Lenovo developing eBox game console for China

Is there room in the game console market for one more? Lenovo hopes so. The PC giant has confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that it’s been hard at work on a game console dubbed the eBox. Development is now being handled by Beijing eedoo Technology, a company created by Lenovo to manage the console.

Given that company’s name, it’s no surprise that the eBox is coming first to China. You might be surprised to learn just how quickly the console expected to arrive, though. According to the WSJ, the eBox is due out before the end of the year.

Few details on the console are available at this time. However, this cartoon on the eedoo website suggests that the system will offer Kinect-style motion control that interprets player movements with a camera perched atop their television. The odds of the eBox brandishing next-gen graphics capabilities are probably slim, but it wouldn’t take much to surpass the years-old hardware inside the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, let alone the antiquated silicon that fuels the Wii.

Comments closed
    • Skrying
    • 9 years ago

    I seriously doubt Lenovo is banking on traditional developers. I think a nettop type system that has a solid distribution platform would work fine. Give all of the aspiring game developers in China a box to program towards and some tools and you could potentially get a number of very unique and entertaining games. They not be in the vein of Halo or Madden but I’ve often had more fun with “simple” games than “real” games.

    • ronch
    • 9 years ago

    I suppose, Wii + Xbox = eBox.

    And maybe it’ll be powered by a Chinese Godson CPU.

    • Voldenuit
    • 9 years ago

    The Phantom idea really was ahead of its time (not to mention run by some very dubious people).

    I’d love to see a ‘Steambox’ with a set-configuration mini-PC that developers can optimize for.

    eBox, like everyone says, will go nowhere without publisher and developer support.

    • shank15217
    • 9 years ago

    The only game is gonna be romance of the three kingdoms variants lol Those chinese really love that theme.

    • Sanctusx2
    • 9 years ago

    Though they call it a “game console,” couldn’t this just be a HTPC meets games type of thing? Many developers still make PC versions of their games, so all they’d need to do is develop sets of custom i/o and graphics profiles for each title. That would probably explain the lack of news and buzz from developers, if that release time frame is true.

    Like others have suggested, I really can’t see them expecting to start up another gaming eco system on their own.

    • eitje
    • 9 years ago

    PHANTOM, IS THAT YOU?!?!!

    • JDZZL
    • 9 years ago

    Bario, awesome.

    • albundy
    • 9 years ago

    if it don’t have any game publishers making games for it, there’s no point.

    • kvndoom
    • 9 years ago

    l[

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 9 years ago

      It’s China, I think they’ll just laugh at you.

    • slaimus
    • 9 years ago

    With the piracy rates as high as it is in China, I do not see how game developers are willing to commit to this market.

      • ludi
      • 9 years ago

      Easy: You start a local game development ecosystem in China.

      Then you expand the market into India.

      Also, since it’s Lenovo and since they’re working within their native China on this one, I highly doubt they’ll follow the Microsoft/Sony model of selling the console at break-even or loss and then making up the difference on game sales. They’ll probably sell the hardware cheap, but still at enough of a profit to keep the platform development rolling, and then let the first wave of games be developed and sold in a smartphone-esque “app market”.

    • Convert
    • 9 years ago

    I can’t want to play Bario on this thing.

    • Kurotetsu
    • 9 years ago

    Lenovo better be dropping large sacks of money at the doorstep of game developers, otherwise nobody is going to give a shit about this.

    • Mystic-G
    • 9 years ago

    Third party support for them is gonna be a pain in the arse. Publishers don’t want to have their games on a system with a tiny install base. I find it hard to see how these guys will be able to build up an install base at this point.

    Wii has motion control and 360 & PS3 will have motion control, it’s idiotic to try to be a fourth man in this with a unproven name. They would’ve been better off making a hardcore console with a big performance boost.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 9 years ago

      Games for a “hardcore” console would take years to develop. Simple games are where the money is and they’re cheap and quick to develop.

      This is probably some sort of nettop-like PC that just isn’t customizable. It’s not like consoles of today are terribly far from that. They’re practically just really, really crappy HTPCs.

      • Game_boy
      • 9 years ago

      Then find a killer app or two and rely heavily on first-party games. Worked for Nintendo (SMB for the NES, Wii Sports/Fit for the Wii)

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 9 years ago

        And Microsoft.

        The xbox was nothing before Halo.

    • BiffStroganoffsky
    • 9 years ago

    The bigger question is: are there enough compelling apps to go around? If all eBox does is play, say, Mario…it probably doesn’t have a very bright future.

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