The OUYA hits store shelves today, but the company has confirmed that not all Kickstarter backers have received their consoles as promised. Delays have pushed back delivery of one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns to early backers, much to the frustration of gamers who sunk $100 or more into the startup company and console. Originally promised to start shipping at the end of March, the majority of OUYA backers had to wait well into May or early June before receiving their console. In response, OUYA pushed back the public launch of the console from June 5th to today under the promise that they would ensure all Kickstarter backers would have their consoles before the public launch. However, on the day of the OUYA’s public launch, the company is now stating that not all early backers have received their consoles.
And OUYA CEO Julie Uhrman is pissed. In a statement sent to early backers today, Uhrman vented her frustration and apologies to OUYA backers stating:
So while technically OUYA has completed production of all early backers’ consoles, it was the company’s choice to use shipping partner DHL that has created this situation. OUYA Operations Chief Ken Stephens outlines the issues they have uncovered with DHL in the same announcement to Kickstarter backers.
Indeed I personally experienced similar issues with DHL when it came to delivery of my OUYA, as I have had in the past with other products shipped to me by the freight forwarder. The tracking system is non-existent, and I too had no tracking information until it was delivered; according to DHL, my OUYA appeared to just appear out of thin air at my doorstep.
Perhaps this was a rookie error on OUYA’s part, or an attempt to save money on shipping costs, but there’s a reason most larger companies choose FedEx or UPS for their shipments. Unfortunately, for many early backers the bad taste in their mouth won’t be easily forgotten. While they can take comfort in knowing that it’s not a matter of if, but when, for the delivery of their OUYA, it’s still frustrating nonetheless.
As for OUYA, the console launches today in stores for gamers who didn’t back the project on Kickstarter, but enters into a very crowded market. The low price of the console and its ability to run emulators may be enough for gamers to splurge on it, but with the Xbox One and Playstation 4 just around the corner, it could be an uphill battle for the OUYA.