Los Angeles Business Journal

Ouya Releases Upgraded Console

By Tom Dotan Friday, January 31, 2014

Ouya’s gaming system is nearing its first birthday, and the console maker is celebrating by releasing a new product line with some upgrades.

Starting today, you can buy an Ouya with 16 gigabytes of memory (the original model has only 8 GB), a boosted WiFi connection and a slightly redesigned controller. Upgraded consoles will cost $129, which is $30 more than the original units. The original Ouya, with the original hardware and price point, will still be available.

This is the first significant refresh from the Santa Monica company since it launched the console last March. Over the holidays, Ouya released a limited edition white console with upgraded memory.

It’s been a rocky first year for the console maker, especially compared to its early days as a crowdfunding sensation. More than 63,000 people contributed $8.9 million through Kickstarter; it later added a $15 million Series A round led by Menlo Park fund Kleiner Perkins.

But the console has been beset by middling reviews and some minor scandals. A special fund the company created to encourage developers to make games for the Ouya was exploited by a few companies looking to tap the matching funds. Ouya disqualified those campaigns and later changed up its rules to discourage others from taking similar advantage.

The company also had a staff-shakeup earlier this month when co-founder Muffi Ghadiali, who led the successful Kickstarter campaign, left the company.