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Ouya debuted in 2012 on Kickstarter and proceeded to have one of the best campaigns of all time. It raised almost $10 million as gamers got excited about the idea a low-cost Android based console which could free them from the hegemonic stranglehold of Sony and Microsoft.
But like so many Kickstarter-backed hardware companies, the story had a sad ending. Polygon does a good job of breaking down what happened, but the bottom line is the company was late on delivery, underserved and angered its early enthusiastic supporters and ultimately delivered a disappointing product.
And by disappointing, it was a complete, across the board disappointment: hardware was slow, the controller was cheap and slow, the gaming exclusives were few and far between and the navigation was confusing.
In the end, Ouya never took off and alienated its “true fans”, and now the company is pivoting Ouya into a software “platform” that will work on different gaming hardware such as the Mad Catz console. While the company is trying to put a good face on the move, there’s no doubt that the effort to create a successful stand-alone Android mini-console – what its backers funded the company for in the first place – has failed.