Some early Ouya backers still don’t have a console, and Ouya is “pissed”
As the OUYA launches in retail locations today, some of the console's Kickstarter backers are complaining that they still haven't received their console. This despite OUYA's earlier promises that all backer rewards would be fulfilled before the console shipped to stores.
Today, the company responded to backer complaints with a firm apology and an explanation of the troubles that they are facing.
“I am pissed,” said Julie Uhrman, founder of OUYA. “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. I’ve been reading your comments, and we are working to solve this.”
According to Urhman, they delivered the consoles to their Chinese shipping partner in May, but so far the orders have not all been shipped. Uhrman said that although they've paid for shipping, the orders remain undelivered, and she reiterated a promise to get the console to everyone who backed the project.
OUYA's head of operations, Ken Stephens, said that the issue is mostly affecting international (non-US) OUYA orders, and that shipping can take as much as 15 to 17 days from the time the backer receives a shipping confirmation email.
We were told the shipping problems are only affecting a small subset of users. In a June 8 email, Uhrman reportedly said that 7,500 backers didn't have their console yet. Over 60,000 people backed the project at tiers that would get them a console.
On one hand, it's nice to see OUYA jump on top of criticisms so quickly with an unambiguous apology and admission of wrongdoing. The logistics of coordinating international shipping of tens of thousands of items to dozens of countries is an immense challenge so OUYA will likely be forgiven in the long run, but that said, this is a bad day for the entire Kickstarter initiative.
Some of the earliest supporters of this project will, in fact, be getting a worse deal because they supported the company too soon. They will have to wait weeks longer to get their console than if they had waited to pay for the console after it had been proven successful. The console is already sold out on Amazon.com.
Those who haven't received their hardware yet are letting their feelings be known around the Internet, and they are not happy. Even if the system does well at retail, those who believed in the project during the early days are left feeling slighted, with many complaining of a non-responsive support system from OUYA.
We'll have a full review of the system tomorrow.