My Love-Hate Relationship with OUYA

You’ve probably heard this a million times, so I’m going to wash over the common complaints.  Mostly.

So I was one of the people to Kickstart the OUYA: I paid $245 for a Kickstarter Exclusive unit and two controllers with engravings on them, estimated to be shipped in March 2013.  I would’ve liked to have paid more for the developer pre-release, but I couldn’t afford it.  As it turns out, had I done that I would’ve actually received mine much earlier.

The Hate

So OUYA began shipping late March, which is fine, I know how hard it is to predict things that far in advance within the games industry.  However, my unit didn’t ship until the last ten percent because I asked for the Kickstarter Exclusive with additional controller.  My unit shipped out on the June 2nd, which is where it all fell apart.

Being in my final year at University, and staying at run-down student house which is a rant for another time, I had to move out in June.  So I attempted to change my delivery address, but OUYA wouldn’t do it.  So I got in contact with DHL, they said “no problem”.  Several weeks later they deliver it to the old address.  I ask DHL to re-deliver to the new address, they said “no problem”.  Two weeks later I asked them where my parcel was, and they said “tracking number not recognised.”  So I rang them up and the nice man on the phone said “…yeah, so, our tracking numbers are always ten digits long.  This is thirteen.”  Fantastic.

Now this had already happened to a bunch of other people for various reasons, so by the time I got in contact with OUYA they already had systems in place.  Within about two weeks they sent me a new OUYA, but it was a standard unit with just the one controller.  This was annoying, but at least I had my OUYA.  After a little back and forth I discovered they were waiting on new Kickstarter Exclusive units and would ship that, along with my new engraved controllers, when they can.  They have yet to tell me an estimated date, but at least they should be coming at some point.

To Be Fair

Now this wasn’t entirely OUYAs fault, it was partly mine for not telling them my new address before they shipped and it was partly whoever messed up delivery – be it DHL or OUYA for losing it.  Fault or not, they still sent me a console in the end and have promised another one with my additional controllers.  Furthermore, as an apology to all their backers they gave us all 1337 cent ($13.37) in credit to say sorry.  This is also a subtle way to encourage the +70% of people who’ve not purchased a game on the OUYA.

However

Great as all that is, it’s the things leading up the its released combined with all the above which really annoyed me.

Bing Gordon, ex CEO of EA, for a new director?  Because EA are known for loving Indies.

Crashing E3?  I can understand the point, but it sets a bad precedence for everyone else – should we expect to see more Indies camping outside E3 as a mass gatecrash?  I know it’s annoying to see all the attention that Triple A titles get in comparison to Indies, but at the same time it’s the same sort of attention you want as an Indie.  From my understanding it’s more about the publishers anyway.

$15 million in industry funding?  Well, that had to happen really, otherwise OUYA would have no future as they can’t survive on crowd funding forever.  It just ticked me off though, with everyone annoyed at them already about not receiving their consoles and everything I just felt a bit used.  I’d not even received my console yet and you’ve already got twice as much funding than you ever got from your fans?  It’s not fair to OUYA, but it did annoy me.

The Love

Having had my console for not very long I’ve already played a bunch of games on there and almost all I’ve picked up have been fairly decent.  First thing I did with my free $13.37 credit was buy Canabalt, because it looked awesome at GameCity last year.  After that I’ve just been picking up games that I’ve enjoyed the demos of.  Legends of Yore has been fun, the two Terry Cavanaugh ports were fun as well.

It’s a nice console, at the end of the day, cheap and fairly easy to use.  The OS needs some love, but it’s the games that make it what it is.  It’s made me want to step up my deadline for porting Space Salvager, but given it’s currently running at about 4GHz in debug I’m not sure it’s efficient enough for the OUYA yet.  I do recommend the OUYA, the controllers are pricey, but otherwise it’s a decent device.

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