OUYA

OUYA and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers today announced that the Android gaming upstart has raised $15 million in funding. The money comes in part from NVIDIA, the Mayfield Fund, Shasta Ventures and Occam Partners. That's alongside the $8.5 million (give or take) pledged through Kickstarter in 2012.

OUYA's goal is to be a nimble, $99 Android gaming console, with frequent updates and the big-name titles you'd expect. 

“The message is clear, OUYA founder and CESO Julie Uhrman said in a news release. "People want OUYA. We first heard this from Kickstarter backers who provided more than $8 million to help us build OUYA, then from over 12,000 developers who have registered to make an OUYA game, next from retailers who are carrying OUYA online and soon on store shelves, and now from top pioneering investors.”

OUYAs are shipping to the early backers now and will hit stores in late June.

 

Reader comments

OUYA gets $15 million in new funding

22 Comments

This is good to hear. The Ouya naysayers piss me off because they care about what it can't do in the here and now against the major consoles. I supported it on Kickstarter because it looks like a great *augment* to the major players and because I like the potential for what it can be. There's nothing wrong with having another option even if it can't do the same thing as "the big boys". Sometimes not being able to do the same thing is a good thing.

No, they care about what it can't do compared to anything even in its same category. It's a pipe dream product with no basis in reality.

A. There are almost zero games for the Ouya. This will not improve, as developers are making almost no money (we're talking less than 50 sales for top 10 games). Developers cannot live on less than $50 a month. Seriously, if you reject every other complaint about the Ouya, this one should concern you. Developers are angry and disappointed in these sales numbers. Games that otherwise sold tens of thousands on Google Play aren't even making them minimum wage on Ouya.
B. The hardware is already showing its age. The decision to use mobile hardware has innate flaws for this reason. They didn't even try to future proof it, so it's already outdated. In the future, ports to the Ouya will only be more difficult as it falls farther behind, which is a death sentence, since no developer with any self respect will make a game for the Ouya exclusively.
C. The software is incredibly buggy and shows no signs of improvement. Bugfixes have been few and far between. The store itself is pretty much abysmal to use.
D. Using it as an android box to hack at is pointless, as there are far cheaper, more viable options (like the Raspberry Pi).
E. The controller is cheap, not even close to the asking price they gave ($50). The analog stick hits the casing, the buttons can be pushed under the faceplate, the wireless connection is subject to horrendous lag (more than any other wireless controller by far), the touchpad is so insensitive as to be useless, the Ouya doesn't offer developers a way to distinguish multiple controllers by ID (big problem when batteries die), pressing faceplate buttons cancels out the triggers, etc.
F. It's a product that didn't need to exist. HDMI output on smartphones is becoming more and more common. A simple HDMI dock and some GOOD controllers (like the Wii, PS3, or even Logitech) can be a huge improvement over the Ouya, and uses something many people already own (note that there are now more smartphones being sold worldwide than dumbphones!). This is only going to become worse for the Ouya. I wouldn't doubt if Apple or Google make a TV dock for their phones that comes with a controller. That would be the end for Ouya outright, and there's plenty of indications it's coming.
G. Most of the promised apps are either empty promises (claims of apps when developers merely mentioned they were "interested", see also: Minecraft) or will never arrive due to poor adoption rates. Why bother supporting a platform that has less users total than you'd get in a single /day/ on Google Play?

Developers are angry there haven't been higher sales numbers on a console which is 6 weeks away from release?

While that is certainly possible, it's also patently absurd.

Ouya launches June 4th, not late June. I plan to have one of the first retail models being sold! If I had a job during the kickstarter campaign, I would have backed them at that point. I'll be just as happy to buy a retail console, though...it'll still have all the awesomeness the dev edition has, and hopefully by the time it releases in stores next month any potential kinks in the hardware/software/production are worked out.

We said "general availability" in late June, not "launches." From today's presser:

OUYA is currently available for pre-order at retailers in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, and will be on store shelves on June 25, 2013.

Updated to avoid confusion, though.

Don't count on it. Based on current shipping numbers (not Ouya's "graphs", but actual reports from people), they haven't even shipped 5% of the kickstarter orders. At the rate they're going now, it'll take them ALL YEAR just to ship the rest, if they do it at all. Many people believe they blew all their money, and were hoping for a cash infusion like this to actually complete the kickstarter orders. Either way, it'd be damn near impossible for them to manufacture and ship all of the kickstarter orders before June 4th.

He actually right. I was told I'd have mine in April and not a word since November when I ordered it. I'm not alone either, personally at thus point I will be surprised to even get it. It will piss me off if it launches before I get my preorder, even though they were only charging $20 for extra controllers back then.

This latest update finally addresses pre-orders via their website. Although promised for April, they are now saying they will ship by the end of May. Let's see if that holds true. It also would have been nice to be told by email that my order will be a month late, as opposed to having to search for the info myself. Info that was released well after I should have had my product in hand.

Don't count on it. Based on actual shipping reports from Kickstarter backers, they haven't even shipped 5% of the kickstarter orders. And this is over a month after they were supposed to start shipping.

So much for having that independent, "grass roots" community feeling.

Now that they just got pumped full of corporate and VC dollars to the tune of twice as much as the small-folk gave them, it will be really interesting to see what changes will occur to their business model...

-Suntan

What's insulting to the people who initially backed them is that if they really hit big, nVidia is going to make a nice return from their investment. The initial backers? They got their first wave of OUYA -- properly less refined than the final version shipped to the general public.

It's really sad, they are pretty much going the way of Duke Nukem: too much money, too much time, and no one has the balls to say "damn it we are shipping today and that is final". They blew past their kickstarter goal by a LOT, if that wasnt enough money to get an on-time ship date then I dunno what is. They claimed that they had to spend more time to meet demand, but why the hell cant they start shipping them in order of who ordered first? Isn't that the point of kickstarter? that the early supporters should get priority? At this point Ouya is too big for their own good, and their product will be late AND disappointing. Had they stuck to the original timetable maybe they would be in backorder-land for 6 months but at least they would have a product on the street gaining usage and the game devs would be getting paid. Instead, they chose to get paid via a ridiculous VC tranche. It's really sad, did i mention that?

The OUYA has... CRAPPY specs.

Jesus, Tegra 3 are you kidding me? The HTC One-X is old as balls and has that, and it's lagging behind big time in the latest game titles. How can you expect to combine old processors with wired and wireless technology to stream console quality games to an HDTV?

The experience is going to suck for most games other than very simple not graphically intensive titles. What a gimmick.

I like the idea of the OUYA... but put a Tegra 4 in there or Snapdragon 800, something like that. And it will be amazing, one of the greatest innovations of the present. But as of now, looks like it's gonna suck hard.

Comparing a phone to this is a horrible comparison. The tegra 3 isn't as bad as everyone thinks. Not to mention its over clocked higher and is cooled by fan actual fan. Should run better than cramped in a stuffy phone or tablet.

So I can just HDMI my S3 any HDTV, pair my PS3 controller and play all of the games I already own + play store stuff right?

Why do I need this again?

Not sure why there is thoughts on how the Tegra3 is a terrible engine. There has been no visible flaws on the Nexus7 that I have had for over a year with the Tegra3 built into it. It's a nice gaming engine that has had no faults. I don't need a Tegra4 or better. I'm sure next year they will have new hardware and you can get one then if you'd like. They sound like they plan to release once a year.

It has to do better than the Google TV box top released for $99.99 last year though. That wasn't good enough.