Do you remember hearing about the OUYA last year when it became a Kickstarter darling? It's a $99 home console that plays games for the Android mobile OS. On paper, it's not a bad idea. In practice, it's getting some less than stellar reviews. I'm not here today to bury the OUYA though. I'm here to marvel at the new company's boldness in advertising the OUYA console using a screenshot of Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. as an example of one of the classic games the hardware can emulate given the right software. Check out this tweet from the official OUYA account, @playouya (the linked image has since been deleted, but my pal Joey Davidson at TechnoBuffalo snagged it earlier):
OUYA isn't the first legitimate console to run emulators, but it may be the first to proudly wear its copyright infringement applications on its sleeve. The company has maintained over the past few months that it's not responsible for what developers create and users run for OUYA, but I think it can be held responsible for advertising that Super Mario Bros. is playable on the console in this manner. This reminds me of when I'd go to the mall in the late 1990s and early 2000s and see those little kiosks manned by slimy people hawking a game controller with a basic NES-on-a-chip inside preloaded with dozens of pirated or hacked versions of Super Mario Bros., Mega Man, Contra, Castlevania, Adventure Island, and other games that clearly were not properly licensed from the property owners. I thought OUYA was supposed to be better than that. I used to report those kiosk vendors to Nintendo's copyright enforcers with the hope that the company would bring the legal hammer down. I find myself starting to wish the same thing on OUYA if the company is going to blatantly rip off competing properties for their own commercial uses, but if this was just an oversight that comes with retweeting content, then I hope they'll be more careful next time.