OUYA begins to make major refinements after rocky reviews, launching in 60 days
The OUYA Android gaming console is set to hit retail in 60 days, and after hearing feedback from early backers and reviewers, the company will be working hard to make changes ahead of launch.
"Last week, we started shipping units to our early backers, but there is still much to do (we’re listening, promise) and we are on it," said company CEO Julie Uhrman. Her comments come after a slew of critical reviews from mainstream publications taking a look at the Kickstarter edition of the OUYA.
The Verge was perhaps the most critical, noting a number of issues including a lack of games, performance of Android games on a larger screen, and issues with the OUYA controller.
"The version of OUYA shipping now should be considered a beta release, and anyone hoping for anything more is in for some disappointment," reviewer David Pierce wrote. "It's simply not ready for retail. The system is rough around the edges in many ways, quite literally when regarding the controller, but the interface and menus also could use work."
Engadget seemed to backed up Pierce's claims, but was a bit more empathetic to its pre-release nature.
Uhrman reached out to GameIndustry International and explained that the Kickstarter edition of the OUYA should be seen as a trial device and that the product would be improved before its June launch. Essentially, she was saying the device isn't ready for review.
Uhrman has outlined a few features that the OUYA team is focusing on ahead of the June launch. The team is considering adding additional magnets to the OUYA controller so the faceplates are more secure and won't fall off during shipping. A few backers on social media sites have noted this as an issue.
Additionally, the OUYA staff will add external storage for games, simpler game install process, more metrics for developers, controller support for video players and more payment options for games on the OUYA store. Overall UI responsiveness will also be improved, according to the Uhrman.
"The software, store, games will continue to evolve and grow, and as early backers who have exclusive access during this period before launch, we want you to be a part of that process," said Uhrman. She will be holding a Reddit AMA session to answer questions this May.
The OUYA Android console will be available for £99 in the UK from 4 June. It will be interesting to see if OUYA can pull it together before a launch to the masses, because it seems like a great concept that just needs to be refined.