Ouya: Day 0 – The Waiting Game

The Ouya Dream

After all of the opinions, the delays and the drama surrounding the Ouya I finally received mine, rather than just do an unboxing or a review I thought I would keep a Journal of my experiences with this little console. So consider this an extended, multi-part review where I’ll dig into everything about the Ouya “experience” starting with the kickstarter. This is “Day 0”

I first heard about Ouya from a co-worker of mine who is an Android fanatic, after checking out the kickstarter I loved the concept of the console and what they were trying to do and I happily became a backer. In my college years I was big into console modifications, everything from homebrew software to case mods and custom controllers. Now that I have a steady income I’ve turned to more expensive projects (modifying cars and restoring arcade machines) but I liked the idea that they were building a console that fully embraced those who liked to tinker; be it someone who wanted to write their own games, or someone who wanted to modify the hardware.

I became a day 1 backer. A few days later they added the option for a Limited Edition console. As game collector I couldn’t resist this so I increased my backer amount and changed my reward to the new Limited Edition console with a little extra so that I would have 4 limited edition controllers as well. I thought “this will be great, I’ll be able to get this Limited Edition console before the retail release and do an unboxing or review for CE.o” …then the waiting began.

Like most backers I received regular update emails on production progress and the general goings on, I came across lots of opinion pieces on the console. though for the most part I didn’t really pay attention or think about the console all that much, I would get it when I get it. It wasn’t until I realize that we were already past the original anticipated ship date of late March that I started wondering where the console was… The Dev kits had gone out and I heard rumblings about dev-kit controller fit and finish issues and lag that they were going to work out for the final versions.

Time went on and an official retail launch date of Early June was announced with the promise that backers would get their units at least a month prior to the retail launch… eventually the retail launch was pushed back to June 25th with the backers being promised their console “before” the retail release. Surprisingly at the end of May the Ouya team sent out a email to backers announcing that all consoles had been shipped and to expect it to arrive on doorsteps within 2 weeks time. This sounded great to me then two weeks passed, then 2 more and most people still hadn’t received their consoles. My co-worker received his Ouya, a Limited Edition with an extra controller, despite having ordered his several weeks after I became a backer. Eventually June 25th came and went and I still hadn’t received my console. I didn’t even receive a ship notification until the end of June, and it told me that I would received my console on July 12th at the latest. I figured the silver lining to all of this is that many of the bugs with the early version of the console would be resolved by the time I got mine. I had already heard reports of many of the early complaints having been fixed. I was still frustrated with the situation though.

I was frustrated for a number of reasons, I was a day one backer and I was arguably one of the last people to receive a console. I put $230 worth of support behind the console, more than double the typical support and I was receiving my console after people who only backed the bare minimum. I really wanted to show off the console here on CollectorsEdition.org before the retail release. It also really bothered me that I was genuinely excited to receive and start using my Ouya and yet there were many many people who were hocking them on eBay or outright trashing the console, and these people had their orders prioritized before mine. I’m a pretty easy going guy so I just chalked it up to the mismanagement and growing pains of a new company, it’s not like Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft never screw up, in-fact, when they do, it’s usually much worse than a delay. However, my mild disappointment had turned to genuine aggravation with the Ouya team when on June 25th they released the “I’m pissed” email to kickstarter backers. It’s important to note that this email went out just after an email celebrating the retail release and thanking backers for helping get Ouya into stores, those same backers who hadn’t yet received their own consoles.

My problem with the “I’m Pissed” email was multifaceted. First of all the celebratory retail release email made all of the backers who hadn’t yet received their Ouya feel like total chumps; suckers who basically made a loan to a company who didn’t make good on their end of the deal, and then rubbed that fact right in your face. The proximity of the “I’m Pissed” email made it pretty clear that the Ouya team was completely ignoring the delivery delay complaints from backers that had been pouring in for weeks. It was as if they just woke up from a dream only to realize they’d been sleep walking and causing havoc the whole time. What really “pissed” me of was that they didn’t even take responsibility for there mistake. I would have been fine had they simply said “we’re really sorry, we screwed up” but instead they laid the blame completely on their distributor and shunted any responsibility of their own. They also promised that they would “make it up” to us. Heck the actual title of the email was “gonna fix this”, but they never said how they planed to make amens, nor have I seen or heard anything about this since. The Ouya team chose the distributor, it was the Ouya team’s responsibility to instruct the distributor on how to prioritize shipments, and the Ouya team’s responsibility to ensure that the distributor was doing their job properly.  It’s the equivalent of a corporation screwing up and then blaming one of their employees instead of taking ownership of the issue. Even if the distributor was at fault, the blame still lies with the Ouya team because the distributor works for them.

For the next few weeks I watched reviews and unboxings pour in all over the place, I also heard lots and lots of negative nerd rage about the console from the gaming public, most professional reviews had a luke warm reaction claiming the console showed promise but still needed work. Most frustrating to me was that fewer and fewer other other people were still waiting; it began to feel like I was the very last backer to receive a console.

On July 10th I finally received my console, exactly 1 year to the day from when I became a backer, and more than 3 weeks AFTER the retail release. We’d been having crazy amounts of rain in my area lately and this day was no exception. Walking out of my work to my car that evening all of my clothes were completely soaked through, it was as if I had stepped into the shower fully clothed for a few minutes. When I arrived home I found the box waiting for me on my front porch.. soaking wet

Continue to Day 1 – The Unboxing Experience.



  1. comaamen86:
    good read waiting on your impressions on the games and how good it actually runs

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