$99 Ouya console hits shelves, sells out hours later

By Kristen Butler, UPI.com  |  Updated June 25, 2013 at 5:35 PM
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The crowdfunded Ouya game console went on sale at retailers Tuesday, and within hours was sold out at Amazon.com and GameStop.

The device pairs a wireless controller with a cube that connects to a TV, and runs on a modified version of Google's Android operating system. So far, Ouya said it has more than 150 games available and over 17,000 developers who have downloaded the open source software.

The $99 console was introduced on Kickstarter last year, and Ouya received $8.5 million in funding from 63,416 backers on the indie crowdfunding site.

But early signs of success are marred by distribution and shipping snafus that have left about 7,500 early supporters of the Ouya without their consoles -- and they have let the company know through social media.

"I am pissed," founder Julie Uhrman wrote, "Some of you have not yet received your Ouya, and to you, I apologize." She said the consoles were delivered to a distribution partner in May "and since then they have been in their custody. We paid for shipping, yet the deliveries remain incomplete."

The Ouya is manufactured in mainland China, and were shipped to backers from a distribution facility in Hong Kong. Ken Stephens, the head of operations for Ouya, said "the vast majority of those who haven't yet received Ouya are international backers."

Uhrman today said Ouya tripled the size of its customer service team to respond to backers' concerns. "I'm told that despite our best efforts, it may take another two weeks or more for some of these units to arrive," Uhrman wrote.

Ouya has also partnered with retailers Target and Best Buy, and units may still be available in some of their stores. The open-source console doesn't compete with Xbox One and the PS4 for dominance of next-generation power or graphics, but aims to foster a broad range of game development.

The company's only goal was to "build a $99 game console, with no discs to buy, open to all developers, and affordable to all gamers,” CEO Julie Uhrman said in a statement Tuesday. “Today, Ouya is real.”

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