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Lenovo To Launch Chinese Gaming Platform Called Ebox

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the wide-open-market dept.

China 71

siliconbits writes "Chinese manufacturer Lenovo will build a video gaming console for the Chinese market and has already spun off a company called Eedoo Technology, including a team of 40 engineers, with the task of developing the platform. It will be called the Ebox, and will be specifically designed to recognize shapes and movement without the need for a dedicated game controller, not unlike Microsoft's Kinect."

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I for one Welcome (1, Funny)

KillaGouge (973562) | more than 3 years ago | (#33398166)

I for one Welcome our new motion sensing Chiense overlords. Did I do that right?

Re:I for one Welcome (4, Funny)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#33398184)

No, you spelled Chinese wrong.

Re:I for one Welcome (2, Funny)

KillaGouge (973562) | more than 3 years ago | (#33398226)

Yes, yes I did. Now I feel like an even bigger idiot. Thank you.

If it's chinese (0, Troll)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#33398170)

why don't they just rip off the Microsoft one? That's what they're good at. They could stick 1 gig of ram in it but make the firmware show it up as 4gigs too, stick a "Miclosoft" logo on it and be done.

Re:If it's chinese (1)

Evil Shabazz (937088) | more than 3 years ago | (#33399044)

"develop a platform" and "build" from the summary were incorrectly translated from the original Mandarin press release. It's a common mistake, since the character for "develop, build" is also the character for "rip off."

Re:If it's chinese (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33399718)

why don't they just rip off the Microsoft one? That's what they're good at. They could stick 1 gig of ram in it but make the firmware show it up as 4gigs too, stick a "Miclosoft" logo on it and be done.

The reason they're good at cloning hardware, brother, is that they manufacture the originals. Your arrogance is completely unfounded, get ready to bow before your Chinese masters, mkay?

Re:If it's chinese (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33400468)

Wow, you are a generalising, racist piece of shit.

Hmmm... (3, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#33398178)

So its designed to work similar to a Microsoft product...

It's name has a strange resemblance to a Microsoft product...

How does that expression about Ducks go again?

Anyways, Kinect is patented, so if the technology is similar enough, I smell a potential lawsuit.

Re:Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33398240)

Lawsuit?

Do you even know if they are breaking a law in China?

Sure, it might not be legal to sell it in the U.S. but if they don't intend to that is just too bad for any possible Americans that might want it.

Re:Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33399882)

I'd bet it'll be running Linux underneath, though. Probably some variant of Red Flag.
Hey, at least they can't take "the ability to run Linux" away from it, even though they are legally able to, in their country. What a topsy-turvy world, hey SONY?

Re:Hmmm... (2, Funny)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 3 years ago | (#33400044)

It probably runs Xbox software backups too.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

vuffi_raa (1089583) | more than 3 years ago | (#33409468)

It probably runs Xbox software backups too.

if it does I will buy one in a heartbeat since it is cheaper than an xbox and you wouldn't have to mod it... at least before they stop letting them sell it

Re:Hmmm... (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33401882)

Silly patents are not recognized by innovative countries. Prepare to be assimilated.

Re:Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33402078)

Anyways, Kinect is patented, so if the technology is similar enough, I smell a potential lawsuit.

Patented where? There's no such thing as a "world patent office" (yet).

Re:Hmmm... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33402388)

Anyways, Kinect is patented, so if the technology is similar enough, I smell a potential lawsuit.

The device is for Sale in China. Microsoft is just praying that China continues to allow them to sell their hardware there.

Funniest of all, their products rely on Windows (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 3 years ago | (#33402928)

It is Microsoft Windows OS which makes their laptops sell well. It is not like old good IBM which had excellent reputation for quality, company culture and support.

MS can mysteriously rise Windows 7 licensing price for them, citing anti something laws. If your business runs on x86 chips, never, ever fsck with MSFT.

Re:Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33404036)

You can't sue the Chinese Gov't when they own the company and control your access to the so-called retail market that is China... I am sure that this is a direct result of work (reverse engineered) that Microsoft pioneered with the original X-box. But it would not be anything ground breaking when you consider that it has already been done. This would just be another device that the Gov't of Communist China would use to keep control of their populace. George Orwell's novel 1984 comes to mind. Just look at all the posters of Mao that are placed around the Capital and the man killed Millions of the very peasants that would build this console today...

It is one reason that I refuse to buy anything with the Name Lenovo in the computer space, I won't send my money to a Gov't that brutally oppresses its people.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

ZeRu (1486391) | more than 3 years ago | (#33405110)

So its designed to work similar to a Microsoft product...

It's name has a strange resemblance to a Microsoft product...

How does that expression about Ducks go again?

Anyways, Kinect is patented, so if the technology is similar enough, I smell a potential lawsuit.

