The Ouya is Today’s Failure, because every Wednesday is going to be failed crowdfunding projects, because otherwise we’d never learn anything.
The Ouya was a micro-console, I say was, you can’t get the misbegotten thing anymore, for which all of humanity ought to be immeasurably grateful, it was a silly thing. Annouced in 2012 as a “revolutionary” home video console by Julie Uhrman, described as an industry veteran by many, she wasn’t an industry veteran when we’re talking about a console, she would be one talking pure business development, but that didn’t translate over.
They used kickstarter and did get over eight and half million US dollars, not bad for the former Vice President of Digital Distribution of IGN (Note, IGN doesn’t actually do proper digital distribution, IGN is a website for basically paid reviews), at the time the fifth largest sum kickstarted, even on that platform it has been eclipsed, all the way down to nine, including all platforms Ouya isn’t even close to the 200 million US$ and more StarCitizen has raised.
Still, not to shabby, combined it with various venture capital, they actually managed to release the product, that’s right, for my fellow engineers out there, they released a “Minimum Viable Product”.
It was a smartphone in a box, literally, the blasted thing used Andriod and had an Nvidia Tegra 3 chipset to handle the lifting, wont call it heavy, it can run mobile apps, that isn’t heavy lifting even at the worst of times.
And guess what, the design of the ugly little shitbox? YVES BEHAR, the primogenitor of the damned himself returns to sprinkle failure all over the venture, the Ouya had issues with overheating and STANDING UP, mostly due to issues with the case.
The controller? The buttons would get stuck all the time, the touch pad in the center, designed to handle mobile games touch controls, didn’t work properly in the earlier versions and it felt cheap. Then again, what did people expect from a device costing 99 US$.
April 2013 they began delivering the pre-ordered Ouyas, June it was put up for sale, October they announced a redesign in 2014, it went up in the end of January 2014, double the storage and a new controller, hot damn.
Now, as with virtually all consoles released since like 1995, Ouya didn’t make any money on the consoles, nobody does, except Sony on the first PlayStation but they basically made the whole thing in-house from whatever random crap they had around, the money comes from licensing and software sales.
But the Ouya was terminally stupid, you could replace the entire thing with a HDMI cable and a laptop, then add in various casting devices and the Raspberry Pi being better in almost every way.
In 2015, Alibaba for some forsaken reason, throw ten million dollars at the sinking ship, guess what? The whole mess was sold to Razer in July of the same year, frankly, Alibaba probably didn’t even notice the cash was gone.
Razer only purchased the software and developer relations elements, the rest was left to rot in the sun, they used this technical staff to support their own micro-console and what do you know, it was discontinued in 2016.
And how does this sordid tale end? Total shutdown of everything in June this very year, rendering a default Ouya an even more useless hunk of junk.
Julie Uhrman now works as Head of Media, for Playboy.
The lessons learned are that micro-consoles are silly.