It is interesting reading the comments around the Internet about the OUYA.
For all you “under a rock dwellers” out there, I will bring you up to current times: The OUYA is a $99 Android based gaming console no bigger than a grapefruit, and is powered by Indie game developers, emulators, and media apps alike. It was made famous last year when it broke the record on Kickstarter for beating it’s goal in 8 hours, and eventually bringing in a total of $8.5 million for development.
Source: Indie Statik
It had it’s retail launch in the US, Canada, and the UK just a few days ago, and did pretty awesome:
By any measure, today’s sales of the Ouya gaming console and controllers have been outstanding. In its first day available to the public, the $99 Android-powered console sold out on Amazon.com and at certain retailers within hours.
How many have they sold? Not sure.
Back to those talkative types…
Either way, the comments around the Internet have been much more interesting lately than sales numbers.
First off, there are numerous Kickstarter backers out there that have yet to receive their prerelease version of the OUYA, and since the OUYA has launched at retail, meaning anyone can go and buy them, these backers are rightfully frustrated.
However, it is important to understand the development costs and timelines for a project like this.
The XBOX 360 and the PS3 would have cost 10 times that of an OUYA to develop, and took years, not months, to design, develop, produce and ship. The OUYA went from drawing board to finish in far less time, with a much smaller budget.
And it is easy to assume they require retail launch sales to continue paying staff and continuing development. Since they have already pushed backed the retail launch almost a month, I am sure they couldn’t wait much longer. With such a short development time, I am sure timelines are super tight for getting these devices out the door to the backers and to retail.
These aren’t excuses for the team, and they do not make up for the quiet approach they are taking. Maybe OUYA could step up to the plate, and be the awesome company everyone hopes they are. As Scott Stratten says: “When shit hits the fan, it’s time to be awesome”.
The OUYA CEO, Julie Uhrman did send this to those backers:
I am pissed. Some of you have not yet received your OUYA — and, to you, I apologize. I did not promise to ship to *most* of you before we hit store shelves. I promised to ship to *all* of you. I’ve been reading your comments, and we are working to solve this.
Inc.com sums it up pretty nicely in this article: Ouya CEO: I’m Not Doing a Victory Lap
XBOX/PS vs OUYA? You’re nuts!
Secondly, to the commenters and journalists that claim the OUYA has a lot of ground to cover to compete with the big guys, you missed the point. An open platform that costs a quarter of the price is not designed to compete with next gen consoles on the big titles, nor does it need to.
The OUYA was designed for indie gamers and indie game developers alike. Their philosophy for the OUYA was the create a console that was super easy and cost effective for anyone to make games and apps for, and start making money, even your neighbours kid that lives in their basement.
It’s time to be awesome!
I think the OUYA is a fantastic idea that has turned out to be a pretty impressive console. It’s tiny in a lot of ways, has lot’s of growing to do, but I believe it can.
Those Kickstarter backers believed once, let’s just hope they can hold out and give the OUYA the fighting chance it needs.