My "company" received the developers' OUYA yesterday. If you don't know about OUYA, you'll easily find a lot of articles about that console. If you read them, please, keep in mind that Minecraft is the most played game on the xbox 360.
So, after realizing our game looked bad after looking at Hawken, we plugged the OUYA to the TV and started goofing around.
After a nice, encouraging message, we got to the UI. It's not finished, they are still working on it, but it's promising !
Anyways, I'm not here to really talk about OUYA, more to talk about the unique experience I'm having with it.
A big difference between indies and professional developers is the platform.
Except with XNA on XBLAI, it's hard for an indie developer to make a game for console. It's way easier to publish on PC with sites like Desura or Steam, or on smartphones, because there, people are used to go on the internet to get their games. (How many people have I seen that never even looked at the fabulous games on XBLA ? I bought my xbox only for this !)
Android publishing costs 25 $ (if you decide to publish on the play store) and for the iPhone, it's around 99 bucks per year (I'm not sure about that, never got to the end of publishing an iPhone game, and they make sure you don't really know how much you're about to spend).
So, like a lot of indie developer, I had only a few ideas about "what a dev console is like".
And boy, even if I knew what was coming, having a console without any games available feels really weird ! An empty UI, an USB cable to plug into your computer, the console sitting right next to you, controlled by the PC.
That's a hundred mile away from buying a console with some games with it. You almost don't care what the UI looks like, or if you plugged everything right.
"It works ? Let's play some games!" feels so different than "It works ? Yes ? You're sure ? I don't... it's... yes, it... well, let's make a test game to try it."
but I like both.