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Ouya CEO: “We have done a lot of things wrong”

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(Credit: Getty Images/Ouya)

To say the launch of the Ouya microconsole has been rocky is sort of like saying passengers on the Titanic had to deal with some humidity issues.

Pretty much anything that could go wrong for the start-up has done just that. CEO Julie Uhrman, at a recent talk at the XOXO technology festival, acknowledged that she and her team were responsible for a lot of those missteps.

"We have done a lot of things wrong," she said. "We've made a lot of mistakes. And I think one thing that's really unique about us is that we're gonna continue to make them."

Since its official launch four months ago, the Ouya has faced a number of significant problems. The controller has been lambasted for its poor quality. Many people who backed the project on Kickstarter didn't receive their consoles until well after the retail launch. The company's ‘Free the Games Fund’ was shrouded in controversy after some developers seemed to game the system. An ad featuring a vomiting character was widely derided for being in poor taste.

This was all on top of weak reviews from critics and low sales for game makers.

Despite acknowledging the missteps, Uhrman maintained her optimism for the system in her talk, saying that community feedback was helping it become a better company.

"We're young, we're scrappy, we're moving fast," she said. "We're building this product in the open with you. We got our start with you. We get better every day because we listen to you. Some things are going to resonate and some things aren't going to resonate."

The company needs to get its act together quickly, though. The $99 Android-based gaming system has started rolling out in Target stores nationwide, and the retail giant will incorporate Ouya into its December ad circulars. When you're on a stage that big, you can't afford to do things wrong.

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