The console space has been pretty static for quite some time now, no serious addition has come along to threaten the dominance of Sony’s Playstation, Microsoft’s Xbox, or Nintendo’s offerings. If Slightly Mad Studios has their way, though, they’ll be adding a new player to the game that gives consumers another choice when it comes to gaming consoles.
Slighty Mad Studios is probably most well know for their Project CARS racing games, but they have plans to branch into the hardware market, with what they’re calling the Mad Box – a standalone gaming console that is slated for release in “around three years”, according to the CEO Ian Bell.
The big news surrounding its hardware capabilities is that it will be compatible with most major VR headsets, so their focus is clearly on incorporating current console peripherals and standards. The second tidbit that potential buyers will be interested in is that Bell describes its specs as approaching that of a “very fast PC two years from now”, implying it will have the brute power to keep up with close to the best that gaming has to offer.
In terms of the prospective game library, Bell has stated that they’ll allow games from all developers and won’t try to obtain exclusives. Their development engine will be completely free, and they won’t be incentivising studios to select their platform in any way.
The UK-based studio hasn’t released any specifics regarding pricing, but they say the Mad Box will be priced to compete with other consoles.
At the moment it seems mainly just like a cool idea, and we’ll need to wait for more concrete specifications and details surrounding its development before we can make any more educated guesses.
Is this a smart move on the part of Slightly Mad Studios, or are they living up to their name? Having more competition is always a good thing for consumers, so if their project does get off the ground it can only be positive for console gaming in general. Time will tell if they’ve got a product that the market will take to.