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:
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.
Looking like June for the #Ouya console, but no actual release date yet! Can preorder for £10
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