Zeebo – Console Made in Brazil!

30 11 2008

Presenting the new Tec Toy/Qualcomm console: Zeebo, made in Brazil!

Zeebo

Zeebo


Took me a long time to write this article because there’s so much different information about it that my brain tilted. 😛

Nothing impressive on the hardware… but Tec Toy’s idea is, at least, unusual: Zeebo is a console that connects to a free 3G network to download the games rather than using CDs, DVDs or cartridges.

The objective is, as you can imagine, reduce piracy.
The console will be released with 3 pre-loaded games: Hero 3D, Evil Prey and Quake.

A total of 50 games are predicted ‘till the end of next year.
According to the producers, they don’t want to compete with the new generation consoles.
They want to provide an “affordable” alternative for lower classes.

But the announced price doesn’t convince much at R$600,00 (about 250+ USDs).
Since that’s almost the price of a Playstation 2 in Brazil (imported consoles are very expensive due to importing taxes).

Doesn’t look bad from this amateur clip (in brazilian portuguese):

Hardware specs are similar to consoles 2 generations ago: (non-confirmed information)
Processor: ARM11 528 MHz
Storage: 1 GB de memória Flash
Games: 50Mb max
RAM Memory: 128 MB DDR
3D Graphics: 1.6 million of triangles per second (some cellphones has similar specs)

Apparently, the developing platform is Qualcomm’s BREW… which is an application developing platform for CELLPHONES.

But anyways, it could be a very nice platform for brazilian game developers.
Several interesting points:
– Doesn’t need a physical media and uses a business model similar to cellphone games, which is one of the most successful markets for game developers in Brazil nowadays.
– The fact that it blocks piracy, which is a big problem for small developers… the case of the vast majority of game companies in Brazil.
– Usage of a reasonably known platform, with limited resources. This limitation might look bad at first, but truth is: It’s a good thing for gaming in Brazil since there are not big corporations or investments to create big triple A titles… except for rare games like Taikodom.

Think I talked a bit too much…
If you want more info about it, here are some links:
Official Brazilian Zeebo website
International Zeebo website
Tex Pine’s take, a game developer that’s working with Zeebo games for 5 years
Engadget’s topic about Zeebo

Source: The Escapist, the above links, and specially the JogosPRO discussion list from YahooGroups (thanks for all the info folks!)


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