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G1 Google Phone Could End Up the Most Popular Console Ever

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the except-in-america dept.

Cellphones 116

Jon Jordan writes "Pocket Gamer has been getting its fingers inside the unique new Zeebo console — a sub $200 system designed for emerging markets — to discover it's based on a hacked version of the T-Mobile G1 Google phone. It effectively consists of the chipset from the HTC Dream/G1 Android phone, plus some extra I/O to deal with TV screens, controllers and the like. If this gaming, entertainment and educational console for the billion-strong middle classes in emerging economies such as Brazil and India catches on, HTC could become a serious global gaming force. Qualcomm's Mike Yuen said in an interview, 'We have this mass market chipset, and our next-generation chipset is getting faster. What we announced, [Qualcomm's] Snapdragon [chipset], is going to netbooks; it bumps it a few notches above that. The cell phone business, including us, is never going to build a processor that's going to match or surpass what the video game guys do. So, why chase that?'"

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116 comments

first post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28027685)

did I win?

Not in Brazil (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28027735)

This Zeebo tyhing won't emerge in Brazil for the simple fact that a PSP2 is cheaper than this Zeebo, and it has tons of games and it can be hacked.

Games will be too expensive (5, Informative)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#28027925)

This Zeebo tyhing won't emerge in Brazil for the simple fact that a PSP2 is cheaper than this

Also, TFA says "it's expected in Brazil that Zeebo games will be available for around $12". Since PS2 games in Brazil typically cost R$10 (around US$5), Zeebo games at $12 are too expensive.

Re:Games will be too expensive (4, Insightful)

u38cg (607297) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028153)

Yeah. More to the point, in my limited experience the middle classes in any country are as aspirational as in the developed world. They're not going to want a shitty console with an underpowered chipset when there are alternatives available.

Re:Games will be too expensive (2, Insightful)

nvivo (739176) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030063)

Only illegal copies cost $5. You could say also that they cost nothing if I download them from pirate bay. And if you're from Brazil too, you know legal copies of PS2 games here cost a lot more than that. Zeebo is going after a different market, offering legal copies costing $12.

But IMHO, I don't think the poor kids here are looking for the type of games this console is going to have (like Quake, Sonic, etc). I see this working for parents buying this for young kids, but in general, once kids grow up to the age of 12-14, they will ask for newer consoles, newer games.

The problem is that there is no isolated place in the world today. Wanting the latest is not a luxury that only 1st world countries have anymore. Information travels very fast nowadays, and products appear here almost at the same time they appear in USA or Europe. Poor kids on the street here in Brazil may not have anything to eat, but they surely know that a PS3 exists, they see a Wii or Xbox360 demos on stores as they pass by.

So, the fact is that that poor kids/parents will surely prefer to buy a not so old PS2 in the black market free of taxes for $150 or less than buying a legal version of Zeebo with 15 year old games for about the same price.

So, yes, I see this console working for a specific market, but I don't see it as any revolution like being the most popular console ever.

Re:Not in Brazil (2, Funny)

Narishma (822073) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028031)

PSP2? Wow I knew piracy is prevalent around those parts of the world but I wasn't aware they also got new hardware before the rest of us.

Re:Not in Brazil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28028103)

PSP2? Wow I knew piracy is prevalent around those parts of the world but I wasn't aware they also got new hardware before the rest of us.

What do you mean? PSP2 [wikipedia.org] came out in 1993, it's currently in version 12.

Re:Not in Brazil (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28028139)

Yeah man, those pirates are getting smarter every year, they even have a time machine now.

Yet here is the rest of the world sitting living out their lives linearly.

Shocking state of affairs if i do say so myself.

Re:Not in Brazil (1)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029929)

assuming you're talking about the PS2 (without the extra 'P'), it's an aging console that'll see less and less new releases from now on, and since it never had an official distribution channel here, there's very few (usually european) games in portuguese for it. when you find one, it's in the dialact spoken in portugal, wich is quite diferent (and funny to hear/read) than the one we speak. and it's present only in subtitles, not on the sound track.

now, i've read about this zeebo on brasilian news sites some 6 months ago when tec-toy first anounced it. the idea is to sell it along with 3G internet access, so it's not hard to imagine that they'll be selling it with subsidies on cell phone stores, where it'll have no competition to divide the attention of would be buyers (moms and dads looking for a nice gift to their kids).

also, tectoy have a somewhat strong channel to distribute this stuff through chain stores like casas bahia, carrefour, extra, ponto frio, etc. all of them still sell tectoy's licensed mega-drive clones and DVD player/karaoke machines.

and yes, you read that right. in case you didn't, i'm going to shout it: MEGA-DRIVE/GENESIS. it's still being manufactured and you can still buy one new in several places here, bundled with a shitload of games. tectoy kept it alive even after sega itself gave up on consoles.

