It seems that VIA is heading to gain some marketshare in the console market, as they are going to launch a console under the APEX brand name. The console will be named ApeXtreme Personal Gaming Console and DVD Player, or PGC.
The 'console' is not solely aimed for gaming, it's also a good HTPC. It has a 1.4GHz VIA Eden processor, and the VIA CN400 chipset, six USB2 ports, RCA, DVH and S-video outputs, SPDIF out, 10/100 Ethernet and modem, Component Video Out and a 40GB IDE Hard Disk. The Operating system will be an embedded version of WinXP with Windows Media Player, for DVD/CD playback. VIA has also told that the OS will be modable, it will not be 'locked down'. The graphical power will come from a VIA S3 DeltaChrome, and the audio will be served by a VIA 5.1 Vinyl chip.
From the first looks that we have gotten at the ApeXtreme PCG, I have to say that it looks to be very exciting and has just knocked the cost of building a DIY "Home Theater PC" down quite a bit. The interface is supposedly a wireless "keypad" controller. The only thing that I see missing is 802.11G wireless networking, but I bet that is already slated for the next revision should this take off in the marketplace. I personally would still use my PC for most of my gaming and surfing, but I can see a couple hundred DivX movies and countless MP3s being dumped onto it making my "DVD Jukebox" a reality.
The price will be somewhere between US$299 and US$399, and it will be available pretty much anywhere Apex products are sold.