To continue the OUYA craze this week, the company is handing out credits to their backers on Kickstarter for not shipping out a console to each of them who pre-ordered one, even though the game system is already on shelves in retail stores. For those not aware, OUYA is an Android gaming system that only runs you $99, and I've never quite understood it. It doesn't have the same power as NVIDIA's SHIELD and appears to have been made to appease all of the gamers who are mad at corporations for putting DRM on their games to protect them from piracy, or something like that.
Regardless, the OUYA is Android powered so all of the games you'd want to play, DRM free, aren't included on the system, hence the reason none of it has ever made sense to me. To further that, you could imagine the type of mentality a company like this would have. The company wanted to "stick it to the man" by not appearing in an official capacity at E3, and instead elected to rent out a parking lot outside of the convention center and converted it into a booth. Naturally, this prompted E3 to call the cops and have the booth shut down, outraging fanboys everywhere. The ESA (which runs E3) then proceeded to place semi-trucks in that space, and the back-and-forth commenced for the entire length of the convention. Because of all this, it doesn't really surprise me that OUYA is having shipping issues to make good on the pre-orders that were supposed to be delivered over a month ago.
In a letter sent out by CEO Julie Urhman, the company apologizes for the delay.
To our beloved backers,
It's been 11 months and 26 days (360 days for those who prefer a more exact count) since we left the gates of Kickstarter and set out to turn our vision into a reality.
It wasn't OK that some of you-our most loyal supporters-didn't get your OUYA until after it was on store shelves. Others had an issue with our still-new customer service. Despite your frustrations, you've played on, putting up with our bumps and bugs as we work to get better every day.
That being the case, we want to do more than tell you how much we appreciate you-we want to show it.
If you feel you've had any kind of less-than-OUYA experience with us (a polite way of saying at any time you felt pissed at us for whatever the reason: late shipment, missing controllers, a delayed response to a CS ticket you opened), we'd like to give you a store credit of $13.37 to use toward any purchase(s) on DISCOVER.
If you are annoyed with us, we hope this is a first step to winning back your <3.
And for those loving on us, love on.
We've learned a lot over the past year and we're going to continue making Ouya better every day!
The letter not only highlights the fact that shipping the pre-orders has been a disaster, but that there are other problems, like the system lacking a controller, a seemingly integral part of the gaming experience. Urhman continues on by saying that the company has "learned a lot over the past year" and that their "still-new" customer service couldn't appease customers. It sounds like OUYA is saying, "Hey we're a new company and are so busy trying to not be oppressed by the man that we forgot we're a business and ended up treating our backers exactly like the companies you guys are so mad at. Our bad."
To top it all off, OUYA is offering an extremely clever credit of $13.37 to use at their DISCOVER store, in an effort to apologize for their issues. Now, I'm not an OUYA backer, but if I was spending my money on something in order to be an early adopter, an apologetic and partial credit should only be offered if the company or product I invested in was bought by another company and then the product was suddenly discontinued (see: HP Touchpad). The credit, at this point, just seems like a slap in the face when the console should've just been delivered on time, simple as that. We, as gamers, hold these big companies to such a high standard, yet let these startups treat their customer base the same exact way and have no reaction.
If there are any backers of this system out there, I'd love to know your take. How do you feel about all of this? Is the "leet" credit enough to keep you on the OUYA ship? Or would you rather just cut your losses and pick up an Android tablet or something better? Sound off in the comments section below.