OUYA controller

Shipments to international backers will continue ramping up over time to meet estimates

In its weekly update to early Kickstarter backers, OUYA has laid out encouraging numbers for the current status of the new consoles shipping out. To date, a full 65-percent of the consoles have been shipped, which is ahead of the projected schedule as has been the case since late April. 60-percent of the consoles shipped this week were to international backers, which will help get them caught up with shipments headed to North America, and OUYA says that international shipments are ramping up to meet estimates.

OUYA Shipments

Limited Edition versions of the OUYA are a bit behind schedule, but every one is expected to have shipped by two weeks from today. It's a slow but steady progression -- one with a lot of learning experiences, no doubt -- getting this many consoles out to those who helped fund the initial Kickstarter process. Retail units of the console are still expected to hit shelves by late June.

 

Reader comments

Kickstarter OUYA shipments hit 65-percent, still ahead of schedule

5 Comments

Well mine showed up today. The shipping notice is a joke, the number they provided never showed up on DHL - but did work on USPS as of three days ago. Then showed as out for delivery yesterday but didn't show up until today. Oh well, at least it got here.

First impressions. Wasn't impressed by the packaging, the extra controller I ordered was just tossed in on top with a bit of bubble wrap. But the actual console and it's controller were fairly well packed. I did have one loose faceplate on the controller but that seems fairly normal. No instructions packed at all, just a booklet with FCC info and other legaleese. Little info about how to remove the faceplates to install the controller batteries would have been reassuring.

Setup was easy, just plugged in the power and HDMI then pressed the power button. But the Wifi is weak. My primary router has a weak signal to my living room so I have a router setup as a repeater which I use to connect my TV, Living room PC, Wii, and mobile devices - they all get almost full signal from the repeater in the living room and just barely sense the primary router. The Ouya barely found the repeater (Signal reported as "fair") and it refused to connect. I ended up putting the Ouya up on a post raising it 4' in the air above my other devices and it was finally able to connect after I went into the raw android networking screen and let it sit there for half an hour. Once I raised it up my primary router showed up and it was able to connect to that even though the signal was weaker than the repeater..but it kept dropping connection. Eventually after sitting on the WiFi settings screen it did connect to the repeater and stayed connected.

Once it was online it checked for an update and reported none found. I looked for a game to try and quickly learned that using it takes as much patience as waiting for it to get here did. Their servers are going really slow. I downloaded Grow since I've played it on my phone and figured it would be neat to see how it compares...but even at only 20meg it took over an hour to download. Once I got it downloaded it seemed smooth...but the controller didn't impress me.

Yeah, the controllers. They feel great to me. Right size for my hands and feel very substantial without feeling heavy. Sticks and buttons mostly feel good to me...but...within 30 seconds of taking it out of the box I experienced a button sticking under the faceplate just playing with it. Let it download a simple FPS style puzzle game (Polarity) and found the controls horrible. Wasn't sure if it was the game or the controller but it was practically unplayable. Found a discussion on the official developer forums (sorry, if I link to it AC flags my post as spam) and sideloaded the test app a developer had posted - and while my results don't look as bad as the examples in that thread they still don't look nearly as good as the PS3 or Xbox controllers do - lots of dead zones with clumps of responsive areas. I see Ouya is saying they fixed the problems and the latest shipments have fixed controllers...not sure if mine was shipped before the fix or not but sure doesn't seem right, guess I'll have to contact support about that.

The touchpad on the controller is a joke. Complete waste. Less responsive than the resistive screen on my old WinCE 6.5 phone I had before stepping up to android...and WAY too small. Can't even move the cursor from one side of the screen to the other without lifting my finger and re positioning twice. Can't see it being useful in a gaming context at all. Seriously think it would have been better to leave that off so the time/money could have gone into making the controller itself as accurate as they said it would be.

On the upside I was able to pair the controller with my phone and PC really easily. Just hold down the "system" button in the middle of the controller until the two center LED's blink and it's in discovery mode. This is also the one redeeming feature of the touchpad as it is a functional mouse substitute when using the controller on the PC and that can be handy.

I can confirm they did end up adding a fan as it kicked in before I even got to the wifi password screen. It's quiet and unobtrusive but I was a little surprised at how hot it got how quickly. With the fan kicking in that quickly and it being that hot to the touch it makes me wonder how they expected to pull it off without a fan originally.

The other major disappointment for me is that you can't turn it on and off from the controller. You have to use the physical button on top. Since my primary interest in it is as a streaming/hacking toy that's a major bummer for me. It's also kind of insulting that even though you can't turn it on and off with the controller you do need the controller to turn it off since after pressing the power button you have to use the controller in a confirmation dialog. I'm hoping this is something that can be rectified with a software update but I don't think I'll be holding my breath on this one.

Overall there are a LOT of rough edges, but I expected that. This is after all a preview period before the full launch. If they can speed up their servers and make good on the controller issues I'd be VERY happy. I mainly wanted it as a fun hacking toy and it still seems great for that. Most of the issues I'm complaining about are software and server related so I'm optimistic that they can be fixed before the official launch late next month. Even the issue with the controllers is likely software related (well, firmware) and I noticed that the controller has what looks like a standard 10 pin programming header under the right faceplate - so it seems likely they can be upgraded with a flash of new firmware which hopefully will solve the dead zone problem.

Don't want this to sound all negative. I did see quite a bit of potential and a number of games that look interesting and I want to try. Just with the download speeds I was getting it will be a few days before I can try most of them.

Even with the issues I've experienced so far it seems worth the $130 for the cube and 2 controllers. There seems to be a good enough community developing around it already that I suspect even if Ouya can't fix the controller issues the community will since it does seem to be soft/firmware related.

Now I just need to get a second TV so I can play with it after my daughter goes to sleep. Her room is about 5' from our only TV and since we mainly use the TV as a big monitor we haven't had a need for an additional TV. Now that I have something newer than the Wii to plug into it I'm itching for a TV in the back room we spend time in after she's asleep since we can make noise back there :)