Ouya Says The Initial Product Batch Wasn't Meant For Critical Review

6 April 2013

GamesIndustry International:

The Ouya began shipping to early backers of its Kickstarter campaign late last month, and this week some unflattering reviews of the hardware appeared on tech sites like The Verge and Engadget. Those sites suggested that the system wasn’t ready for release, and in a statement to GamesIndustry International earlier today, Ouya suggested it wasn’t ready for review, either.

The representative called this a “preview period” for early supporters to get a first look at the hardware, and said the company hadn’t shipped any units to the press yet with the intention of them being reviewed.

The Verge gave the Ouya 3.5 out of 10. In two months of further development time, even if it improves so much that its final score was doubled, the product would still be considered mediocre.

Also, I can’t shake the feeling that the “better soon” statement is a hollow statement. I don’t think the problems with the Ouya can be solved with a bit of additional engineering. The software problems are an annoyance, but could be overlooked if the content selection was good.

It isn’t. I doubt it ever will be. The major game developers are focused on the next Xbox and the PS4. Gamers complain that smartphone and tablet games are basic — weak imitations of ‘real’ AAA titles. Seeing as the Ouya is a screenless tablet with a bundled controller, I don’t see why it will buck the trend.

At best, Ouya’s content selection is going to consist of ports of successful Android tablet games. Newsflash: the Android tablet app ecosystem isn’t exactly booming.