The $99 Ouya gaming console was one of the most successful Kickstarter projects of all time, raising over $8.5 million. After a three-week delay, the console launched at a number of retail outlets today, promptly selling out at Amazon and Target. But some early backers are still waiting for results. When Ouya posted on Facebook to celebrate a Reuters piece about the console, supporters responded in the comments, complaining that they were still waiting on pre-orders or Kickstarter rewards. "It's available at Best Buy down the street from me but I'm still sitting here waiting for my pre-order," lamented one person. Others wondered whether they could cancel their pre-orders and buy through Amazon. "Those consoles you sent to Best Buy? Those are ours."
Ouya hasn't made a public statement, but it's apparently told backers about the issue. As Kotaku reports, a June 8th letter said that because of problems with a shipping partner, approximately 7,500 backers had not yet received their Ouya, and getting them sent out could take weeks. "I am pissed," wrote CEO Julie Uhrman. "I did not promise to ship to most of you before we hit store shelves. I promised to ship to all of you." Earlier today, Ouya's Ken Stephens sent another update, which has been posted on Facebook. While he didn't say how many people were still waiting, he promised that many consoles had been shipped from a holding facility in Hong Kong, where they could arrive in a little over two weeks.
"I did not promise to ship to *most* of you before we hit store shelves. I promised to ship to *all* of you."
Unfortunately, the situation is still confusing. If Ouya sends a tracking number, it might not work for up to 10 days, and Stephens says that "the vast majority" of people who are still waiting are from outside the US, which makes communication more complicated and in some cases means shipping will take longer. Backers on Facebook and Twitter complained of spotty or nonexistent communication with Ouya customer support, saying their packages are estimated to arrive as late as mid-July. The Ouya itself is another matter: our initial review found a lot of problems with the console, though its software is supposed to have been significantly redesigned for a retail launch.
A total of 63,000 people backed the Kickstarter in 2012, and non-backers could pre-order separately, so the proportion of people still waiting clearly isn't overwhelming, though it is widespread. We've reached out to the company to see how many remain Ouya-less. Kickstarter projects regularly slip behind schedule, especially when teams get tasked with delivering far more products than they initially expected. But practically speaking, Ouya backers are losing out on one of the big advantages they were promised in exchange for their money: getting the console before everyone else. For anyone who's not waiting on a pre-order, the Ouya can still be ordered for $99.99 through Best Buy, Ouya's own site, or a number of other sites in the US, the UK, and Canada.