Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Future is Now

Engadget brings us news of the Zeebo -- a game console that only offers games available for download. Sound familiar?

It is supposed to be released in Brazil in 2009. It is not intended to compete with the front-line consoles such as the PS3, 360 or Wii, and is targeted at emerging markets. Now this may be vapor, and there is some confusion as to the retail price - $599 seems pretty damn steep for anywhere, let alone emerging markets.

It is probably not surprising that the innovation in abandoning the boxed retail model is coming not from the big console manufacturers, but from smaller, more nimble players. I hope for Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo's own sakes that they are not too entrenched in the boxed retail mindset to realize that it is only a matter of when, not if, boxed retail dies.

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