VIA announces x86-based mobile gaming console

VIA has announced the interesting Eve mobile gaming console with x86 roots and plenty of potential as a media playback device. Here are some highlights from Eve's hardware spec, which is based on VIA's Grace mobile console platform:
  • 533MHz Eden-N Processor on a 133MHz front-side bus
  • 128MB DDR266 SDRAM
  • 20GB hard drive
  • VIA CN400 chipset
  • S3 UniChrome Pro graphics with 200MHz core clock
  • VIA Vinyl six-channel audio with EAX support
  • 4" 640x480 LCD display
  • two USB 2.0 ports
  • 802.11b Wi-Fi
Essentially, it's a little PC running Windows XP embedded. With the help of a SIM card, Eve will leverage the Eden-N's hardware cryptography engine to serve DRM-encrusted games through the GameDweller network. GameDweller doesn't currently offer a list of available titles, but Eve's x86 roots should make it easy to port a wide variety of titles to the device, if porting is necessary at all.

Eve was designed by the Ministry of Mobile Affairs, which is headed by Andrew Huang, the author of Hacking the Xbox: An Introduction to Reverse Engineering. Hacking won't be necessary to turn Eve into an open platform, though. According to the GameDweller Whitepaper, SIM cards will be sold that unlock Eve's BIOS, leaving the device open for all sorts of interesting applications.

The Ministry of Mobile Affairs' Eve FAQ claims the device will be available in the first quarter of 2005, just missing the holiday season.

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