Ouya CEO Stumbles on Multiplayer at Launch Comments, Company Backtracks

An interesting story on The Verge quoting Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman reported that the $99 Android-based home console set to launch in June (for those who didn't back its Kickstarter crowd funding campaign) would not have multiplayer capabilities at launch. Obviously this message was not well received by the gaming community and the company quickly clarified it's CEO's statement saying that it was a mistake. First, Uhrman comments:

"Uhrman spoke with The Verge's Joshua Topolsky at SXSW Interactive today, explaining that certain online features like leaderboards and multiplayer achievements won't be ready for Ouya's public launch in June. The console will be focused on local multiplayer gaming at launch, with Uhrman saying, 'I think Ouya is going to bring back couch play.'"

Well it turns out that Uhrman misspoke when she told The Verge that particular bit of wisdom.

But a subsequent update to the story (which we found on Polygon) walked back the whole "no multiplayer at launch, the return of couch play" comments from Ouya's CEO.

"We will definitely be supporting online multiplayer – developers just need to build in the functionality," said an unnamed Ouya representative.

We'll give Uhrman the benefit of the doubt on this one – perhaps she thought something along the lines of "Ouya supporting some kind of centralized multiplayer hub" at launch…

Source: Polygon


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  1. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    I listened in on the SXSW interview and I really didn't walk away with any complaints. When she talked about multiplayer, I think it was pretty clear that local multiplayer was the main focus and that they won't have any centralized multiplayer options at launch. I don't understand why anyone thought that meant that online multiplayer was completely off the table.

    E. Zachary Knight
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  2. 0
    Degraine says:

    It seems appropriate to link Tycho’s newspost on the subject of minor verbal missteps. Good thing it was the CEO in this case.

    I notice the original Verge article does not provide a direct quote for their extrapolation that online multiplayer wouldn’t be available. Great big quote box about the distribution network not being totally unrestricted, though. It smacks of dishonesty.

  3. 0
    Sleaker says:

    Seems like just a mis-speak, of course a game can have any multiplayer they need, it just wont be hosted on Ouya servers, you'll have to host it yourself, etc, or if the developer puts it in, the dev will have to host it.  Seems pretty clear to me that it works just like software being released on a PC platform.

  4. 0
    Imautobot says:

    I could care less.  I pay on XBL a couple times a year, and it's rarely a rewarding experience.  I think Ouya will get me back into retro gaming by allowing emulators without the need for cartridge collections or antique hardware that can be selective as to whether or not it feels like working on any given day.  Heck, if I can play Super Mario Kart 2-player, I'd say this console will have already paid for itself. 

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