GDC: Zeebo console targets “next billion” gamers

Tuesday, 24th March 2009 07:20 GMT By Patrick Garratt


A new console was announced at GDC yesterday, a 3G-enabled box packing a punch somewhere between a PSone and a PS2, according to maker Zeebo. Here’s its home site.

Zeebo plans to launch its “video game console for the next billion” in Brazil next month for $199 and in other countries later this year for $179.

The discless box is aimed at developing countries and is a little larger than a Wii, apparently.

Zeebo CEO John Rizzo said the machine isn’t meant to directly compete with the likes of PS3 and Xbox 360, but rather give consumers in India, China, Brazil and Eastern Europe – those who generally can’t afford the latest high-end consoles, or the games published for them – a bite at the gaming cherry, so to speak.

In many of these countries, cell phone service is more readily available and cheaper than wired broadband, said Rizzo.

One word: Phantom.

“Launching a new console is not for the faint of heart,” Rizzo said.

Live the dream, dude. Get lots more on Yahoo.



  1. Tonka

    But it’s the same price as a 360 isn’t it? Is he saying the games will be free or what?

    #1 6 years ago
  2. Hero of Canton

    That’s what I was thinking. If it’s meant to be low-end then it’s almost certainly overpriced unless the games are free, or about tuppence each.

    #2 6 years ago
  3. Syrok

    The current console are considerably more expensive in those countries. The games will be very cheap, because they are all downloadable and at least 10 years old. If I remember correctly there are already 3 or 4 games installed when you buy it.

    #3 6 years ago
  4. Shatner


    #4 6 years ago
  5. Blerk

    So what does it actually play? Old PC games?

    #5 6 years ago
  6. Syrok

    Old console and PC games mostly.
    Here it is in action

    #6 6 years ago

    That actually looks pretty cool.

    Would probably be better if it wasn’t $199 though…

    #7 6 years ago
  8. Syrok

    At that price it’s still several times cheaper than any of the other consoles in Brazil. ;)

    #8 6 years ago

    Oh. I thought that they would be similarly priced to th US.

    #9 6 years ago
  10. DaMan

    yeah, I’ve read about this Zeebo some time ago..

    I thought it was Brazil-only?

    #10 6 years ago
  11. Syrok

    For the time being it is, but they hope to expand it to other developing nations later. Makes sense seeing that Brazil, India, China and co all have rising middle class that is just about rich enough to spend money on these sort of things, but can’t or are unwilling to pay the high price to Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo (who in many cases don’t even sell their newest consoles directly in those markets). By completely moving to digital distribution over the cellphone network they also get around the piracy issue.

    /applies for PR job at Zeebo inc. :)

    #11 6 years ago

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