The Ouya Android console will be coming to all Target stores this month, with a major promotion deal coming over the next several months, Polygon reports. The Ouya launched with a surprisingly large retail presence, selling at GameStop, Best Buy, and Target, but those stores hadn't yet committed to putting the consoles in all locations. Now, Target will start selling the Ouya in all its roughly 1,800 locations, letting Ouya run nationwide ad campaigns with the knowledge that people will be able to buy them just about anywhere. It's part of a larger push for expansion: the Ouya is launching in parts of Europe and the Middle East at the end of October, and once the consoles are in Target stores nationwide, it will start aggressively promoting them with in-store ads and a gift card bundled with purchase.
These efforts will culminate next year, when the Ouya will get its own demo kiosks in some Targets — just like its macroconsole counterparts. Uhrman also says she's in talks with Walmart and hoping to announce something about a partnership "soon." This promotional effort, Uhrman says, is based on consumer demand, but it's also a chance for Ouya to reset the narrative that grew around its numerous missteps and setbacks after launch. Most recently, the company's matching fund for Kickstarter-backed games backfired, after successful games were found to have been funded by a suspiciously small number of people.
"There were some absolutely unacceptable things that we just didn't see."
Now, though, that backlash is fading. The company changed the rules of the fund last month, lowering the barrier to entry and making it harder to game the system, and Uhrman admitted in a speech earlier this week that she'd made "a lot of mistakes" but would continue to respond to criticism. Sophie Houlden, a designer who pulled her game from the Ouya marketplace in September because of "their inability to admit that they have fucked up," returned it to the store soon after Uhrman's speech, saying that the company had shown humility and openness when talking with developers. And Uhrman says the console's problems don't outweigh its successes. "There were some absolutely unacceptable things that we just didn't see regardless of the amount of testing we'd done," she tells Polygon. "But we haven't had a software outage. We haven't had a major bug that made the system unplayable. We haven't had it accidentally release credit card information."
- Target stores