Well, that’s interesting timing! Just yesterday I was speculating about what a successful Chinese game console might look like, and today one was officially announced. Huawei, a mobile phone company with plenty of experience in hardware but little experience in games, is showing off the Tron at CES.
Tron is a small, cylindrical console that runs Android 4.2.3 and connects to TVs via HDMI (it is capable of 1080p output). All told, it’s about the size of a coffee mug. Huawei says the device will sell for $120 or less and come with 16 or 32 GB of storage. Internally, it’s using Nvidia’s Tegra 4 processor, and the Tron also has wi-fi and bluetooth connectivity and even a USB 3.0 port. Here’s a video of the thing in action via Huawei News:
The device itself seems pretty reminiscent of the Ouya, and clearly isn’t designed for triple-A games, but the low price point could make it more appealing than mainstream consoles to those in China who just want to play games of some kind on their HDTVs and aren’t necessarily looking for top-end production values.
Speaking of “reminiscent”, it has to be said that the system’s onscreen UI and its controller are both pretty reminiscent of Microsoft products.
Of course, a console lives or dies based on its games, and we don’t know yet what Tron will be able to offer when it goes on sale. The Verge took the device for a spin today and wasn’t impressed with the games, but theoretically the Tegra 4 can support all kinds of cool stuff (potentially including PC and PS3 ports) so Huawei still has some time to straighten that out.
It’s not clear yet when, exactly, Tron will be released, but it’s likely coming to China before it hits any other parts of the world. The device’s appearance on the world stage comes just days after the Chinese government lifted its ban on the sale of video game consoles.
(Source: Huawei News)
(Top image via Flickr user nvidia.corporation)
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