The Ouya was a home console that attempted to compete against the Wii U, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It used an Android-based system and used an online store. On release, it costed $99.
All Ouya support was shut down on June 25th, 2019.
Why It Flopped
- The very concept of the console itself was a very bad idea: mobile Android games are designed to be played on a phone in short doses, not on a TV for extended periods of time. There are enough decent Android tablets, handheld devices, and Android TV such as the Nvidia Shield or the GPD XD, that there's no need to make Android into a video gaming console.
- Unlike Android TV devices such as Nvidia Shield, it does not natively support most video streaming apps such as Netflix, therefore, it mostly cannot be used as a streaming media player.
- If you have a Tablet, an HDMI-to-Mini HDMI cable, (or TV with screen mirroring) and a compatible controller, you already have a better Ouya.
- Most people who did own an Ouya didn't actually buy any games and just abused the "free-to-play" demos or used it as an emulation machine.
- Poorly designed and unfinished controller with many problems:
- It's not very ergonomic.
- Terrible D-Pad which even cuts into the player's fingers because it's so sharp.
- The buttons frequently get stuck in the frame itself, often due to the faceplates covering the batteries.
- The right analog stick snags.
- No Pause or Select buttons.
- An unresponsive touchpad that isn't clearly defined.
- Clunky method of replacing batteries.
- Input latency issues.
- The triggers get stuck frequently,
- Extremely poor and spotty internet connection.
- The ventilation is at the bottom of the console which means it'll almost always be blocked by whatever surface the Ouya is standing on.
- Poor marketing.
- Indie developers were not interested in it because Steam, Xbox Live, and PSN were much better options for them to publish games anyway.
- Poor hardware that had trouble playing games that played flawlessly on smartphones. By the time it was released, smartphones and tablets could do what the Ouya was supposed to do better.
- Focused more on casual games as opposed to mainstream gamers.
- Many of the games focused on a free-to-play aspect, meaning that while most of the games were free, you had to pay money in order to get more content.
- Lacked games worth playing. The best selling game was Towerfall, but it only sold 7,000 units.
- A ton of shovelware was made for the Ouya.
- Close to zero exclusives, giving people no reason to pick an Ouya over any other competitors because almost every game there can be found elsewhere.
- The infamous "60 Dollars For A Game?" commercial. Ugly animation, unnecessary gore, barely advertising the actual product- it's just plain horrible.
- You are forced to give them a credit card while making an account. This is not too uncommon, but when you are playing a free game, you will always get a notification trying to get you to buy the full version. Since the console has your card, it becomes easy to click on the wrong button while being interrupted in-game. Before you know it, you've just bought the full version when you probably didn't intend to.
- Servers were shut down in June 2019, making most apps unusable. Thankfully, this was done four years after the console's discontinuation.
- It was very easy to hack and mod.
- It is great to use as an emulation machine.
- You could use Xbox One, PS4, and Wii, controllers instead of the Ouya controller, but only for compatible games.
Initially, interest in the Ouya was extremely high, being developed through a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, which promised a developer-friendly and easily hackable console. It raised $8.5 million, making it the fifth highest earned project Kickstarter ever had. Hype quickly dropped and most became skeptical because a tablet could already do anything the Ouya offered. Upon release, the Ouya sold terribly and was a commercial failure. In just two years, Ouya Inc. was unable to pay back the debt of an investor and was forced to sell. It was then bought by Razer Inc., which discontinued the Ouya, but not its assets. Gamers that still owned the Ouya could access Razer's Forge micro-console.
ExtremeTech found that Ouya "has a number of serious faults". They mentioned the sub-par controller, the connectivity issues, and games which worked flawlessly on smartphones but stuttered on the console. Also, they remarked that "there just aren’t enough worthwhile games to play."
Its creator, Julie Uhrman was very toxic to her product and once insulted the Ouya during an interview by saying there is nothing special about the system even though she was the one who created it.
The Ouya has a rating of 2.89 on GameFAQs.