Re:Not in Brazil (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 5 years ago | (#28032231)

assuming you're talking about the PS2 (without the extra 'P'), it's an aging console that'll see less and less new releases from now on,

Well, it's still a lot better than playing games on a fucking phone. And it's not like there's anything wrong with old games. There are plenty of 10-20 year old games that are better than many new releases.

Re:Not in Brazil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28032821)

it's an aging console that'll see fewer and fewer new releases from now on

FTFY

Why? (4, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#28027783)

Why do they assume that that Zeebo thing is just going to be so popular? I mean I wish them to be successful, but realistically when you're not an industry giant you can hardly hope to sell 100,000 units.

Re:Why? (4, Funny)

SpeedyDX (1014595) | more than 5 years ago | (#28027895)

To be fair, the title did say could. The Phantom could end up the most popular console ever. Duke Nukem Forever could end up the most popular game ever.

Words are fun!

Re:Why? (1)

SpeedyDX (1014595) | more than 5 years ago | (#28027943)

Hate to reply to myself, but I just noticed TFA uses "might" instead of "could". I think those two words are interchangeable enough, though.

Re:Why? (2, Funny)

jebrew (1101907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028949)

They "might" be interchangable, but I'm not sure you "could" use them that way without confusion...

Re:Why? (2, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031209)

They "might" be interchangable, but I'm not sure you "could" use them that way without confusion...

I see what you did there >_>

Re:Why? (1)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031361)

Those words could be interchangeable, but you might not want to interchange them in all situations.

Re:Why? (1)

jshackles (957031) | more than 5 years ago | (#28027913)

I imagine it's expected to be popular based on price alone. It's easy to see why the majority of people living in "emerging economies such as Brazil and India" couldn't afford a $400 PS3 or even $250 Wii. But if you can make a game console $100 or even $150, it will probably sell like hot cakes, despite the lack of decent titles.

Re:Why? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#28027965)

No, for emerging markets the target price point is probably more like $50-75 for the console with game titles in the $10-20 range. Basically a somewhat reduced price Gameboy.

Re:Why? (1)

DeafZombie (1144079) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028187)

Specially when an XBOX 360 or a PS3 cost over US$1,000 in Brazil.. although most of the games are pirated.

Re:Why? (0, Flamebait)

xp (146294) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028265)

Why would someone buy a console with no titles, regardless of price? The console seems to be targeting the financially inept -- a demographic that is usually cash-strapped.
--
Are your friends slow? [appcompose.com]

It's BREW (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028363)

Why would someone buy a console with no titles, regardless of price?

Apparently it runs titles for Qualcomm BREW. You might recognize BREW from Verizon Wireless in the United States. From the article: "They submit their games to Qualcomm as they would any other BREW application, and they get paid in the same way." But I've read that BREW is even more closed and painful than the iPhone SDK.

Re:Why? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029363)

So sell previous generation consoles, they are available used for virtually nothing and the components used to build them must be so outdated as to be extremely cheap these days, but there are a significant number of games available already...
Plus the games will also be extremely cheap, and if they're not then all these older consoles have long since been cracked making it easy to copy the games.

Re:Why? (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031233)

That's conveniently forgetting about the PS2, isn't it?

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

yuri82 (236251) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028055)

Well, if they want to sell a lot of copies in Brazil all they have to do is show someone in a soap opera playing it. Or in the Big Brother show. You think I'm kidding: we have a store that sells houseware stuff, we keep an eye on what they show on tv because the next day people will be in here looking for the same stuff.

Re:Why? (5, Funny)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028197)

The last Brazilian soap opera I saw had a 5 minute scene of a beautiful girl in the shower. If your theory is correct, the next day the brothels must have been full!

Re:Why? (1)

yuri82 (236251) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028331)

They usually are. At anytime there's probably about 2 or 3 soap operas on TV.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28034137)

No.. your logic is faulty! After a 5 minute scene of a beautiful girl in the shower, it would follow that water consumption would rise and people would smell cleaner.

