Zeebo: A console for the developing world

Startup company Zeebo is launching a brand new video game console in developing nations around the world. Started by the company Qualcom, a cell-phone processor and chipset manufacturing company, they are hoping that people in these nations will want to play video games as much as those in first world countries.

The big kicker about the system though, other then it's low cost of around an estimated $200 US at launch, is that the only way to purchase games for the system is digitally through cell phone networks where absolutely no subscription is required. They are hoping this method will curb piracy.

The company's main target market are countries such as India, Brazil, China and Eastern Europe. Technical specifications for the system are compared to those of a Nintendo Gamecube. It features low power consumption (about 1 watt), RCA plugins capable of a resolution of 640 x 480, three USB slots and is about the size of the Xbox 360 power adapter. Obviously these specifications are up to snuff here in North America, but systems like the Sega Genesis still do very well in sales in countries like Brazil according to Zeebo's Vice President of business development and licensing, Reinaldo Normand.

One of the most encourage prospects of the system are the developers that have already jumped onto the product. Electronic Arts (probably could have guessed that one...), THQ inc., Activision-Blizzard, Namco and Pop Cap are just to name.

The games itself are set to cost around $10 US and titles already include Fifa, Double Dragon, Sonic Adventures, Resident Evil 4, Quake are just a few of the bigger names that will on the system.

A lot of people are comparing this system to the Phantom, another system that attempted the digital distribution model, that never seemed to ever get off the ground, but key difference seems to be the target market. As oppose to the Phantom, that went after the already crowded U.S. market, the Zeebo is going after the developing market.

The console is planned to hit Brazil first.

  • Zeebo Console with Pre-installed Games
  • Z-Pad Control Pad
  • Power Adapter
  • AV Cable
  • Zeebo Quickstart Guide (Download: English / Portuguese )
  • Zeebo User Manual (Download: English / Portuguese )
  • Warranty Card

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Windows Home Server: Power Pack 2 now available for download

Next Story

Asus Rampage II GENE microATX motherboard review

27 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Most people here in my country are still buying PS2's by the bucketloads, so I doubt it would ever sell well :P .

Scirwode

That logo is very familiar (look sideways)

being an Indian I am very much offended by the attitude behind the console..

Get off your high horse! The older consoles (specifically Genesis as mentioned) still sell amazingly over there!

Thats the dumbest thing I've ever heard or read about.. and being an Indian I am very much offended by the attitude behind the console.. We get XBOX 360, PS3, etc for a decent enough price and we get all the games too.. Ppl here don't live under rocks

P.S. and yes games cost around $10-15 currently so its nothing big

You pay over $600 for an xbox 360? Man someone is ripping you off.

chances are, if you can afford to buy this console at $200, you can probably save a little longer and get the xbox 360 for $300.

I really don't see how this is targeted at 3rd world countries. If it were a $50 console sure, but $200?

i don't think people in those 3rd world countries want a low powered knockoff when they can already play current generation console games....

friendly games, that is.....

Odd, their main targets are countries that by fame are third world but are emerging as soon-to-be economy forces: Brazil, China, India.

USD 200. Gamecube level performance. No existing game base. No piracy option.

Tell me what I'm missing when I ask "If I had the local equivalent of USD 200, why it wouldn't be better to get a PS2?" I figure, for USD200, you could even import an American PS2 (allowing $70 for postage and tarriffs) if they don't have the title you want in your region.

I bough a new ps2 modded with 50 games for less than $180, plus 2 wireless controls.

And i can buy a polystation for less than $50 with two controls, pistol (and in some cases even a keyboard), including a 500 games in 1.

yeah "POLYSTATION". i gave my nieces that a long time ago for xmas then they proceeded to sequester my ps2 and left me with "polystation". thats what i got for being a cheapskate uncle. XD

I want one..

Mostly because I'd be forced to pirate games for it in the states...but also because it'd be something cool to show off to friends.. 'oh hey, yeah.. this is a game console for 3rd world countries.. they have it so bad..' haha.

Also, I don't know how well this will go over for China.

Yeah I think so also. As they are targetting places where current consoles cost an arm and a leg. Lets hope they can deliver what they promise so other countries can enjoying gaming!