any extra costs to port if you're already making games for Android, I see very little reason why it would be not worth at least trying.
And yeah, if I could make $50k off a single game, and do a few of those in a year, I'd be making bank.