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Ouya won't support online multiplayer gaming at launch, says CEO (update)

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

The $99 Ouya won't support online multiplayer for games at launch, says Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman, telling The Verge that the feature will come to the Android console later this year.

Uhrman spoke with The Verge's Joshua Topolsky at SXSW Interactive today, explaining that certain online features like leaderboards and multiplayer achievements won't be ready for Ouya's public launch in June. The console will be focused on local multiplayer gaming at launch, with Urhman saying, "I think Ouya is going to bring back couch play."

Ouya will send out its first batch of consoles to consumers on March 28, with Kickstarter backers getting the first crack.

The startup opened submissions for launch day software last week to begin populating Ouya's online store, which the company says will surface games based on player engagement and fun, not just revenue.

Update: According to an update from The Verge, Ouya reps say the console will support online multiplayer at launch, despite Uhrman's comments. "We will definitely be supporting online multiplayer - developers just need to build in the functionality," a representative reportedly said. Polygon has reached out to Ouya for details.