Penny Arcade Report’s Kuchera Skeptical of Ouya’s Promises
With almost 40,000 backers and nearly $5 million in pledged funding as of this writing—a whopping 524 percent of its $950,000 funding goal—the Ouya project on Kickstarter is one of the bigger stories to hit the video game world in some time. Since the project was officially announced about a week ago, it’s generated quite a bit of enthusiastic buzz about the possibilities for gamers and game-makers alike.
But on Thursday, Penny Arcade Report’s Ben Kuchera wrote a long piece pointing out some of the project’s issues. Specifically, Kuchera said that there’s just too much that seems unfinished about the Ouya with only eight months left to release the console by their projected March 2013 release date:
“The entire system hangs on the ability that you want to play ported Android games on a cheap system, with an unseen controller, on a television screen. While many developers are willing to provide quotes about how great the OUYA could be, so far no one is willing to put their money where their mouth is and announce projects for the hardware. No one involved in the project has experience launching products even close to the complexity of the OUYA, in terms of either gaming hardware, software, and services.”
The post is lengthy and offers many counterpoints to some of Ouya’s claims, and is worth a read. But it’s also difficult not to notice something of a “sour grapes” kind of vibe in the article, a quality that Ouya’s founder Julie Urhman picks up on in her response on Destructoid from yesterday:
“Ultimately, my take on Ben Kuchera’s article was that he was reacting to all the positive attention that we had received from the media and the support we got on Kickstarter, and wanted to kick the tires a bit. And maybe he didn’t give the Kickstarter audience credit for understanding that this was a project in development, although from the comments we received on our page, I think that’s selling those backers short.”
At this point, with another 22 days of funding left on the Kickstarter page and no hardware to work with, it’s still impossible to say whether or not the Ouya will be the success Urhman wants it to be. By that same token, raising $5 million—and rising—when all you planned for was under a million may certainly be enough to iron out whatever bugs would’ve been lurking in the original plan. The fact that Ouya has managed to find this much funding in such a short amount of time from a pretty significant amount of people is telling. The premise they’re working from clearly has power, and people are backing it up with their money—whether they understand that this is still a work-in-progress or not.
I suppose we’ll have to wait until March to get the final verdict…but what do you think? Does the Ouya have legs as a concept? Or do Kuchera’s points expose the console for a pipe dream?