If you're still on the fence about the Ouya, you can stay there: next year's micro console will almost certainly be better and faster in every possible way. So will the Ouya that comes out in 2015, and the one that comes out in 2016 (assuming it still exists by then).
Speaking at D.I.C.E 2013, Ouya CEO Julie Uhurman said the Android-powered console will be refreshed annually:
"Our strategy is very much similar to the mobile strategy. There will be a new Ouya every year. There will be an Ouya 2 and an Ouya 3. We'll take advantage of faster, better processors, take advantage of prices falling. So if we can get more than 8GB of flash [storage] in our box, we will."
Those who know exactly what the Ouya is won't be shocked at Uhrman's words; after all, the console is powered by mobile-grade components, which get updated all the time. However, the Ouya's annual refresh will be a big change for gamers accustomed to buying new consoles with years inbetween major updates.
To those gamers, Uhrman says "all games will be backward compatible" on future Ouya consoles and will be "tied to you, the gamer" and not the box. That said, games that are designed and optimized for future Ouya consoles with faster processors and more RAM may not run on older Ouya units.
The Ouya is a paradigm shift away from today's big consoles and physical media-based games to a faster-paced, open, and all-digital gaming console in the living room. As Uhrman's said before, the Ouya doesn't have to beat the Xbox or PlayStation, it just needs to find its niche. Still, that doesn't mean early adopters won't feel the sting of an annual refresh cycle, seeing as their soon-to-be new consoles will be outdated in 12 months. New Ouya consoles will be backwards-compatible, but it remains to be seen how long older hardware will be kept up.