PC company Lenovo has announced that they are helping Beijing eedoo Technology Ltd (a business arm of Lenovo) in the development of an Xbox 360 competitor for the Chinese market. Called the eBox, the console is similar to the technology of Microsoft's Kinect hardware, which tracks a user's physical movements and translates them into real movements in-game.
However, unlike Sony's Move and Nintendo's Wii, eBox plots movements and translates them into onscreen action without the need for a controller. According to a ChinaDaily report
, on August 9th, forty Lenovo software engineers joined the project, which also was co-invested in by Lenovo Group, Legend Holdings and Legend Capital. The details of the investment were not made public.
The eBox's price has not been officially announced, but Beijing eedoo Technology president Jack Luo said that the price will fall between that of the Nintendo Wii and that of Microsoft's Xbox 360.
The console will also focus less on violence and more on family entertainment, according to Luo, who says, "eBox may not have exquisite game graphics, or extensive violence, but it can inspire family members to get off the couch and get some exercise."
Luo also revealed over a dozen investment organizations have made contact with the company to offer funding, and that an estimated $10 million will be injected into the venture by the end of this year. He also expects that up to 1 million eBoxes may be sold annually after the first two to three years after the console debuts.
The Xbox 360 cannot be legally sold in China due to the Ministry of Culture edict
, which prohibits sales of video game consoles and accessories in the country by any company or individual. Microsoft is currently working with a Chinese regulator in hopes of bringing the console -- and with it, the Kinect accessory -- to China.
Jack Luo seemed undaunted by Microsoft's efforts to advance in the Chinese market, saying to China Daily, "We understand Chinese culture and customers better than our competitors. We still hold advantages in terms of Chinese game content, sales channels and customer service."