Well today is the day and Ouya is now officially available to the world... sort of. I've just checked Amazon's listing
for the item, and even with my current Prime membership, which ensures one-day delivery on items, it will still take 1-3 weeks for Ouya to be dispatched.
Anyway this blog is in response to my previous one
about how Ouya has poorly handled the shipment of consoles to their financial backers. An update was posted yesterday and the company released this statement to their backers:
Tomorrow, June 25th, OUYA will officially launch.
And, while I canít believe the day has come, I always knew weíd get Here.†
Here: having shipped tens of thousands of consoles to passionate backers who bet on OUYA when it was just a concept.
Here: partnered with top retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop,Target and GAME.
Here: in hundreds of stores across the U.S., Canada and the U.K.
Here: with more games at launch than any other console in gaming history. And this is all just the beginning.
People said it was impossible: Taking on the big boys in an industry that chewed up the competition. The video game market was considered impenetrable. It was expensive, closed, and built for three. That was just the way it was and nobody thought it could be any different. Nobody wondered how.
But you -- and tens of thousands like you -- wanted something new. You -- the game players and the game creators -- you knew that things could be different. In backing OUYA, you proved that there were people out there who wanted a change.
The path we chose hasnít been easy. Our development process was unprecedented in its transparency. We solicited your opinions and heard your feedback on Reddit, on Twitter and in email. We brought everyone along for the ride making both our victories and our missteps public. Because -- we believe this process is what makes OUYA better.
OUYA is built with gamers, for gamers. We do it together.
And the games... what you game creators have done is amazing! Inventive. Different. FUN. Not the same old games by the same old folks adding +1 to the version number and slapping on a price tag of $60 or more. OUYA Devs are making it happen. From raucous couch-gaming romps like Hidden in Plain Sight and You Donít Know Jack; oddball racing games like Rush Bros and Flashout; shouting-match PvP games like BombSquad and the ďkiller appĒ candidate TowerFall; and action-packed adventures in the forms of RPG beat-em-up ChronoBlade and soon-to-come coop, iso-shooter Killing Floor: Calamity -- youíve delivered a game lineup that rocks.
So, launch is upon us. And I canít let us launch without acknowledging the role YOU played.†
You can CONTINUE to expect great things from OUYA. The OUYA team is ready. We will continue to deliver. And -- if you were one of our backers that was impacted by the complications caused by DHL (shipping service) and have yet to receive your OUYA, please know that we are working overtime to get this resolved. We will continue to push our partners to find a resolution and will work directly with you and keep you in the loop until every backer has an OUYA in-hand. Thank you for all of your patience and support.
Thank you. Thank you from the team, and thank you from me, personally. I will be forever awed by what we have all brought to life. And this is just the beginning...
P.S. -- Be sure to keep in touch -- weíll be sure to do the same @playouya, on Facebook, Google+, and on OUYA.tv. We might not be using this Kickstarter list often anymore, but if thereís something thatís just relevant to our Kickstarter backers we might still pop it here. Otherwise, Kickstarter youíve done what you set out to do -- kindled something entirely new, that wouldnít have existed without you.
This of course has led to more than a few angry comments from the many backers who have not yet received their Ouya console. In some respects the update is really insulting to the people Boxer8 keep claiming "made this happen".
It reeks of PR statements that are designed to look good and not really exist for any other reason. The part about being transparent and listening to the backers will cause some people to laugh in despair or put their fist through the screen in frustration.
But surely the company wouldn't do this if there really was a problem, right? Maybe the backers who haven't got their console yet are just a vocal minority. Expect only hours later another statement was issued:
I am pissed. Some of you have not yet received your OUYA -- and, to you, I apologize. I did not promise to ship to *most* of you before we hit store shelves. I promised to ship to *all* of you. Iíve been reading your comments, and we are working to solve this.
Here is what I know:
We delivered your OUYAs to our partner in May, and since then they have been in their custody. We paid for shipping, yet the deliveries remain incomplete. We know everyone is getting their OUYA, but it is taking longer than we expected.
