Android microconsole now available at retail, but some backers kept waiting

Ouya sold out on Gamestop, Amazon

The Ouya microconsole is already sold out at online retailers Gamestop and Amazon.

The Ouya earned fame on Kickstarter as one of the first of a growing breed of Android-powered living room devices.

Customers who pre-ordered the open-source ‘hackable’ console were promised to receive their Ouya by March, but a problem with one of the company’s ‘partners’ means some backers are still waiting.

"I am pissed. Some of you have not yet received your Ouya — and, to you, I apologize,” said Ouya founder Julie Uhrman in a Kickstarter update.

“I did not promise to ship to *most* of you before we hit store shelves. I promised to ship to *all* of you,"

Ouya took an apologetic tone, but places the blame on this unnamed Hong Kong partner and a suspect DHL tracking system.

“Over the past few months, we encountered and conquered many challenges spanning both hardware and software in order to bring the best product we could to market,” said Ouya’s head of operations Ken Stephens.

“We have tried to make sure that the challenges we faced did not impact our early supporters, but unfortunately we came up short.”

The launch is drawing mixed reactions. While there is certainly a great deal of frustration over missed delivery dates, the fact the console has already sold out and boats the largest launch library of any console in history – 178 games – is surely cause for celebration.

If the console attains long-term success, developers could have a brand new platform free of the cost and contraints of traditional consoles and handhelds.

If the Ouya under-performs the disappointment could hurt the chances of other similar devices.

Even so, its hard to imagine the low-cost console won’t have some effect on an industry that craves more freedom and choice for developers and consumers alike.

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