A motion-controlled game console set to release in China early this year
-- with the backing of PC company Lenovo -- will see its launch delayed for further technical refinements.
The console, called eBox, has been under development by Beijing Eedoo Technology, a business arm of Lenovo, for a planned launch at the start of this year. According to a report from the IDG News Service via ITWorld, that launch has been postponed
to early February, sometime after the Chinese New Year.
"The exact release date has yet to be decided," Eedoo spokesperson Zhang Zhitong said. It's unclear which specific elements need to be polished, but the report indicated improvements to the user experience are necessary before the eBox can come to market.
The eBox is believed to work similarly to Microsoft's Kinect hardware, tracking a user's physical movements and translating them into movements within a game.
The project received support from Lenovo software engineers and a co-investment from Lenovo Group, Legend Holdings and Legend Capital.
Details of the initial investment were not made public, and the launch price has not been revealed, although Eedoo's president has pegged the price to fall somewhere between that of the Wii on the low end and that of the Xbox 360 on the high end.
The eBox has the opportunity to address a market hopeful for next-gen motion controls -- neither the Xbox 360 nor its Kinect device can be legally sold in China due to an edict from the region's Ministry of Culture prohibiting sales of video game consoles and accessories in the country by any foreign company or individual.
Nonetheless, Microsoft has been working with regulators in the hopes of being able to sell its Xbox 360 and Kinect in China; Sony has been undertaking similar efforts on behalf of its PS3. Eedoo asserts that it understands its domestic market better and that even if Microsoft's launch plans should be approved, it doesn't see a threat to its eBox -- it aims to sell it to 12 million homes in urban areas.
According to the report, the eBox will have a launch lineup of 30 titles from Chinese as well as international developers.