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  1. #1

    OUYA Pre-orders at GameStop & GAME Stores Low - Release Date is in Question

    Eddie's Editorials #5 - By Ed Krassenstein
    OUYA Pre-orders at GameStop & GAME Stores Seem to be Low - Release Date is in Question - Store Employees are Very Uninformed

    With OUYA pre-orders underway at both GAME stores in the UK and GameStop stores in the US, one would expect that interest for the OUYA in these retailers probably wouldn't be all that high yet. I decided to contact some stores throughout the US and UK to see how the interest level has been. GameStop is currently advertising on their site, that the OUYA has a release date of June 4, 2013, while GAME in the UK is also saying that the release date is June 4th. However, since Kickstarter backer units being delayed a bit, with the last of the shipments scheduled for the end of May, I wonder if the June 4th date will be pushed back as well.

    OUYAForum user, T3KN0GH057 visited his local GameStop store recently and was informed that there had been 129 pre-orders placed on the OUYA thus far. While he did not say exactly where this store was located, he did say that it was a "backwards southern small town". I thought this sounded like a lot, so I decided to investigate a bit myself.

    Most of the GameStop stores that I called were reluctant to provide much information on pre-orders, claiming that they were not allowed to give interviews over the phone. They directed me to call their corporate headquarters in most cases, which I did with no success. However, some store managers/employees were kind enough (or should I say rebellious enough) to provide me with some details.

    One GameStop that I called in New York City, informed me that there was very little interest in the OUYA console from their customers. They also told me that the release date was set for June 5 (contradicts the June 4 date on their website). However, they also informed me that the street date (day that consoles are actually available for customers) has not yet been confirmed.

    The next GameStop that I called was in Orlando, FL. They also provided me with very little information. When I asked about the OUYA, I was transferred to 2 other people, until one person finally knew what I was talking about. I was told that there had been no interest in the console from their customers, and most of the store employees were not even aware of it.

    I decided to call a GameStop store in San Diego, California, since it seems that there is a lot more interest in the OUYA on the West Coast of the US. After getting transferred yet again, someone had in fact heard of the OUYA. I was told that I could pre-order it for $25 down, and that it had a release date of June 5th (again different from what the official GameStop website says). However, when I asked when they would actually be getting the OUYA in, he said that there is no "Street Date" as of yet, so the date could be moved around a bit.

    Next on the list was a GameStop located in Los Angeles, CA. The store clerk answered the phone and I asked if they were taking pre-orders for the OUYA. He said, "The what??? No I dont think so, please hold on."

    Finally he came back and said that they were in fact taking pre-orders, and informed me that if I pre-order it, I would be guaranteed to receive mine by June 5th. However, if I didn't pre-order, it probably wouldn't be available in stores for another 3 weeks after that date. I could tell that he really didn't know much about it, and he told me that there really hasn't been much interest in the OUYA.

    Next on my list was GAME Stores in the UK. Perhaps the OUYA would be more well known among the masses in the UK.

    I found it extremely difficult to get in touch with individual GAME stores, as most of the phones numbers listed for each store was simply the corporate phone number, which was of no help. I did get through to a few stores though.

    The first GAME store I called was one in Kendal, England. I spoke to a gentleman named Steve who told me that there had not been any pre-orders for an OUYA as of yet. He informed me that several people have been asking about it, but they all were waiting to find out more about it, prior to putting down the cash. I was told that they had ads up in the store, but no display model for gamers to try it on, which wasn't really helping the cause.

    With no luck in Kendal, I decided to called a GAME store in Newcastle UL. The office manager answered the phone and was more than happy to answer any questions I had. While he didn't want to give me exact pre-order numbers, he did inform me that approximately 15 consoles had been put on pre-order, and that he has had a few questions about it. He also seemed to be rather upbeat about the OUYA, telling me that it is "Absolutely brilliant for a home console" and that the only negative thing he sees with it, is the fact that gamers have to buy the game in the Google Play Store as well as the OUYA store. He thought that one purchase should suffice. I was also told that several of his employees are game devs, and that they had a very strong interest in the OUYA.

    Next up was London. I called the GAME store there, and was told that they "didn't believe" any pre-orders had been taken yet. I was also informed that there was very little interest, even though there are ads up throughout the store. When I asked for a release date, I was told that there was no specific date, except for "sometime in June".

    I must say, it was no easy task calling these GAME stores. 70% of the numbers would seem to ring and ring, with no one picking up, while like I said previously the majority of the listings online had the corporate phone number listed rather than the local store.

