[LinuxBIOS] Open Gaming Console

Arc arc at Xiph.org
Wed Aug 31 17:55:06 CEST 2005

On Wed, Aug 24, 2005 at 03:05:40AM -0500, Richard Smith wrote:
> Well LinuxBIOS only runs on a fairly small family of chipsets.  The
> bulk of LinuxBIOS applications are in linux clusters or embedded
> systems.  Neither of which would classify as "retail hardware" unless
> you want to build game consoles out of dual Opteron boxes.  The higher
> end VIA eden boards might qualify but support for them is still under
> developement.

It can be ported.  *mantra*

> > the current XBOX cost, around $150 I think.  The XBOX360 I belive is going to
> > be close to $300 when it comes out.  So it has to be hardware that would keep
> > the over all price below the current consoles.
> Going to be tough since those products are sold at a loss.

Actually I had an idea recently that I've been persuing, is a portable 
free player developed around VIA's CLE266+VT8235 chipsets.

Think of it.  Basic 3d acceleration from VIA CLE266, 640x480 lcd screen, 
slot loading cd burner+dvd, CompactFlash and CardBus slots, host usb, 
and firewire.

 * Play audio CDs and Ogg Vorbis (and others)
 * Rip audio CDs to CompactFlash
 * Watch DVDs
 * Play huge games (dvd sized!) 
 * Play multiplayer-network games via cardbus WIFI
 * Connect to USB keyboard/mouse to use as mini-laptop
 * Connect to TV and USB controllers for home use
 * Can download games and burn to CD

Can't beat the price of many handheld game players (Sony PSP $190, while 
this would cost closer to $350) but when you consider the cost of a 
seperate music player, the larger screen, and (this is the key to it)... 
you - don't have to pay $35/game!

Consider that, if the free software game community grows, with say 20 
"commercial quality" games and a few hundred smaller ones, the system 
beats the mainstream systems' price after just a few games.

To reduce cost (about $80) the CD drive could be an add-on option, 
plugging onto the bottom of the unit, leaving the unit smaller and under 
$300.  Plus, then a harddrive add-on could be produced as well. :-)

And as was suggested earlier in the thread, the circuit, case, etc could 
be under the GPL just like the GumStix, with the BIOS being GPL'ed, etc.  
allowing multiple manufacturers to produce these units.

I think the market is ready for a portable unit you can play at home, 
and which *CAN* but doesn't nessesarily have to be your portable music 
player too, which can run any number of different games, not just those 
which are licensed through a central authority.

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