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Acer's Hornet Device a Wii Clone?

According to a Turkish website, Acer will soon release a Nintendo Wii clone based on Nvidia's Ion and Intel's Atom platforms.

There's nothing like a cool gadget, especially when they're designed to not only make life easier (for the lazy), but serve as an economical means to upgrade from old-school hardware. However, ideas on paper don't necessarily translate well into the real world, thus consumers are left with sub-par products that aren't quite up to speed with its original, designed intentions. Instead we're left with "copycat" inventions, devices created by manufacturers wanting to ride on the tails of the latest technology but fall just short of expectations.

Over the last few days, images of a desktop PC have surfaced, leaked pictures supposedly from Acer. Originally scooped by Turkish website Donanim Haber (with the screens now removed), the compact PC can be VESA mounted on the backside of displays like a plastic knapsack. Called the Acer Hornet, the device harnesses the power of Intel's Atom chip and Nvidia's Ion chipset with an HDMI output and visuals capable of 1080p playback. Apparently, the device will be capable of playing PC games, but due to the Ion limitations (16 stream processors), the resolutions may be limited as well. Selling for a "couple hundreds of dollars," the Hornet uses full-size peripherals and works silently.

According to the Inquirer, a source reports that there are three to four SKUs, that the hornet will be priced between $199 and $399, and that it will perform like a full PC but feature the size of Nintendo's Wii console. In fact, the "leaked" images report the Hornet will  perform as a gaming system in the same manner as Nintendo's hot console, offering a Wiimote-like device for not only controlling the PC functions by remote, but for gaming as well. Acer's remote looks strikingly similar to the Wiimote, although the device looks more like a thin gun with an indented trigger.

While Acer has yet to deny or confirm the Hornet PC, the device may actually see retail shelves in April. If the company plans to promote the Hornet as a Wii replacement, then Nintendo may have a run for its money. On the other hand, Nintendo has managed to fight off the other big contenders in the console market - Sony and Microsoft - though the latter recently revealed an interest in sinking $35 million USD into Israeli start-up VR firm, 3DV Systems. If Microsoft were to integrate the company's ZCam 3D camera into the Xbox 360, gamers would have the ability to interact with games using only their hands.

But how will Acer's PC stand up to Nintendo and even possibly Microsoft? Hopefully the Hornet won't come off as a "clone" to gamers and general consumers, offering a mixture of innovation, originality, and perhaps even improvements to the current Nintendo Wii experience. Maybe once Acer spews out the hardware specs detailing its Hornet PC, consumers will get a better idea of what the device can actually do. Until then, enquiring minds will just have to speculate.