Re:Why? (0)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028115)

I mean I wish them to be successful, but realistically when you're not an industry giant you can hardly hope to sell 100,000 units.

Google is an industry giant. Not that industry, but still, their brand doubles as a verb.

Re:Why? (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031269)

That would work if it was a Google console. A console that uses some Google thingie no one cares about is very different.

Misleading article (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28027811)

The article mentions that it's powered by a Qualcomm chipset (as are many phones by HTC and others) and makes the leap that it's identical to the HTC Dream. This is an unsourced claim by TFA. It does not follow from the fact that Qualcomm is involved.

I see somebody has already edited the Wikipedia article on "Zeebo" to say it is a T-Mobile G1.

Re:Misleading article (2, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028147)

Even if it was identical to the HTC Dream in hardware, that wouldn't mean HTC would make any money off it. Nobody's going out and buying G1s to get those chipsets, if it's true, they're just buying them from Qualcomm. It's a really bizarre statement.

Re:Misleading article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28028767)

Yes, calling it a "hacked version of G1" ? WTF?? This is a totally different hardware based only on the same chipset. It is like saying that the XBOX 360 is a hacked version of older macs.

At the risk of modding... (4, Informative)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 5 years ago | (#28027827)

I know it's not a particularly popular observation, but generally the success or failure of a console generally depends on the branded content that gets developed for it. What games does the system have? Does the system manufacturer have good relations with the major publishers? Does it have good tools? People buy consoles, particularly plug-into-the-wall systems, for the games. Without support of developers, it just turns into one of those Wall-Mart knockoffs.

It seems sorta premature (and logically peculiar) to declare the G1 to be possibly "the most popular console evar!" It's a bit like seeing a slashdot story 15 years ago about how the Mac will possibly become the most popular console evar! because someone took apart a Pippin and discovered it had a abunch of Apple ICs in it.

As far as the success or failure of a particular game platform is, the actual hardware, once exceeding a certain minimum threshold of performance, is basically redundant.

Re:At the risk of modding... (1)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028013)

I know it's not a particularly popular observation, but generally the success or failure of a console generally depends on the branded content that gets developed for it.

Not necessarily. The Wii's software is garbage, and it's by far the best-selling console of the current generation.

Re:At the risk of modding... (1)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028445)

Wii sells Nintendo only franchises like Mario, Zelda etc. They are in business of selling brands, hardware is secondary in their strategy.

Re:At the risk of modding... (0, Troll)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029549)

They're only garbage to smelly 20 somethings. The members of the human race that have had sex with other people however enjoy simpler games that don't take hours at a time and require usage of non-words like "pwned".

Re:At the risk of modding... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030173)

I'm a Nintendo loyalist and I have to still say that the Wii's software library sucks. Nintendo's first-party games are really good on it, Brawl, Super Mario Galaxy, etc. On the other hand most third party games are either A) Remakes of old PS2 games B) mini-game compilations C) Movie tie-in games that are crap D) Rip offs of Nintendo's games like the million Wii Fit clones and Wii Sports clones out there or E) Plain old crap games.

Wii Sports is an over-hyped tech demo. Sure, its fun every now and then, but it lacks... substance. The Virtual Console games, while many are quite fun, are over-priced ($5 for an NES game?), Wii Ware showcases Nintendo's faults in the Wii hardware, larger games could be developed if not for the pathetic amount of internal storage.

Basically in the current generation you have the Wii which has fun software that won't hold your interest for longer than a few hours, is cheap, innovative and well built. The 360 which has software for many hours of gameplay and a good variety, however the hardware is plain crap, even though they have improved it, and the hardware is cheap-ish (you have to buy separately many of the components that other consoles have built in). The PS3 has amazing hardware, however its software library is less than impressive, its incredibly expensive, can't play PS2 games, however it can play Blu-Ray.

Re:At the risk of modding... (1)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031777)

The Virtual Console games, while many are quite fun, are over-priced ($5 for an NES game?),

Yeah, try paying $50 for that same game, we all did once... And what makes $5 for Tetris or SMB3 overpriced? Because they have 10 times the substance of Wii Sports or the others people are going to mention here.

But you seem to hate all consoles by reading the rest of your post.

Re:At the risk of modding... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28032899)

Yeah, try paying $50 for that same game, we all did once... And what makes $5 for Tetris or SMB3 overpriced? Because they have 10 times the substance of Wii Sports or the others people are going to mention here.

