"[T]hat Ouya is giving up the hardware so soon after release must be disappointing to those who had backed the company in its early days."
No it isn't. Early backers wanted and (eventually) received a cheap console box that could be tinkered with for pet projects and emulate megadrive/SNES classics in the living room. During the wait for delivery, the arrogance and shoddiness of OUYA the company convinced me to never risk giving my credit card details to their store. So despite playing a number of demos for games I could have bought, the developers didn't get my money.
Long story short slowly divorcing OUYA from the company that made it could be the best thing to happen for OUYA in a while. It might even lead to the development of an independent OUYA-centric Android OS that makes loading non-store apps easier.