    Without much luck over the phone, I decided to check Twitter. I found a tweet from a GAME store in Barnsley, which was answering a question about when the actual release date would be. That tweet read:
    Looking like June for the #Ouya console, but no actual release date yet! Can preorder for £10
    There really seems to be a lot of uncertainty on the release date for the OUYA. It doesn't seem as though any store managers or clerks really know for sure when the OUYA will be shipped to those who pre-order it, or when it will be available in stores. Could the June 4th date be moved back, due to the delay in Kickstarter units? I think it's very possible.

    As for the popularity of the OUYA console, I don't think many people really know about it yet. GameStop doesn't seem to be doing very much advertising for it, and there appears to be very minimal amount of advertising on behalf of GAME Stores in the UK. Certainly, as I was told by several clerks at these stores, when the OUYA is available to play in-store, there will be a whole lot more interest in purchasing one.

    Feel free to check with your local GameStop or GAME store and see if they are willing to divulge any pre-order numbers to you. It would be interesting to see the reactions you get when you ask the store managers or clerks about the OUYA. Post any information you get here in this thread

    Ed
    Be sure to follow OUYAForum.com on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ & LinkedIn

  2. #2
    Funny you got through to Kendal :P That's pretty much like phoning Anchorage

    Actually I checked with one of the GAME stores myself who had 4 pre-orders. They were one of the smaller stores in the area, but they said they had more pre-orders than some of the other stores. Remember though that GAME have only been taking pre-orders for the last two weeks.

    However, they did say they were interested in doing more stuff in store with regards to the OUYA and the guys in the store were really enthusiastic about it.
    @JamesACoote
    Executive Star now available on OUYA Discover

  3. #3
    OUYAForum Fan salvasaur's Avatar
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    After having worked at a Best Buy for several years and knowing people who've worked at GameStop, I wouldn't take the lack of knowledge about a release date as a clue that it might be pushed back. Very often, especially with someone who isn't familiar with a product, you'll get whatever that person can decipher from looking at their store inventory system. (Speaking from experience) A lot of times the info is just wrong or doesn't exist.

    As a side: I would take anything 95% of GameStop employees say, with a grain of salt.

  4. #4
    Wow, this was very interesting. Thanks for posting it. Now I'm tempted to ask a Game Stop near me about orders for the OUYA.

  5. #5
    I work in a GAME store in the South of England.

    Pre-orders for the Ouya are low but from what I've seen it's because customers don't know what it is or are talking about the PS4 or NextBox. I have spoken to a fee customers who have asked about it and explained the system and they always seem to like the idea but so far haven't been interested in pre-ordering. I can't say figures but I have doubts they're very high right now.

    A demo console on the shop floor would be great, however. I don't know who has control over that...

  6. #6
    Most GAME stores are uncontactable as most shut down recently, from speaking to people in my local one there have been no pre-orders and most people have no clue what it is and I was apparently the first person to even mention it.

    Im very skeptical about that gamestop with over 100 pre-orders.

    I think at the £99 price point the Ouya will struggle at GAME. Especially considering what other consoles you can pick up at that price from them.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by MasterMagpie View Post
    A demo console on the shop floor would be great, however. I don't know who has control over that...
    Actually I contacted GAME about doing this, since I have my OUYA devkit I can bring on down to the stores to demo. While they were really enthusiastic at first, not heard anything back from them since the end of last week (this is from the guys down at Perry Bar in Birmingham)
    @JamesACoote
    Executive Star now available on OUYA Discover

  8. #8
    This isn't sounding too good at all and I know people won't thank me for saying this but the £100 / $99 is starting to look expensive for what you are getting.

  9. #9
    Having worked for Gamestop in the past, I'd bet money they're downplaying it intentionally because there isn't any real upside for them. They won't get used OUYA game trade in's and there won't be anything beyond the console and accessories for them to sell. Gamestop is motivated heavily by money - which obviously makes sense, it's a business - but they go MUCH too far in their money focus, so I'm not at all surprised they'd be doing what they're doing.

    Also, I've never been impressed with the employee's they have at the various stores around my area, just NOT a good company overall.

  10. #10
    I agree, that it is extremely difficult to pre-sell the OUYA if there is no demo version available on the store floor. This is what most of the store managers told me as well. In the GameStop stores I've been in, I haven't even seen any ads for the OUYA, so people wouldn't even know it exists unless they read about it on the internet or in a magazine, let alone know they can pre-order one in these stores. I'm going to try and get through to GameStop's media department again today and see if I can get any more information on the release date.
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