Exactly, we did once. We did when the NES was still a state-of-the-art system. Today, because Nintendo owns all the licenses, the game already broke records in sales, made a profit, etc. So that $5 is $5 in pure profit. That same game can be found in physical NES cart format for no more than $3. Theres little to no marketing involved, a near zero cost of distribution, no licensing costs, etc. So yes, $5 is too much.

Now, it would be worth $5 if you could get ROMs that would play on your PC, iPhone, GP2x, DS, etc. via the virtual console. But, alas Nintendo tries to make it seem like emulators don't exist. Heck, even letting you download the games to your DS to play on the go would be decent. But you pay $5 for a ROM that isn't transferable and is only playable on the Wii.

But you seem to hate all consoles by reading the rest of your post.

Just most current generation systems because they all have tons of flaws. I don't remember any (moderately successful) hardware having as many flaws as the 360, nor as many pure crap games as the Wii has (sure, all consoles have had some level of crap, but none so deliberate as for the Wii). The PS3 just doesn't excel in anything other then the shiny hardware which is nice, but theres not many must-have games for it, so it kinda defeats the purpose.

Re:At the risk of modding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28030539)

That's called the casual game market, and believe it or not there's under-20s in there too. Just look at any flash game portal.

Re:At the risk of modding... (3, Interesting)

sanosuke76 (887630) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030795)

Obvious troll is obvious.

My wife and I are both in our 30s, and certainly do not have a celibate marriage. We have a pair of PS3's, and we spent last night playing Street Fighter 4. Usually she's on Xenosaga or a Final Fantasy game and I'm on an FPS or TPS of some sort.

Most of my friends are in their 30s. Only a few of them don't have consoles. With the exception of one girl who just turned 30 (and just got a PS3... maybe it's something about that magic 30), none of us use Wii's for anything other than entertaining small children. Don't misrepresent me as saying the Wii is garbage - I never said it doesn't do a specific job acceptably. But you can NOT make the ridiculous claim that anyone who's ever gotten laid prefers Wii-style games.

Re:At the risk of modding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28030189)

But they are Nintendo-branded.

Re:At the risk of modding... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028131)

but generally the success or failure of a console generally depends on the branded content that gets developed for it.

But in this case, the success may depend upon what's not developed for it, like DRM and whether the platform is open and we can get good applications without them having to be vetted by a company that evaluates applications based upon whether or not they may at some future date challenge their business model or if they have curse words or any even slightly controversial content.

No chance of home-BREW (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028409)

But in this case, the success may depend upon what's not developed for it, like DRM and whether the platform is open

The article suggests it's not. The console uses games for Qualcomm BREW [wikipedia.org] , and that's more closed than even the iPhone.

Re:At the risk of modding... (1)

instinct71 (1076915) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028279)

I kind of agree to this reasoning. Nintendo wii even now doesn't support a decent cricket game. If you want to sell your console in India, you should necessarily have cricket. That is the game 2 year olds start playing. People are crazy about that in this land.

So a reasonably strong hardware, priced at lets say ~100$, aimed at such a crowd will fetch big money.

Jiminy... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028859)

I kind of agree to this reasoning. Nintendo wii even now doesn't support a decent cricket game.

GameCube games run on Wii, but I assume Zapper: One Wicked Cricket [wikipedia.org] for GameCube doesn't count.

Mod parent -1 Not Popular! (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028447)

Grrrr. How *dare* you! Doubleminus badthink! Unmutual!

Re:At the risk of modding... (1)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028471)

Also Android supports Java development only, good luck with that (from the developer perspective).

Re:At the risk of modding... (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028557)

I know it's not a particularly popular observation, but generally the success or failure of a console generally depends on the branded content that gets developed for it.

I dunno. This is one of those rare situations where it is more appropriate to compare the G1 to a PC computer that happens to play games rather than a console designed to play them.

Do PC sales live and die based of what games are made for it?

No, it turns out that you can make games to play on them. Otherwise, its also a device you make phone calls on.

Robo Defense (1)

yuri82 (236251) | more than 5 years ago | (#28027869)

I just finished playing a very addictive and free game on the G1, in Brazil. My Wii is gathering dust. The G1 is a very amazing phone, it beats any Palm easily.

Re:Robo Defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28027949)

it beats any Palm easily.

I'm pretty sure there is a joke in there somewhere...

Re:Robo Defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28028535)

In Soviet Russia the Palm beats YOU!