Under normal circumstances, probably. But since Xbox isn't available on Chinese market (probably because M$ doesn't like piracy) and Lenovo's console is aimed at Chinese market only, I say that Microsoft has no right to complain here.

not unlike Microsoft's Kinect (2, Funny)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 3 years ago | (#33398192)

not unlike Microsoft's Kinect
I wonder just how much "not unlike Microsoft's Kinect?"

Re:not unlike Microsoft's Kinect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33398344)

bit smiler to xbox, not to mention eeeBox? especially since it's made by Eedoo.

Just one problem with the Ebox... (0, Redundant)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33398228)

Half an hour after playing on it, you feel like playing games again.

I smell a turd... (2, Informative)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33398264)

They plan on developing it in *Three* months... With 40 engineers.
It's going to cost more than a Nintento Wii, but less than an XBOX360
It costs a Chinese person that makes an average wage 3 months of pay.

I predict colossal failure.

Re:I smell a turd... (4, Insightful)

realmolo (574068) | more than 3 years ago | (#33398314)

It probably is too pricey for the Chinese market.

But they could *absolutely* develop it in 3 months. You could build a better-than-360 console that quickly using off-the-shelf stuff. If you have it run Linux on x86, then developers can CRANK out the games. And if you don't go nuts with the copy protection and licensing restrictions (and historically China doesn't care about those things), you'll have what amounts to a modern version of the Amiga- i.e., a computer built for games.

If that's what it's going to be, that would be pretty awesome.

Re:I smell a turd... (3, Insightful)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33398426)

I was thinking specifically about the motion controls. Microsoft has alot of money and resources to throw around to get motion control to work. They have been working on that for how long now... two years?? It still looks crappy. I highly doubt that Lenovo has the talent that microsoft does to make such a device, and if Microsoft's version looks terrible, I can't imagine what this Ebox's would look like.

As for running a linux gaming console with minimal copy protection, who will make games for it?

Re:I smell a turd... (1)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | more than 3 years ago | (#33398678)

If they are targeting casual gamers rather than hardcore gamers (and that's what they do according to TFA) they need only a few good casual sports games. As for other games -- if the market is moderate, indies will crank out games like there's no tomorrow. If the market gets big, big players will join with ported versions of existing games just to get their cut.

Re:I smell a turd... (1)

billsayswow (1681722) | more than 3 years ago | (#33398720)

And the big players are going to sell in China? Where the mere existence of this machine, and its security from lawsuit, already shows their respect for copyright law? You make games for this, you'll sell as many copies as there are major bootleggers in the country. Then your lovely game will be bundled with 19 others and sold for half the price. Assuming you get through censorship.

Re:I smell a turd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33398772)

I highly doubt that Lenovo has the talent that microsoft does to make such a device, and if Microsoft's version looks terrible, I can't imagine what this Ebox's would look like.

Huh? We are talking about the company that invented the original PC - even the Mac is nowadays a Lenovo compatible PC.

Re:I smell a turd... (1)

eXlin (1634545) | more than 3 years ago | (#33401470)

Lenovo did not invent PC, IBM did.
IBM just sold their desktop pc and laptop manufacturing parts to Chinese HW manufacturer.

Re:I smell a turd... (3, Funny)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 3 years ago | (#33399332)

As for running a linux gaming console with minimal copy protection, who will make games for it?

Why the massive Linux game development community for one! I'm surprised no one has thought of this yet! What kid wouldn't want to play Tuxracer and... well just Tuxracer, on Christmas morning?

Re:I smell a turd... (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 3 years ago | (#33402262)

Even if they pass on Linux and code a new kernel from scratch they won't have any bigger a pool of developers, though.

Re:I smell a turd... (1)

spinkham (56603) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406390)

Hey now, that's not fair.. we have a number of Quake mods also.. and...

Actually, there's excellent games of many types. At least as long as excellent gameplay is the goal, not necessarily AAA level graphics from current gen games.

Battle for Wesnoth, Flightgear, Tremulous, and Chromium B.S.U. are games I may never tire of.

For more suggestions, http://www.happypenguin.org/list?&sort=avg_rating [happypenguin.org]

Re:I smell a turd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33399726)

Microsoft has been working on motion controls for over a decade now if you include their Sidewinder PC accessories. Mind you, it never caught it on, but they have been working on it for a LONG time now.

Re:I smell a turd... (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#33400778)

Quite, and they've also been working on tablet PCs forever, and yet Apple ate their lunch.

So it's certainly possible that a new approach by a company without the Microsoft corporate baggage could be ultimately simpler, cheaper and more successful.

