Zeebo, Qualcomm Launch Games Console

When someone asks what your favorite console is, it’s a multiple choice question with three possible answers: PlayStation, Xbox or Wii. Yesterday a start-up called Zeebo announced that it aims to put a fourth option on the market.

The company is aiming the Zeebo console at middle-class buyers in emerging markets and alright, it probably won't give Nintendo, Microsoft or Sony a run for their money, but we love what the company is trying to do.

Zeebo Inc. is targeting consumers in Brazil, Russia, India and China which are typically unable to afford the higher-end devices or the games that play on them. Speaking at GDC in San Francisco, CEO, John Rizzo explained the need for a console in emerging markets. As well as the issue of affordability, Rizzo points out that some games (such as GTA) wouldn’t get the same reception in Brazil, Russia, India or China that they would in North American or European markets and the games that would be a big hit often don’t get released because the publishers worry about piracy.

Backed by Qualcomm, Zeebo uses a Qualcomm chipset that allows users to connect over a wireless network to purchase and download games. Games are stored on the console (Flash memory) and the Zeebo can hold up to 50 games at any time. According to MarketWatch,  the Zeebo will be available in Brazil at the price of $199, and the price is expected to drop to $150 within the year. MW also reports that the download service will mostly showcase older titles, like Quake, Need for Speed and Street Fighter.

I don’t know about you guys but I can see a demand for this console in more markets than just Brazil, Russia, India or China especially with the likes of Street Fighter and Quake available. It also looks pretty slick.

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  • megamanx00
    I don't know, I mean the 360 starts at $199 now. I guess we'll see. Perhaps if it picks up momentum they may try and release a version here in the states, but the market is already a little crowded. I guess they can just push the overpriced PS3 out of the way ^_^
  • tenor77
    I'm curious about how this fairs as it's all Digital distribution. I'm not sure we'll see it in the US though based on the markets they're launching at, but pricepoint speaks to people during a recession and a (potentially) $150 console and ~$10 games might just fly.
  • Hothr
    Smells like a Phantom.
    But they can't possibly botch it that bad. They already made it at least as far as them with a rendered mock-up.