Re:Robo Defense (1)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030025)

Were did you get a G1 around here ? didn't know the local cell phone operators were selling it...

QD's Buzzword Help Service (5, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28027931)

"emerging markets"

Translation: "We have no idea who's going to buy this."

Re:QD's Buzzword Help Service (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028253)

Actually it's usually a euphemism for poor countries, isn't it?

Re:QD's Buzzword Help Service (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028393)

No, they don't know which markets would currently buy it, but they're hoping a market will emerge and take to it.

Re:QD's Buzzword Help Service (1)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028439)

Not exactly - it really means exactly what it sounds like, although it is essentially idiomatic, not just a descriptive phrase.

Emerging markets are countries/economies that are growing (or rap[idly growing) and becoming more consumer orientated, but have not yet reached the level of the more mature (and slowly growing) established markets such as Europe, America, Japan, etc. i.e. they may well be relatively poor compared to more developed countries, but they have reached a stage where they are undergoing rapid growth. Emerging market mutual funds would usually be expected to grow faster than other international funds, but also exhibit much more volatility.

e.g. South-East Asia, and many South American counties would be considered as "emerging markets", but, say, Africa probably would not since it hasn't yet gotten to that "take off" stage.

Re:QD's Buzzword Help Service (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028493)

It's a euphemism for "developing countries". The validity of the notion of a linear progression towards Western industrialised society as the ideal of "development" of a nation notwithstanding, it means countries that have recently begun to have disposable income, and thus have money that can be extracted. The distinction between an "emerging market" and a normal market is that emerging market sgenerally can't afford most of the stuff that a company would sell to its normal market.

Really, the most successful companies are those that manage to penetrate emerging markets. Nokia's stuffed with cash, in part, because their midrange mobile phone designs trickle down into emerging markets after a few years, as Nokia learns to put them out more more reliably and more cheaply.

Don't all say "we'll be most popular'? (4, Insightful)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | more than 5 years ago | (#28027957)

I rarely hear manufacturers say 'Yeah, we'll be lucky to push 100 units'. Wild speculation on the fact that based on price this will sell massively is, well, wild speculation. Getting a dominant platform is complex and requires a lot of work, as seen by the fact that many years later, we're still waiting on the Year Of The Linux Desktop.

It's not speculation (1)

goldcd (587052) | more than 5 years ago | (#28033545)

It's insane.
NONE of these 'developing country' systems has ever taken off. Closest thing I could think of was the Nintendo iQue system - they launched in China and as far as I can see never made it outside of China. Bit strange that whilst they had both the hardware and the games, they decided it wasn't worth the effort of pushing it round the rest of the world.
iQue actually had some things going for it. It was only a generation behind, and came with the N64 library of games (as it was a chip-shrunk N64) - which were harder to pirate in the first place. i.e. if you wanted to play Mario64, an iQue was/is the cheapest way of doing it.
They can't be selling to people who have consoles - as these people will already have a PS1/PS2/Xbox/whatever... So they're aiming at new buyers I guess.. maybe.. but then how're they going to attract them? What big name game will entice?.. insane, just insane.

recession? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28027969)

"The cell phone business, including us, is never going to build a processor that's going to match or surpass what the video game guys do. So, why chase that?"

Could it be that Qual needs profits and we're in a recession--it's a good time to think outside the box.

Also, I think the rest of the world will be just fine with a cheap, but powerful game console vs. an XBox360 or PS3 (and HD TV, cables, 5.1 stereo+speakers, game furniture, etc...). Of course anyone in the game industry would beg to differ.

Prohibitive tariffs in Brazil (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028477)

I think the rest of the world will be just fine with a cheap, but powerful game console vs. an XBox360 or PS3 (and HD TV, cables, 5.1 stereo+speakers, game furniture, etc...).

I think you mean Wii [weebls-stuff.com] . But then Brazil lays a tax that amounts to about 150 percent on game consoles, after considering the import duty, the value added tax, and the interstate commerce tax. If the tax on phones is less than the tax on video game consoles, then buying phone motherboards from a supplier in Brazil and manufacturing the console in Brazil probably saves money.

Re:Prohibitive tariffs in Brazil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28029025)

If you are going to link to weebls while talking about Brazil... At least link to the toon [weebls-stuff.com] ! :)

Where have I heard things like this before? (1)

cjjjer (530715) | more than 5 years ago | (#28027999)

G1 Google Phone Could End Up the Most Popular Console Ever

Just like the last 10 years have been the Year of Linux on the Desktop.

