Game on for Ouya console, if you can find one
At $99, the new Android-powered system is selling out quickly. Whether it will ever challenge the market's big players is another question.
According to Mashable, Ouya was sold out Tuesday on Amazon.com (AMZN) just hours after it went on sale in the U.S., Canada and U.K. The consoles were temporarily unavailable Wednesday, too. Consumers were also out of luck if they tried Best Buy (BBY) or Target (TGT), according to their respective websites.
What's the fuss about?
First is the price. The Ouya console sells for a rock-bottom $99. In contrast, Best Buy is taking preorders for Sony's (SNE) PlayStation 4, which isn't going to be released officially until November, for $399.99. Microsoft (MSFT) is taking preorders for the Xbox One Day One Edition for $499.99 ahead of its planned on-sale date later this year. (Microsoft owns and publishes moneyNOW, an MSN Money site.)
Although Ouya games aren't as complex as those offered for the PlayStation and Xbox, they may be good enough for many gamers, particularly casual ones, according to some reviews. Games, which can cost as much as $70 on other systems, are all free to try. Thousands of people who donated to the company's Kickstarter campaign got a free console as well.
Early reviews have been mixed, though a few have been scathing. Tech Radar's Alex Roth said Ouya won't become the "third superpower" alongside PlayStation and XBox, but it "has a good shot at carving out its own niche market amongst atypical systems like the Wii U and Nvidia's (NVDA) Project Shield."
The CBC's Peter Nowak complained about the system's poor responsiveness. "In just about every game I tried, there was a noticeable lag between pressing the button and seeing the corresponding action on screen," he wrote. At PC Magazine, Will Greenwald wrote "unless you're dedicated and technically savvy, it's just not worth it."
Of course, Ouya is still in its infancy and may get better over time. Then again, its rivals probably will as well.
Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.
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