Rob Beschizza at 8:18 am Wed, Jul 4, 2012
What do OLPC designer Yves Behar, former XBox executive Ed Fries, and Peek's Amol Sarva got in common? They're planning a hackable $99 game console running Android, complete with a development kit and online store. [The Verge]
⟿ Follow Rob Beschizza on Twitter.
MORE: Gadgets • Games
Ants and Stars: Bruce Sterling and Jasmina Tesanovic visit the Sardinia Radio Telescope in Italy
The Snowden Principle
LOL It’s a dreidel!
Sounds a little pie-in-the-sky to me, like they’re not sure how to describe it.
1) At some point it stops being a “games console” and is just a computer, right? I bought an Acer Revo 3700 to plug into my TV, runing ubuntu and xbmc. I have games installed on it, and could have even more if I put Windows on it too. Does that make it a computer? A set-top-box? A games console? I don’t know. It seems like the usage in this case is meant to imply “it will compete with the Wii, Xbox and Playstation” but I definitely don’t think of my Revo, which I think this will be most similar to, as replacing my consoles. A more accurate description of what this will be for you might be “a nettop running Android”.
2) For $99, you’re going to get really rubbish performance, right? They simply won’t be able to afford hardware powerful enough to run high-performance games for that much money. So it’s cheap, but it can also only run simple games. Again, not going to compete with the actual “games consoles” if it can’t run modern games.
3) And finally – “all games will be free to play” – so how will they be financed? They get a share of the console money? Advertising? Do they actually mean “free to download” and you can pay for perks, like a lot of smartphone/tablet games? If it’s the latter then forcing that business model on developers and users is something of a double-edged sword, surely?
So yeah – I don’t think it’s anything new, it’s not going to compete with what you think of as a “games console”, and it’s going to struggle to get interesting content. To anyone excited by this, I would recommend looking at cheap nettops like the Revo that you can run Windows and/or some kind of Linux on – it’s working great for me.
I don’t see there being much of a market for this. There are cheap android smart phones out there that would also play free android games. I paid 89 bucks for a contract free brand new android (ZTE Score) a couple of months ago. If you didn’t want to pay for cell service and use it as a phone that you couldn’t just use it as a gaming device I suppose. I can’t imagine why you’d pay 10 bucks more for it to be a console instead of a handheld. I’d think if they wanted to concentrate on the gaming aspect of android and thought people might want it on a larger than a phone screen, they’d build some sort of adapter to send the games from the phone to the big screen of the television, rather than building a whole new console box.
You can plug nicer smartphones into your telly via micro HDMI or whatever it’s called.