Re:Where have I heard things like this before? (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028827)

Well I remember about 10 years ago Infoworld had users vote the best operating system of choice and OS/2 won. Most of the IPs voting came from the bluethunder.ibm.com or whatever ISP IBM used for OS/2 at the time. It seems OS/2 users figured out that if they cleared their browser cookies they could vote again in that poll and did so over and over again.

And monkeys could fly out of my butt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28028061)

...

Re:And monkeys could fly out of my butt (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028101)

And monkeys could fly out of my butt

Are you unlikely to shout 'Armageddon'?

thanks for the slashvertising jon jordan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28028123)

Check his name, it links to pocketgamer.co.uk.

Re:thanks for the slashvertising jon jordan (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028431)

Check his name, it links to pocketgamer.co.uk.

B.F.D.

Considering most of what we're interested in is little plastic things with blinkie lights that you have to go to the store to buy, I'm not sure why that matters.

Lack of Probabilities (3, Insightful)

yumyum (168683) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028125)

I'm really tired of the overuse, especially in the news media, of the words "could" and "might". What's often lacking when they are used is any sense of how probable the outcome might (!) be. Perhaps I'm just overly sensitive to it now, but the NY Times seems to be particularly prone to this type of reporting, stating a supposition but failing to adequately describe the probability that the supposition is closer to true than false.

Re:Lack of Probabilities (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028263)

I'm really tired of the overuse, especially in the news media, of the words "could" and "might".

Oh, yeah? And what about question marks [thedailyshow.com] ?
 

Re:Lack of Probabilities (1)

bit01 (644603) | more than 5 years ago | (#28034237)

I'm really tired of the overuse, especially in the news media, of the words "could" and "might".

Agreed but you're failing to recognize that this isn't news, it's marketing.

Almost all "news" items about products are written by marketers [womma.org] these days. They will abuse the English language as much as they think they can legally get away with. This particular "news" item appears to be a puff piece to drum up some interest in the G1 google phone.

The entire pocketgamer.co.uk web site appears to be marketing. Almost all the articles on it are puff pieces with no objective reporting at all.

---

Astroturfing "marketers" [wikipedia.org] are liars, fraudulently misrepresenting company propaganda as objective third party opinion. Anonymous commercial speech should be illegal.

Really, submitter and editors? (5, Insightful)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028163)

"G1 Google Phone Could End Up the Most Popular Console Ever"

No, it couldn't. You're wrong, and stupidly wrong at that. Next story please!

Re:Really, submitter and editors? (2, Funny)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028235)

I'm sensing a little tension. May I suggest decaf?

HAHA NO (4, Interesting)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028231)

And the iPhone is going to be competitive gaming platform too!

People.
Look at the fucking sales for the Nintendo DS.
Look at them. 103 million Nintendo DSs have been sold without contracts, for use as a game system.

Then look at the software sales.
The DS has well over 400 million software sales under it's belt. Keep in mind these games typically sell for $39.95.

Fighting against Nintendo in handheld games is a fool's errand.

Re:HAHA NO (0, Troll)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028641)

Exactly. Sony tried and failed miserable.

The PSP is a failure compared to the DS. Some little pissant that cant even touch what Sony spends on toilet paper daily is going to become even viable? That's funny.

Re:HAHA NO (1)

Brownstar (139242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030531)

50 million sold with software sales of 200 million is hardly a failure

http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=208211%3Fcid&skip=yes [computeran...ogames.com]

Re:HAHA NO (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031517)

50 million is a failure when they depend on software for their profits (Nintendo always makes profits on their hardware as well as software. Sony & MS take a loss on their hardware initially, and hope die shrinks let them break even a few years down the road.).

200 million? It's just over 100 million. I don't know what "software sell-in units" means (actually, I do, it means sold to retailers, not sold to consumers), but http://vgchartz.com/weekly.php [vgchartz.com] will get you real numbers. (Real in the sense that they are estimated and altered later to match what comes out of NPD and Media Create and such, but it's accurate enough for this conversation).

The PSP has been the most successful contender to Nintendo's handheld throne, but they were by no means successful. Everyone shat on the DS when it was announced. Everyone expected the PSP to absolutely destroy it. Nintendo laughed.

I'd rather bet on the Washington Generals beating the Harlem Globetrotters than bet on the next NGage.

