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Remember just a few weeks ago, when China announced that gamers in the country could now buy their own Xbox One or PlayStation 4, after a national ban on the sale and distribution of consoles imposed back in 2000 was finally lifted? Well, the legal status of said machines hasn't stopped the perhaps not-so-bright sparks behind the new Chinese games system OUYE from offering their fellow citizens a fantastically brazen rip-off that not only "borrows" the PS4's shape, but is quite clearly "influenced" by the Xbox One in the controller department.
I mean, just look at it, up there, in all its glory. Drink it in and sweat it out. Incredible. Pass a poster for this, on the high street, and you'd be forgiven for thinking it's a PS4. I mean, it's not quite all there – but the shape, the slant, the angles, everything from a first-glance perspective checks out. But then there's the pad – so much like the Xbox One's that you have to really zoom in to notice that there's a bunch of extra buttons on there, around the "proper" controller's central "X" button. What do they do? We will likely never, ever know. There are differences then, but come on: this is surely the most wholeheartedly shameless that one of these dodgy products has ever been.
OUYE is currently being Kickstarted – find it here. Now, not being able to read a word of Chinese, I'm turning to Kotaku for information on what makes this box of tricks tick, as it's through them that it came to my attention this morning. Over to the site's Luke Plunkett:
"It's a hunk of copyright-infringing plastic that, judging from the games on show (and the price, seeing as you can pick one up for around £65), looks like it's running on some modified version of Android. We've seen some ballsy knock-offs coming out of China over the years, but this one's balls are particularly brassy."
The same Kotaku article features a few translations by reader "ZhugeEX" from the OUYE's Kickstarter campaign. Regarding its specs, the machine is said to be slightly more powerful than the recently canned OUYA console, which also ran on Android. Its makers, based in Shenzhen, took 15 months coming up with the OUYE's design, which is just... just... I can't even. (Do we still use "I can't even"? Is that okay?)
While we're here, and before the OUYE disappears completely under a mountain of cease-and-desist paperwork, or simply isn't backed enough (come on, people), let's take a quick look at some other fantastic Chinese "tributes" to games consoles past.
The PolyStation! (via)
The PopStation Portable! (via)
And my personal favourite, the WiWi! (via)
Tweet us your own choice knock-offs, if you like, to either address below. There have been millions*. (*Quite a lot, at least.)
While you might conclude that the OUYE is just another entry in this long line of awful consoles to come out of China, I can't help thinking, as it's the one-year anniversary of a Very Unfortunate Gaming Event, that it's some sort of meta commentary on how we, as a diverse group of games-loving people ultimately joined by our passion for a medium that can only grow during our generation, really can work out our differences, if we try. I mean, look: here's the two biggest current-gen consoles, smashed together into a single, functioning (I assume) unit, learning to get along in harmony. Or, just maybe, I'm overthinking this. I should probably have breakfast.