Brazilian company Zeebo, Inc. has shipped its eponymous download-only console to retail in its home nation. It marks the official launch of the console, which ships with three pre-loaded games and credit toward three more downloads.
The console plugs directly into a television set and lets users download games from its service. Zeebo comes with Electronic Arts' FIFA 2009
and Need For Speed Carbon
, plus Gameloft's Brain Challenge
, and 3D Realms/Machineworks Prey Evil
and Id Software's Quake I
are available for free download after purchase. All are localized in Portuguese.
Zeebo expects to expand the digital catalog over time. The platform, which at $249 is claimed to be about a third the cost of traditional video game consoles in Brazil, targets emerging markets, as company execs told Gamasutra in a recent interview
Zeebo hopes the console will be successful first in these emerging first-world markets, a key first step it must achieve before it can consider expanding to North America.
"Zeebo is the first videogame console to launch exclusively in Brazil and offer games wirelessly, with no packaged discs and no internet or wireless service plans required," says Fernando Fischer CEO of Tectoy, which handles all the marketing and distribution in Brazil.
"Brazil is a videogame savvy marketplace and is the perfect place to launch the Zeebo videogame console and its completely wireless distribution system," says Zeebo CEO John F. Rizzo.
"The system provides an intuitive, quick, and easy-to-use home shopping user experience featuring popular, culturally optimized content from leading game publishers and developers around the world. It also delivers high value and warranty protection compared to gray-market."