Re:I smell a turd... (1)

mrphantuan (1888308) | more than 3 years ago | (#33400666)

In vietnam, we like HP or DELL more , because it's esasy for use everydays . So Lenovo ,I trust It will appear more in Vietnam.Hi http://www.tandaiduong.com.vn/ [tandaiduong.com.vn]

Re:I smell a turd... (1)

Auto_Lykos (1620681) | more than 3 years ago | (#33401212)

The motion control tech behind Kinect was acquired when Microsoft purchased an Israeli company a few years ago. The tech (an IR grid is projected and an IR camera examines and analyzes for deformations of that grid to calculate position) has hardly changed since then. There were demos of this back in 2007 I believe where you could shoot virtual hoops. All this time has been Microsoft developing software, because, to be honest, it took awhile to figure out what you could do with this thing.

Re:I smell a turd... (1)

BlackBloq (702158) | more than 3 years ago | (#33407040)

How could you speculate on anything... you know nothing! Including the cost. Geez.

Re:I smell a turd... (2, Insightful)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 3 years ago | (#33398328)

If it was actually intended for the chinese market and not to "accidentally" be sold to other countries through international web sites and under-the-table dealers I might agree with you.

Re:I smell a turd... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33398332)

What good will it do to release the console in 3 months when it will take at least 6 months to write games for it? Unless, of course, it is emulating some other platform.

Re:I smell a turd... (1)

xaositects (786749) | more than 3 years ago | (#33398618)

I heard a rumor that they will include a game where two tanks, or helicopters in some cases, maneuver through various predefined courses trying to destroy the other. It should include enough levels to keep people occupied until the tennis game comes out two months after release.

I'm hoping for a game where you steer a cowboy through a bunch of cattle, trying to rope one, all while avoiding cow skulls.

Re:I smell a turd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33399126)

"...will include a game where two tanks, or helicopters in some cases, maneuver through various predefined courses ..."

How many points for rolling the tank over a student protestor?
Naaah, I'm sure Tianenmen Square is not in any of the courses.

Re:I smell a turd... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33418988)

I believe this is a subtle reference to the Atari Combat [wikipedia.org] game which came out with the Atari 2600. Presumably the other two games referred to are as well; can anybody name them?

Re:I smell a turd... (1)

emocomputerjock (1099941) | more than 3 years ago | (#33419394)

I knew the one was Tennis, but I had to do some digging to find Stampede as the second one.

Re:I smell a turd... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33420852)

Wow. We're old.

Re:I smell a turd... (1)

firedragon852 (837972) | more than 3 years ago | (#33399422)

You are wrong. You know why the real estate prices soar in Hong Kong, Macau and Canada? Mainland Chinese keep buying them with cash. Like everything else, this thing is not marketed to those who cannot afford it.

Re:I smell a turd... (2, Insightful)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 3 years ago | (#33405620)

You are wrong. You know why the real estate prices soar in Hong Kong, Macau and Canada? Mainland Chinese keep buying them with cash. Like everything else, this thing is not marketed to those who cannot afford it.

Waste of time.. The story mentioned China, so full xenophobia mode is engaged. Any depiction of a Chinese national as anything other than a poverty stricken sweatshop worker will be aggressively and hysterically denied. I imagine Japan had the same treatment at one pint.

Re:I smell a turd... (1)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 3 years ago | (#33400388)

It costs a Chinese person that makes an average wage 3 months of pay.

When you have one hundred million people that make twenty times the median wage or more, suddenly what you can sell to a factory worker becomes a whole lot less interesting. There is absolutely a large enough number of people who _could_ spend this money to make it profitable. The trick however is convincing the consumer to buy a game console when they already are accustomed to playing on their laptop or at an internet cafe. The Chinese buy powerful laptops because it addresses multiple needs at the same time. Socialising, work, multimedia, gaming, music, news and makes all of this portable. Fancy mobiles are also popular, it is quite frequent to see someone doing a menial, low paying job holding a smartphone, simply because it can serve so many roles, it is a good investment. What the Chinese don't like are things that do jobs that their laptop can do, outside of HK, you rarely see stereo systems, game consoles, discreet DVD players and other entertainment goods. Most Chinese would rather just use their money to upgrade their laptop if given the choice.

The "X" in Xbox stood for something. (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33398372)

The "Xbox" was a reference to the software it runs on, namely Direct X. What does the E, in Ebox stand for?

Re:The "X" in Xbox stood for something. (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33398444)

What does the "E" in Eee PC stand for?

Re:The "X" in Xbox stood for something. (2, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33398478)

To answer my own question: "Easy". Their just asking to be sued by Staples!

Re:The "X" in Xbox stood for something. (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33399218)

Staples is being sued by Paul Allen for his invention, "Not Being Office Max."

In fact, we all need to tread carefully around that one, unless we actually are Office Max.

Re:The "X" in Xbox stood for something. (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33399192)

It's the sound the low-end notebook market made the first time they heard it was coming.

