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Major retailers offer Ouya pre-orders

OuyaAmazon 300x201 Major retailers offer Ouya pre ordersIn a move that’s sure to raise some eyebrows, several major retailers began offering pre-orders today for the Ouya, the Kickstarter-ed Android console, and its controllers.

Amazon and GameStop are on the list, as well as Best Buy and Target. Pre-orders for the console cost $99.99 and include one of its controllers, which have a touchscreen in the middle of the pad, according to the Amazon.com description. Additional controllers cost $49.99, and all items have an estimated shipping date of June 4.

CEO Julie Uhrman also spoke to the Wall Street Journal about their goals to also physically put the Ouya in front of shoppers’ eyes, both on store shelves and demo stations. Uhrman said those details were still being worked out, and if they succeed it would be a big step in raising widespread consumer awareness about the device.

Uhrman also knocked consoles’ development requirements during the interview, saying it was one of the reasons why console sales were in decline. The Ouya is free to develop on.

“For the last year or two years all we’ve been hearing is that the consoles are dead,” she said. “The reason is there isn’t new, innovative intellectual property. It’s expensive to develop on it. You’re seeing a major shift of games being developed on the television. Our viewpoint has always been that console gaming isn’t dead, the way we think about it hasn’t changed.”

Uhrman didn’t give any update on how many developers had been lined up to create games for the Ouya, but said they were using part of the $8.5 million they raised on Kickstarter to fund development. She said they expect to have a “large” list of exclusive titles for the Ouya, and noted that SquareEnix was adapting a TV-screen friendly version of Final Fantasy 3.

If the $99 Ouya does get a spot on shelves next to the expected $350 or $400 price tags of the “next generation” consoles, it could make a serious argument for entertainment dollars this holiday season. Whether it succeeds or fails could also drive home the importance of digital sales, which is the only way you can get games on the device. Uhrman said they’re not planning to take on Microsoft or Sony directly, and instead carve out their own niche, but at the end of the day they’re still competing for the same TV screen and are so far making good progress as being successful in their goals.

[ via GamaSutra, WSJ ]

About Russell Jones

By day, Russell works in local TV news. By night, he plays and writes about video games for VGW and his personal blog, The Gentleman Gamer. An avid RPG fan, Russell can also be found plotting the demise of adventurers from behind a Dungeon Master's screen. He can be heard weekly on the "Geek In Review" podcast (GiRPodcast.podomatic.com).

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