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.