We are working hard to get you answers, and more importantly, to fix this. On our end, we have tripled our customer service team so we can respond as quickly as possible to your questions (though the answer may still be that itís in transit). We are working with our partners to resolve any administrative issues related to undelivered boxes (errors in shipping addresses, customs holds, etc.). Iím told that despite our best efforts, it may take another two weeks or more for some of these units to arrive.
We will resolve this as quickly as possible. Iíve had my team working all evening to provide me with the current state of affairs and what we are doing to make it right. Ken, our Special Ops lead, can give you more detail.
My name is Ken Stephens, and I am the Head of Operations at OUYA.
This post is personally addressed to our early backers who have not yet received their OUYAs.†
As we hit store shelves tomorrow, it is very important that I try my best to explain why your units are behind schedule from our commitment and when we anticipate delivery.
As you may be aware, we manufacture OUYA in mainland China with our fulfillment partner in Hong Kong who is responsible for the individual shipments to you all.
Over the past few months, we encountered and conquered many challenges spanning both hardware and software in order to bring the best product we could to market. We have tried to make sure that the challenges we faced did not impact our early supporters, but unfortunately we came up short.
On average, shipment processing--from fulfillment center to product delivery--runs 20 days, end to end. It takes 3 to 5 days to pick, pack and ship the units out -- and then 15 to 17 days of transit time. Therefore, if you received your tracking number with your shipping confirmation email, your unit is on its way.
I know that many of you are frustrated with the DHL tracking system. While we are working hard to get this issue rectified, I am sorry to say this is still causing problems. When you receive a tracking number, you expect it to work immediately, but sometimes these tracking numbers donít do that. The reason for this is that when the product leaves Hong Kong, the tracking process does not initiate until it arrives for the first scan at your countryís local depot. As a result, you could have a period of up to 10 days within which the product appears in limbo. This, we all agree, is very frustrating.
Additionally, we have seen a lot of cases where the unit will be delivered to your door without the product ever getting an arrival scan. This also unfortunately happens when dealing with the local postal systems.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of those who havenít yet received OUYA are international backers. It just takes a lot longer to ship to some countries.
All of these units HAVE left Hong Kong, and you have received your tracking email.
So, based on the date of your shipping-confirmation email, your OUYA will arrive within 15 to 17 days from that date.
Please accept my personal apology for not yet delivering on our promise.
Julie Uhrman makes it sound as if she's only just got through the comments (which just so happens to be on release day when reviews of the company and the console are allowed to go out on retailer sites) is once again insulting. The problems have been known for a while and the timing makes this look like damage control.
The company had weeks to address this issue and dampen the fiery tempers that have just been fanned by the silence. Either way, the message did nothing to help those that have not yet got their console. Although the line that tells people that all units have shipped and that you HAVE
received your tracking email is just ridiculous. Do Boxer8 really think these people are complaining they haven't got a tracking email for the fun of it?
I can't help to think that Boxer8 are still getting a slightly easier ride than they should because they are a lot smaller and henceforth go under the radar of most major news. Also some comments on the pages for these updates are very similar to the blind fanboy comments that concern Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo products.
Some seem to think that because this wasn't an actually pre-order (thus no consumer protection) that the backers should just shut up and deal with it. Except the problem comes with Kickstarter's own policies.
All project creators are required to agree to certain arrangements before they make their pitch to the world. The line in question is this one:
Project Creators are required to fulfill all rewards of their successful fundraising campaigns or refund any Backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill.
Let's consider what the reward was for the 58,768 who decided to pledge $99 or more:
GET AN OUYA: console and controller. Guarantee we will have one available for you, before it gets to stores. Plus the rewards above. We're figuring out how many we can make! (We have to ask you to add $20 for shipping outside the U.S.) Please add $30 if you want a second controller.
Like any investment, the backers are entitled to certain rights and the invested has responsibilities to own up to. Sure if the project had failed and the money dried up then we would have seen Kickstarter take a lot of the heat and possibly fade away. However, the ball is firmly in Boxer8's court and if these people ask for refunds they cannot refuse.