Re:HAHA NO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28028689)

mod parent down!
RTFA. it is a CONSOLE, with chips more or less related to certain phones.

Re:HAHA NO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28030707)

The iPhone/iPod Touch sold a total of around 45 million units combined as of January, which means there's probably around 60 million sold now. The games sales are definitely going to be much less than the DS's in terms of dollars -- both because people are just getting their devices, and because the pricing pressure on the iPhone market is ridiculous. There's no way even a great game developed specifically for the iPhone, integrating in all of its controls as naturally and as well as could be, would be sold at $40. A lot of the blame for that falls on Apple, as their completely inept store puts pressure on seller's to sell units rather than dollars in order to get on the front page and get more sales.

Re:HAHA NO (1)

evilmousse (798341) | more than 5 years ago | (#28033017)

I don't know the terms associated with this, but if it's close to as open a platform as the gphone it's based off of, i welcome it.

nintendo keeps tight control over just what games play on their system. a mobile gaming platform, open to all developers like the pc, can finally get me the mobile version of custer's revenge that nintendo doesn't want me to have.

i don't really expect this to be that open, but i can still hope for something similar to it.

Re:HAHA NO (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28033591)

They keep tight control over who can develop for their systems, sure, just like Sony or MS.

The idea that they won't allow games with certain content is completely false, however.

Look at Manhunt or the Godfather on the Wii.
Look at BMX XXX on the GameCube, keep in mind the GC version was the uncensored version, while other consoles got the censored versions.

It's entirely up to the developers. Becoming a licensed developer (and getting a dev kit) is an issue.

But if you're into homebrew, the DS and Wii are WIDE open (as in doors) for that.

Creamy (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028247)

> G1 Google Phone Could End Up the Most Popular Console Ever

Second only to the original Joystick game.

It's a phone in a box. (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028523)

Where are the games? They're going to have to cost a lot less than $12 for what you'll be able to play on that device. It almost would have made more sense just to go back to selling the original Playstation or something.

Re:It's a phone in a box. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28029123)

Qualcomm's Mike Yuen unveiled the Zeebo console at the Game Developers Conference in March. Development for Zeebo is with the BREW SDK. My impression was that a lot of existing (older) games are being ported to the Zeebo console. So, it will be another way for game companies to make money from existing IP.

Re:It's a phone in a box. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029151)

So, it will be another way for game companies to make money from existing IP.

By porting a bunch of shitty old cellphone games? Be still, my beating heart. Can't wait to play another side-scrolling rainbow six.

How to make a good selling game console (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028759)

IIRC in Asia they had TV Game Consoles with Keyboards based on the Nintendo Famicom (NES Nintendo Entertainment System in the USA as it was called without the keyboard) and due to lack of IP laws electronic companies build their own Famicom clones for like $50USD that included 101 Famicom games inside of it. It became a best selling game console because it was cheap and had a lot of educational games on it.

It lasted until the Sony Playstation beat it, but due to IP laws not being enforced everyone and their brother made pirated Playstation CD disks for like $1USD to $5USD each, and Sony had to raise the price of the Playstation to cover losses to piracy. It seemed when they sold the Playstation in some stores they modified it to play pirated games. I think after that Sony gave up selling the Playstation 2 because it cost more and they didn't want a repeat of piracy. But people where able to buy the Chinese or Japanese version of the PS2 anyway in places like Thailand, even if Sony didn't want to sell to Thailand due to high piracy of Playstation 1 games.

I think South America, and Central America and Mexico had the Commodore 16 and Plus4 as popular game consoles because Commodore had dumped them on those markets really cheap. Because the USA, Europe, etc had rejected them, and they got replaced by the Commodore Amiga (68000 series based GUI workstation/game personal computer) and Commodore PC-Colt (IBM compatible PC).

The trick it seems to make a good selling game console in third world nations is to make the console cheap enough to afford, and find a way to foil piracy of games.

I am not sure what kind of DRM the Zeebo and Android based systems have, but unless they can sell games at a reasonable rate, there is going to be a piracy market to sell the games after cracking the DRM or modifying the Zeebo unit to play copied versions of the games.

I have heard that even the Apple iPhone DRM was cracked and that on some bittorrent web sites are iPhone apps already cracked that can be downloaded and installed on iPhones. If they can do it with iPhones then they can do it with Android based game consoles.

It seems like a fool's errand to sell a $200 game console and then $12 games that can easily be cracked by pirates and sold cheaper. Either have the nations enforce the IP laws, or face the threat of piracy of the Zeebo games like all of the others had done.

