updated 08:20 am EDT, Fri August 27, 2010
Targeting casual gamers in Chinese market
Lenovo is giving financial backing and technical input into a motion-controlled gaming console being developed specifically for the Chinese market. According to China Daily, the Ebox will be manufactured and distributed by Beijing's eedoo Technology Ltd, a business arm of Lenovo. In addition to a rumored $10 million in funding, Lenovo has about 40 of its technical staff working on the project, which is set to take on the Xbox 360's Kinect in how it behaves.
In development for over two years, the Ebox is said to be targeting casual gamers with its camera-based, motion controlled interface. Sixteen global game developers have reportedly signed contracts to provide content and thirty free titles to be bundled with the console when it ships in early 2011. The cost of the hardware would fall somewhere between the Wii and the Xbox 360, the latter of which retails for $300.
Eedoo expect sales to top one million units within the first two to three years on the market. However, the challenge for the company is to develop games with a Chinese cultural element that will help to foster more interest in the device at home.
The Xbox 360, which is manufactured in China, is not currently permitted for sale in China as gaming consoles have been banned from being imported since 2000. Microsoft is said to be in negotiations with Chinese government so that it can begin selling the 360 in China.