Video Games

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A Chinese games console rips off the PS4 and Xbox One

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If recent images from China are to be believed, it would appear that after more than a decade of back-biting, exclusivity battles, failed motion control experiments (Playstation Move anyone?) and fanboy wars, that Xbox and Playstation have finally joined forces to create the ultimate gaming platform. This is a console that brings together the sleek, angular designs of the PS4 with the perfectly ergonomic controller designs of the Xbox One, and it's called. “Ouye.”

The Ouye is a Chinese Android console that bears some striking similarities to Sony and Microsoft's current generation consoles

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If that name sounds familiar, it's because it's almost identical to the open-source “Ouya” Android console released in 2013 to little fanfare and much public scrutiny. The new console is also (of course) not tied in any way to either Sony or Microsoft. In fact it's actually little more than a dodgy knock-off that appears to be running an outdated, modified version of Android, so on a technical level at least, it shares far more in common than its semi name-sake than its dopplegangers. On a purely aesthetic level, however, the similarities to Sony and Microsoft's current generation consoles are not only obvious, they're actually quite funny. The actual shell of the console is effectively a PS4, right down to the colouring and the razor-sharp edges. The design also borrows the top grill from the Xbox One, and the controller appears to be a complete copy of the Microsoft console's famously ergonomic pad, albeit with shoddier build quality and a few more buttons.

You can bag yourself an Ouye (and controller) for a shade under £45 via the Chinese crowd funding site JD

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If you're the kind of person who takes genuine glee in baffling your friends, you can bag yourself an Ouye (and controller) for a shade under £45 via the Chinese crowd funding site JD, which lists the funding target at around £10,000. Though it's unclear whether or not Sony and Microsoft will attempt to combat the Ouye's aggressive plagiarism, so it might be wise to leave it a few weeks and see what happens, especially if the planned international Kickstarter ever gets off the ground. In terms of tech specs, the machine is built around an eight core A80 system, with 16GB eMMC storage. Observant backers may notice a lack of disc drive, so don't expect this to take centre stage in your home cinema set-up. But while Blu-ray playback is apparently ruled out, the Ouye does have some multimedia aspirations, with support for regional content streaming services. Rather laughably, the company has said it took them 1 year and 3 months to get the product ready to ship and they spent “6 months on the unique design.” Wow.

China only recently lifted a 13-year ban on video game consoles, but all imported games and consoles must be vetted by the Chinese cultural department

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Something like this was bound to happen of course, given that China only recently lifted a 13-year ban on video game consoles. As such, many Chinese consumers who are completely new to the world of console gaming could be easily fooled into thinking the Ouye is a legitimate system. The ban was only lifted in July too, and came with one glaring caveat; that all imported games and consoles must be vetted by the Chinese cultural department before they are legally allowed to be sold in the country. Considering the notoriously harsh standards enforced by the country (Facebook is technically illegal in China!) it's unlikely that Microsoft and Sony will be making a significant dent in the market any time soon. So I guess in that case, the Ouye could be a genuine success. And how depressing would that be!?

Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer, struggling musician and lifelong gamer from Kidderminster in the UK who has an Xbox One and a PS4 because he has no social life.

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