Why It Flopped
- The very concept of the console itself was a 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's so many Android tablets and handheld devices such as Nvidia Shield or the GPD XD, there's no need to make it into a video gaming console.
- If you have a Tablet, an HDMI-to-Mini HDMI cable, 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 controller with many problems:
- It's not very ergonomic.
- Terrible D-Pad.
- The buttons frequently get stuck in the frame itself (not unlike early Famicom models whose controllers had square buttons which had the same issue).
- The right analog stick snags.
- No Pause button.
- An unresponsive touchpad that isn't clearly defined.
- Clunky method of replacing batteries.
- Input latency issues.
- Extremely poor 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 because Steam, Xbox Live, and PSN were much better options for them to publish games.
- 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 did 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.
- 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.
- This advert. No words can describe how horrible it is.
- You are forced to give them a credit card while making an account although 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, and since it has your card it becomes easy to click the wrong button while being interrupted in gameplay. Then, before you know it, you've just bought the full version when you probably didn't intend to.
- It was very easy to hack and mod.
- It is great to use as an emulation machine.
- It is possible to use the Ouya controller as an Xinput controller to play games on PC (Xinput is a controller API used by Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers when connected to PC, which pretty much every modern PC game uses).
- 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 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 do 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."
The Ouya has a rating of 2.89 on GameFAQs.