Following on from the Ouya launch last week a number of issues have now came to light and the Ouya Team has tried to respond to them. The two main issues are the lack of consoles being shipped (always seems to be the case with console launches) and the more concerning issues regarding the controllers. There is also some concern about how so many journalists seem to have received their Ouyas before anyone else. This journalist has not.
It appears that there has only be around 250 consoles shipped to Kickstarter backers based on several comments in various forums where backers have posted indicating they have or have not received their tracking emails and have posted their backer number. The Ouya Team has already indicated that they are shipping consoles out in order of backer number. The reason for the delay is being blamed on holidays for Easter and for the Qingming Festival. This boils down to either a PR stunt going wrong, timing the launch for the Game Developers Conference, or just bad planning. Regardless, there is some grumbling in the community due to this and adding to that is the new Kickstarter update which states:
The rollout will be as follows: We are starting with the standard OUYA unit (grey console+controller), then working on the Kickstarter exclusive units and units with more than one controller.”
What does this mean for backers? The more you backed the longer the wait. Pay more = Wait Longer. I have backed the bog standard model no extras so hopefully I will receive my Ouya soon but I think its wrong that the exclusive units and backers who asked for extra controllers are being put back to the end of the queue. This is adding to the bad PR that the Ouya Team is generating.
Even though the Ouya has shipped in low numbers, a number of gaming and tech websites have received their Ouya consoles and have started doing reviews. These reviews have been very mixed and in many cases scathing. From these reviews the controller comes in for some criticism. Firstly the controllers faceplates have issues and this has been noted by the Ouya Team in their latest blog quote below.
We will continue to obsess over quality and performance. For example, we are considering adding additional magnets to the controllers so that the faceplates are more secure–no more falling off during shipments!“
What isn’t clear is if backers will get the controllers with the extra magnets or will they be offered for retail release only? The second big issue with the controller is that of dead zones on the analogue stick which isn’t a huge issue for many but again it is not what the Ouya Team would like to hear. Lastly there seems to be an issue with lag on the wireless controller however this may be related to downloading games in the back-round. Time will tell.
Regarding the reviews of the Ouya, which are getting a lot of stick, they are subjective and up to the reviewer. Most reviews are stating the Ouya has promise but at the moment it is not ready and it needs a number of issues addressed. Whether you count this as a full launch or a soft launch – it is still a launch. Ultimately, however, the decision to start shipping the Ouya was the Ouya Team’s and theirs alone so in my eyes, the currently shipping version of the Ouya is fair game for review. The community reaction to these reviews has not been great but raises the question: Following on from the glaring issues with Aliens: Colonial Marines do you want reviewers to give their honest opinions or just say it has promise and ignore the issues?
We have asked the Ouya Team for comment and have not received any as of yet.