Friday Lenovo spokesperson Jay Chen revealed that the company is entering the video game arena with the launch of a motion-sensing console. Called the eBox, the device will be the result of a spin-off company named Beijing eedoo Technology Ltd., and is expected to hit retail shelves in China first. The name may eventually change however, as it may cause confusion with the open source unified network server for SMEs with the same name.
According to Chen, the new gaming console was first developed internally by Lenovo. "We saw game consoles as an area with growth potential," he said. A team of 40 software engineers was created to develop the initial prototype using motion-control technology similar to Microsoft's Kinect for the Xbox 360. The group was then was sectioned off to become the separate, dedicated company.
With that said, Beijing eedoo Technology's upcoming eBox isn't slated for drug store discount shelves (as in those lined with the "As Seen on TV" products, the Zone 40 and Xtreme Fit "consoles"). Instead, it intends to compete with the big boys--namely Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony. Still, the eBox will set its sights on the casual player rather than hardcore gamers--similar to Nintendo's Wii console.
"Our product is designed for family entertainment," said Beijing eedoo Technology president Jack Luo. "eBox may not have exquisite game graphics, or extensive violence, but it can inspire family members to get off the couch and get some exercise."
The new console is expected to hit China in November, and then go mainstream sometime in Q1 2011. The eBox is also slated to cost higher than the Nintendo Wii, but may possibly be slightly lower in cost than the Xbox 360 (retailing at $299.99). The eBox will also have around 30 free games when it finally hits the market.
"I expect more than 1 million eBox's may be sold annually after the first two to three years," Luo said.