Re:The "X" in Xbox stood for something. (3, Insightful)

the phantom (107624) | more than 3 years ago | (#33398892)

Perhaps it is a reference to Eedoo Technology, the Lenovo subsidiary that is creating this device?

Re:The "X" in Xbox stood for something. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33402714)

What does the E, in Ebox stand for?

The E doesn't stand for anything. It's just commonplace now to put a vowel in front of the name of every new technology, and the lowercase 'i' is already trademarked by Apple.

Re:The "X" in Xbox stood for something. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33403430)

Shoulda called it "iBox", then when microsoft and apple both tried to sue they'd just cancel each other out.

That's not going to get them sued... (1)

ArcadeNut (85398) | more than 3 years ago | (#33398382)

EBox, XBox, who's counting right? I expect Microsoft will be :)

mod Do3n (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33398388)

NetBSD posts on have an IRC client = 36400 FreeBSD lizard - In other TTo much formality here, but what is Ass of them all, this very moment,

ebox 720? (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#33398424)

Shouldn't they call it the ebox 720 so that it's not just like the xbox 360?

I mean, the xbox 360 was a 360 degree change in direction, so shouldn't the ebox be able to spin in place longer than that?

ebox-platform (1)

bored_engineer (951004) | more than 3 years ago | (#33398464)

I wonder if that's why these guys [ebox-platform.com] changed their name from ebox to zentyal?

even redder ring of death (-1, Offtopic)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 3 years ago | (#33398806)

I never thought anyone could beat the approximate 50% failure rate of Xbox 360's but Lenovo might have just nailed it. Their laptops are criminally badly put together and absolute garbage, as is pretty much everything they make. That combined with the fact that this is basically a counterfeit rip off of something else adds up to quite possibly the least reliable product ever.

Re:even redder ring of death (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33402520)

Their thinkpad laptops absolutely rock

http://www.ebox-platform.com/ (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 3 years ago | (#33398914)

The name is already taken by a Linux Distro. Hell.. I know the people that make it (are from my city).

Re:http://www.ebox-platform.com/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33402518)

It's a management software, not a distro.

For the Chinese market? (1)

rxan (1424721) | more than 3 years ago | (#33400362)

Are you serious. Why in the world would anyone market a software platform to the Chinese: the most pirating, copyright infringing, knock-off producing nation on the entire planet?

It doesn't matter how cheap you make this thing. People won't develop for it because the Chinese will hack and mod the thing in less than a week. Guaranteed.

This venture is futile.

Re:For the Chinese market? (1)

johnhp (1807490) | more than 3 years ago | (#33400862)

There might be *some* money in making shovelware for the Chinese market.

For one thing, you could rip off the sounds, textures and models from any western games you want. Art production is a considerable chunk of development cost.

For another, one or two guys could crank out a game in a month or two, and possibly make a fair profit off the number of legally sold copies, considering the minimal manpower investment.

A third factor is online play. From what I can guess, it must be a lot harder to write a custom pirate server than to simply crack a one player game. If you price it right for the market, there's probably not a whole lot of incentive. If you can make $0.50 per game and sell it to 100k people over the course of a year or so, and if you can make three or four games a year, that's definitely a viable strategy for an independent developer.

Re:For the Chinese market? (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 3 years ago | (#33401328)

Because China has the most people-friendly IP laws in the world. There is no such bullshit such as the DMCA in China.

hii (1)

claura28 (1888470) | more than 3 years ago | (#33401660)

So its designed to work similar to a Microsoft product....There is a lot of info on this blog: very helpful. Thanks a lot!.. http://globetv.co.uk/ [globetv.co.uk]

hiii (1)

dudley28 (1888538) | more than 3 years ago | (#33401854)

I highly doubt that Lenovo has the talent that microsoft does to make such a device, and if Microsoft's version looks terrible, I can't imagine what this Ebox's would look like.... http://www.happyfacetv.com/ [happyfacetv.com]

Microsoft won't like the name (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 3 years ago | (#33402564)

They probably think they own the word 'box' just like they seem to claim ownership of the word 'windows'.

Asus made the Eeebox too. Close enough for confusion.

Who runs Lenovo really? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 3 years ago | (#33402900)

So, their plan is to make a box which will naturally (by law) have strictest censoring/trojaning capabilities. I can imagine the headlines now: "Console stops functioning after 2 hours". Would look nice on Global IT news sites. Eventually some guy (perhaps hired by their competitor) using that box will do a stupid thing like blogging on "enemy sites" and end up in prison, very publicly.

Think about it Lenovo. Are you such a genius future company to come up with this idea first or companies/competitors seen the possible issues and stayed hell out of mainland China market?

Only thing missing... (1)

alexo (9335) | more than 3 years ago | (#33417454)

They will partner with Motorola and call the final product "Ebola"

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