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Zeebo unveils Qualcomm-based console for BRIC countries

Posted on Tuesday, March 24 2009 @ 20:07:06 CET by

Zeebo has introduced a game console that uses the Qualcomm MSM chipset and a 528MHz ARM processor, which are chips you'd more expect in a phone than in a gaming console. Zeebo CEO John Rizzo claims the Zeebo represents gaming for the next billion, the console is mainly aimed at emerging markets like the BRIC countries; Brazil, Russia, India and China.

The Zeebo console will not use discs or cartridges, players will have to download games via a 3G wireless network. The console will be launched in Brazil in May for the equivalent of US$199, that sounds expensive but traditional consoles are reportedly a lot more expensive in Brazil:
In Brazil, for instance, where the console is launching first, a PS3 costs the equivalent of US$1,100 new, and the Wii costs US$1,000, because neither console has officially launched there -- the only alternative for those consoles is piracy.

The Zeebo is launching at the equivalent of $199 USD, with games costing in the range of $5 to $15. Games are download-only across a 3G wireless network, which can also be used as a connectivity point for laptops in those homes without Internet.

Yuen compared the video game market to the Matterhorn, in that many have died trying to climb it. "Lots of companies have tried to conquer the big three, and died doing it. So, within Qualcomm we've been thinking about how we can do this differently, and with cellular technology."
Games are developed with Qualcomm's BREW platform, and Zeebo says there will be more than 300 titles available. This will include classics like Quake, Tekken 2, Crash Bandicoot and others. More details about Zeebo can be read at Gamasutra.



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