Ouya Delayed to End of June, Snatches $1

May 13 [Mon], 2013, 20:40
The most visible of the Android-based micro-consoles with the name that sounds like what Kool-Aid man says when hes busting through painted styrofoam walls will delay its $100 Ouya game cube until the end of June: specifically June 25 about two weeks after E3 wraps.

The reason for the delay? The company doesnt say in a press release thats mostly about other stuff, burying the revised launch date at the end (the system was originally due out June 4), but Joystiqwith Ouya honcho Julie Uhrman, who explains the sudden pushback:

Weve had incredibly positive reactions from our retail partners, and so in order to meet their greater than expected demand, we decided to shift the launch date by a couple of weeks three weeks which will allow us to create more units and, basically, have more units on store shelves in June.

You know all the worry about the controller feeling cheap? Complaints about some of the buttons sticking under the top plate when hammered? It sounds like Ouyas already addressed this (well, the button-sticking part anyway): Uhrman says the companys made the holes for the face buttons a trifle larger to rectify the problem.We made that change very early so all the units are being produced with those larger button holes, says Uhrman. The revised controllers are already shipping to Kickstarter backers.

As , the new launch date pits Ouya squarely against GameStick, a flash drive-sized, Android-based game console designed to plug directly into Smart TVs (or to a standard TV through an HDMI dock). GameStick has a launch date of June 10, but the companys said the first units wont be in the hands of those who preordered it until the final week of June.

But what Ouyareally wants everyone to know, is that it just secured $15 million in new funding led by Silicon Valley-based venture capital firmKleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, with participation fromMayfield Fund, NVIDIA, Shasta Ventures and Occam Partners. If KPCB rings some distant game history bells, it may be because its the company EAChief Creative Officer Bing Gordon joined upon leaving Electronic Arts in 2008. Gordon originally signed up with EA in 1982 (just a few months after its inception), devoting over a quarter century to the game giant Trip Hawkins started. As part of the Ouya funding deal, Gordon will join Ouyasboard of directors alongside Uhrman as well as Roy Bahat, chairman of the board (Gordon also serves on the board of directors at , Klout, Lockerz, MEVIO, Zazzle and Zynga).

Ouya , with over 63,000 Kickstarter backers throwing in to propel the conceptual console well beyond its stated $950,000 goal. Preliminary reviews of initial beta systems dispatched to backers in late March , spawning a handful of apologias. No, Kickstarter projects arent by necessity grab something and hang on! beta pilgrimages Nataly Dawnssounds like something that cost a lot more than $100k to produce, and for my money, games column(also ) is absolutely peerless but yes, its true, mass-manufactured technology with ergonomic variables and questionable launch software lineups rarely arrive blemish-free.

In any event, Ouyas real challenge isnt pricing ($100 is plenty cheap) or patching up gamepad glitches (already well in hand) or whether this button should have been here or there, its about what this things going to let you do when you power it on. No one cares about the aesthetics (its a grayish plastic cube, so what), and you have to try pretty hard at this point to screw up a gamepad with conventional face buttons, thumbsticks and triggers. But if Ouya launches with a stable of been-there-played-that games, wellwill gamers leap in for the fiddly emulators and tiny handful of media services, all for the elusive promise of better to come? Thats the $8.6 million dollar question.



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