Ouya hits back at critics, promises tweaks for June launch

The mini-console's makers have responded to criticism of pre-release models, saying its build quality and software will be improved.

Joe Svetlik Reporter
Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.
Joe Svetlik
2 min read

Ouya has been shipped to its earliest backers, but the first feedback on the Android-based mini-console hasn't been good. Buttons on the controller have been sticking, the removable faceplates have fallen off in transit, and the software has been laggy. Now Ouya has responded to these criticisms, saying it has a host of improvements up its sleeve before the console goes on sale to Joe Public on 4 June.

In a blog post on the Ouya site, CEO Julie Uhrman writes, "Our software is constantly evolving. Right now, the team is focussed on optimising the performance of our software (this means responsiveness)."

Uhrman promises external storage for games, easier game installs, controller support for video players, and more ways to pay, among other improvements.

Uhrman is asking for more feedback to help improve the console before launch, which seems a smart way to play it. She says the company is considering adding more magnets to stop the faceplates dropping off, for one thing. Ouya will "continue to obsess over quality and performance", though perhaps our hopes of this low-cost gadget shouldn't be sky high.

Ouya will cost £99 when it goes on sale in the UK, and will run Android, meaning everyone and his dog can develop games for it -- or perhaps more to the point, everyone who's already made a game for Android will only have to optimise it for Ouya's control pad.

It'll follow the mobile phone business model, with a new version of the console launching every 12 months with a minor spec boost, so you can upgrade annually. We'll have to wait and see how these will be priced.

It'll be up against some stiff competition from UK rival GameStick, which also runs Android. The PS4 and Xbox 720 will have their work cut out convincing consumers to spend big, with far cheaper alternatives around.

Are you excited about Ouya? Or should it have ironed out these problems before letting anyone get their hands on the console? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.