You can examine the market by paying attention to what happened in the past, as I just did above. If the Zeebo can solve the piracy problem they might have a good market, if not, they will fail like the others before them.

Summary is misleading (4, Interesting)

rtechie (244489) | more than 5 years ago | (#28028815)

The photo at the top of the article makes it clear that the PROTOTYPE for the Zeebo is a TMobile G1 attached to a miniPCI video in/video out card and apparently another miniPCI 802.11g wireless card. This is definitely not going into production.

Will the Zeebo take off? Definitely not.

The developers seem to forget that there IS a very popular low-cost console sold in emerging markets, the PS2. The PS2 has VASTLY more capabilities than the Zeebo will have, has thousands of games, and it's cheaper. New games are being released for the PS2, at a rate that will almost certainly beat Zeebo. Did I mention the games are vastly superior on the PS2?

As a Mexican I can tell... (1)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029277)

This is going to fail, hard.

The Nintendo cult is string here. And most popular games elsewhere are also popular here. People are simply not gonna buy a console that doesn't let them play Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Halo, Metal Gear, Final Fantasy, Spore or Grand Thief auto.

The only way this console can be popular is if it play games from already popular consoles, preferentially pirated.

Actually if this thing played pirated DS games it WILL sell like hot burritos*. But that's not gonna happen.

Did I mention that there's a very popular type of burrito here named 'pirata'?

Here's 50 cents... (1)

Time Doctor (79352) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029711)

...go buy yourself a lisp machine and tell me that it is going to take off.

Too expensive (1)

realmolo (574068) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030697)

I think there is a market for a *really cheap* console, but really cheap is sub-$100. Probably sub-$75.

$200? For this? Didn't the Gamecube, which is VASTLY more powerful, sell for $99? Yes. It did. NO ONE is going to pay $200 for this piece of shit.

Which raises the question, why don't we have cheap Gamecube-level consoles? Or even Playstation/N64-level consoles? It would seem like you could build something like that for $50 or so. That would probably sell pretty well, if the games maxed out at $15.

Re:Too expensive (1)

Kumiorava (95318) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031469)

I think Sony is going for that with the PS2 development. One more price cut and one more hardware shrink and they are there with huge library of games.

Re:Too expensive (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 5 years ago | (#28032779)

Or even Playstation/N64-level consoles? It would seem like you could build something like that for $50 or so.

Sony still sells the PS1, under the "PSOne" moniker. No need to reinvent the wheel.

Nintendo could crush this (1)

jer2eydevil88 (960866) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031689)

How much would it cost Nintendo to re-release the NES? They could even throw all their Library on one cartridge which would sell like hotcakes in the developing world. I wouldn't hold my breath about HTC becoming a big player in this market.

call nintendo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28032301)

call Nintendo and see what kind of deal you can get if you order a billion Wiis or Gameboy DSi

Get real?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28032953)

The reason it is going to fail isn't because its graphics are crappy (already proven wrong with PSP x DS)... it's because in brazil we already have a huge PS1/PS2/Wii pirating/street market selling scene going to, for less than 5 dollars you get yourself a copy of, say, Resident Evil 4, compare that for about 120 dollars for an original PS2 game here (HECK a crappy DS Cartridge is about 100 dollars, wtf)

It's not about medium-class brazilians not having the cash to buy a PS2 or even a PS3 if they save a bit (we're not in 1970's), the thing is games are so fucking stupidly expensive that if you're into gaming, you're going to have to spend all your savings to buy you the games you or your kids like.

The same thing goes on for Windows, MS Office, Autocad, Photoshop or every mainstream app out there T__T

ps: i live in Japan and the game prices here are on par with united states/europe, i mean, where people earn more they have cheaper games and cheaper mcdonalds :) wtf

Power != Good (1)

Samah (729132) | more than 5 years ago | (#28033293)

'We have this mass market chipset, and our next-generation chipset is getting faster. What we announced, [Qualcomm's] Snapdragon [chipset], is going to netbooks; it bumps it a few notches above that. The cell phone business, including us, is never going to build a processor that's going to match or surpass what the video game guys do. So, why chase that?'

Unfortunately, the processing power of any gaming system means absolutely nothing if the games suck.
Forget fancy graphics and get back to gameplay. The more "ooh isn't that pretty" in the game, the less attention I'm paying to the fun parts.

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