GDC: New console for emerging markets

USD 199 Zeebo uses digi downloads.

The Game Developers Conference yesterday saw the announcement of Zeebo, a 3G wireless games console specifically tailored for the emerging markets, reports.

The budget console is set to go on sale in Brazil next month for USD 199 - almost one-fifth the price of the leading consoles - with other markets to follow. The disc-less device features a wireless downloadable games service and comes pre-installed with four titles as well as one free download.

"The Zeebo console will deliver a truly engaging and entertaining gaming experience to a potential billion new consumers around the world, many of whom have never experienced gaming in the home," said John Rizzo, CEO of Zeebo.

"The system provides an intuitive, quick, and easy-to-use home shopping user experience featuring popular, culturally optimised content from leading game publishers and developers around the world. It also delivers high-value and warranty protection compared to grey market products with no need for a separate wireless access plan."

The Qualcomm-funded console has partnered with a number of publishers and developers to deliver their titles through the system, including Capcom, Digital Chocolate, EA Mobile, Id Software, Namco and THQ, among others.

"We've had a vision for a wireless videogame console targeted at the special economic and culturally relevant content needs in emerging markets for several years and we're excited to see Zeebo embark on this ambitious new venture," said Mike Yuen, senior director of games and services, Qualcomm.

"Qualcomm has had a long history of enabling our partners with disruptive wireless technologies and services and we look forward to continuing our support of Zeebo."

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