Product design is inextricably linked to our experiences… or should be. A product takes on a whole new life when it helps others, provides an experience, becomes the glue holding a conversation together or even when it causes shockwaves of panic in the minds of elites throughout an industry. Saying that fuseproject, the San Francisco based Design firm founded by Yves Béhar, does all of this may seem an overstatement, but their designs, time and time again, shatter the framework of typical product design and the process that goes along with it. One of their latest stories fights its way through a horde of zombies, protects the villagers the and saves the princess all at once. OUYA is a game console–a new, open game console based on Android–that’s more than a product. It’s a destination that’s completely upending gaming as we know it. Throughout the process, fuseproject used KeyShot to create the visuals that would both introduce the console to the world and keep the collaboration tight between the OUYA and fuseproject development teams.
OUYA founder Julie Uhrman came to Yves Béhar in April of 2012 to discuss working with them on the new console design. From the discussion, a partnership between the companies was formed, the two working closely together to bring more than just a gaming system to a saturated market. To create an open gaming system, the design itself needed to have the aspects of being both elegant and open. From fuseproject, “[OUYA] wanted a beautiful user experience, a great controller and console that are cohesive and easy to use. It’s just the kind of support and passion that propels us to make OUYA the next big thing in gaming.”
OUYA started out as a Kickstarter project breaking the 2 million funding mark in 24 hours. If you were part of the initial buzz surrounding the new console, you knew it was a product that would completely disrupt the entire gaming scene, be it console, mobile or desktop. Besides the $99 price point, the open development platform and all games being free, it’s housed in a beautiful brushed metal exterior you’re more likely to sit on top of the TV cabinet rather than tucking behind the cabinet door.
It’s a console created for those who enjoy casual gaming, but also for the hardcore gaming enthusiasts who likes to extend their experience. The design of the console takes every aspect of this into account. The open focus of the project applies to the console itself as much as to the games. At the 2:00 mark in this video from OUYA, you’ll see how OUYA was ‘made to be opened’ for hardware hackers to push even further. Using KeyShot, the fuseproject team delivered visuals that helped launch the project and illustrate the minimal design, the unique finish and simple assembly of the console, proving that the challenge of designing a new, industry-changing game console can be done.