Ouya: We feel a responsibility for those who backed us

Ben Parfitt
Ouya: We feel a responsibility for those who backed us

Julie Uhrman, the CEO of Ouya, has told MCV that her company feels a burden of responsibility to deliver on all of its promises for its thousands of backers.

The Ouya Kickstarter closed last week having raised an astonishing total of $8,596,475 from 63,416 separate backers.

“We’ve been stunned by the extraordinary support,” Uhrman told MCV. “We continue to see people pre-ordering from our website even now that the Kickstarter is over. And we feel a real responsibility to deliver for those who are backing us.”

The company remains “confident” that the machine will be ready to begin shipping in March, and admitted to MCV that sales projections have been revised upwards “given the extraordinary demand from Kickstarter”.

Also revealed was the fact that the company has plans to update Ouya both through software AND hardware revisions, though it’s unclear whether or not a second version of the hardware is already in pre-production.

Uhrman went on to claim that Ouya is not being positioned as a rival to products like Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo, suggesting that many gamers will own one alongside these other machines.

“We think Ouya will succeed by carving out a niche of it’s own,” she added. “Gamers like me own and enjoy several platforms. We think that there’s plenty of room for alternatives to the traditional consoles and we intend to prove that.

“People were ready for a change. Games on a TV have not had a meaningful new model – unlike mobile or web games – in 25+ years. It's time for a more open system.

“Even triple-A game developers wish they could be more creative and experimental, but the current console market's economics make that difficult. So a traditional console gamer would buy Ouya for a wider range of games. And since OUYA costs less than buying two traditional console games, it's going to be appealing for traditional gamers to try.”

Uhrman also addressed the decision to build Ouya around the use of a standard controller. The decision has been questioned by some considering Ouya’s use of the Android operating system. Android has an extensive games library already, of course, but the vast majority is designed for touchscreen devices.

“We need to reiterate that Ouya will not be merely a home for Android ports,” she added. “We will feature new content specifically designed for our platform. We believe a controller creates a fundamentally better game experience. You need precision, and fast response time, to create an emotional bond between player and game on a TV. A touchscreen alone can’t do that.  That said, our touchscreen accommodate games made to work better with one.”

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Tags: interview , controller , backers , Kickstarter , Ouya , uhrman

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