Late Deliveries to Ouya's Backers Cast a Shadow Over Console's Launch

Ouya, the Android-powered, crowdfunded indie console, arrives in stores today but shipping snafus mean many backers have yet to receive their consoles, threatening to cast a cloud over a big day for the machine. It could be another two weeks before all backers have their consoles.

Backers, particularly those overseas, had already sensed trouble getting their Ouyas before launch, but with the console now available to the public, and funders still waiting on theirs, Ouya was compelled to address the matter in a backers-only message earlier today.

"I am pissed," founder Julie Uhrman wrote, "Some of you have not yet received your Ouya, and to you, I apologize." She goes on to say that the consoles were delivered to a distribution partner in May "and since then they have been in their custody. We paid for shipping, yet the deliveries remain incomplete."

Ouya backers are pissed, too, letting the company know about it over Twitter and through Ouya's Facebook page. "My early backed console from KS still has not arrived, point of fact," wrote one backer, from Canada. "It only just shipped late last week and I am now going to be waiting until July 10 till I get mine. I know another person who backed it after me who is still waiting also."

Some 45,000 non-developer backers contributed between $95 and $225 to receive an Ouya when the project sought funding about a year ago. Ouya received $8.5 million in funding from 63,416 backers overall.

In email to backers dated June 8, Uhrman said "approximately 7,500 early supporters like yourself," were still waiting to get their Ouya. "It’s important to note at this point that the cause(s) behind your delayed Ouya isn’t the result of a single point of failure—rather, it is the result of several small(ish) logistical hurdles (new) that we encountered late in the game."

Uhrman today said Ouya tripled the size of its customer service team to respond to backers' concerns. "I'm told that despite our best efforts, it may take another two weeks or more for some of these units to arrive," Uhrman wrote.

In the same message today, Ken Stephens, the head of operations for Ouya, said "the vast majority of those who haven't yet received Ouya are international backers." Rumors have sprouted regarding comprehensive delays or holds by some customs agencies, but Ouya has not said anything, officially, about such problems.

Kotaku reached out to Ouya representatives earlier this morning to ask for more detail on international delays and additional comment. Any the company makes will be updated here.

"All of these units have left Hong Kong," Stephens reminded, "and you have received your tracking email." Stephens estimated 15 to 17 days of transit time once the units left their partner in Hong Kong. Ouya is manufactured in mainland China.

Regular customers who are interested in getting an Ouya may be out of luck, too. It and its controller are listed as out of stock on Amazon and at GameStop, though it appears to be in stock for ordering online at Best Buy.

To contact the author of this post, write to owen@kotaku.com or find him on Twitter @owengood.