Announced in a press release on May 25th, nearly one week ago, Envizions Computer Entertainment Corporation has revealed what they’re calling the world’s first “Android gaming console that will offer users real time gaming playlist and social friend connections:” the EVO 2 (great name, right?).
As interesting as a console with Android sounds, the EVO 2 may not turn out to be everything it could.
First off, consider that other gaming consoles have been able to support Linux based operating systems before, so touting an open source OS based console is (kind of) nothing new. A side installation feature was present in early PlayStation 3s, but was eventually scrapped from the console with an update. On the bright side, users are encouraged to modify the software on-board. This alone could turn out to be interesting.
Second, consider that in the press release for the EVO 2, there is no mention of the Android Market. Envisions does say the EVO 2 will run a modified version of Android 2.2, and that it will be able to sync with your Android phone, but it would seem the console will rely on games and content from the EVO Market Store. The shining beacon of Android is the Market. Without it, I imagine things will get rather dull quickly. Pre-existing games can be ported over, which may turn out to be a saving grace.
On the subject of Android 2.2… well, it runs Android 2.2. Other specs may be mildly enticing — Samsung 1.2 GHZ processor, 512MB DDR2, Nvidia graphics, HDMI, 3D motion sensing (eventually) — but using an outdated firmware for a product shipping this coming fall doesn’t seem like a good idea. The PR does mention periodic software update releases, but it just doesn’t change the fact that it will ship with a nearly year old firmware.
Then there’s the price, which in my mind, really kills it: $250 USD. You can buy a brand new XBOX 360 for less than that. I’m all about supporting Android on slightly less than traditional computing devices, but when faced with the decision of buying an XBOX, PS3, Wii, or EVO 2, all at about the same price-point, you’d have to be mad to buy the EVO.
Sure the EVO 2 has its perks (modifiable operating system, potential existing game ports), but they don’t add up to a must own gadget. Then again, it might just sell like hot cakes. The first EVO supposedly sold out in 2009, so maybe we’ll see a repeat. Word to the wise: don’t hold your breath.
ANNISTON, Ala./May 25, 2011 — Today, the Envizions Computer Entertainment Corporation announced that its new Android-based game console EVO 2 will be available this fall in the U.S. with goals of an international release with availability in certain locations of Europe. EVO 2 earlier adopters can pre-order the system at store.envizionsinc.com from the Envizions online store.
The new EVO 2
console will retail for $249 and include an EVO TV remote, EVO game controller and HDMI cable. Specifications include a Samsung 1.2 GHZ processor, DDR2-512MB, and support modified Android 2.2 operating system. The EVO 2 dimensions are 170mm (L) 111mm (W) 30mm (T)
EVO 2 is the first Android gaming console that will offer users real time gaming playlist and social friend connections. Gamers will also have the opportunity to earn points to purchase premium Android games free with EVO tokens. The system will ship equip with game cloud storage and Envizions new Qquip SMS blogging reward service. To ensure that the EVO 2 system surpasses expectations, Envizions plans to add motion 3D sensor capabilities toward the end of fourth quarter in 2011 and developers can start testing the software via website download in two weeks. EVO 2 will incorporate the core software components of Envizions’ beta EVO Smart Console released in 2009.
EVO 2 is an open console and gamers can modify any part of the system. New updates and upgrades will be released periodically after the system launch.
Android developers can get the free EVO hardware SDK today from the Envizions store with a required annual $149 software support fee per unit. Developer fees and royalties are waived for the first 1000 developers. “Game development for EVO 2 is cheaper for developers so they have the opportunity to create games on a platform that will increase their return on investment. Developers can also submit pre-existing Android games”, stated Derrick Samuels the CEO and Founder of Envizions.
And last, the EVO 2 is the first crowd source and social participation console. Envizions will let customers participate in the design roadmap of the console by means of Twitter, FaceBook and the new EVO 2 website. The community can vote on the system’s first launch location and the appearance of the console in terms of color, package design, and product image.
About Envizions: Envizions was incorporated on August 04, 2004 by Derrick Samuels and with only five dollar weekly donation from family and friends the EVO console was born.
For more information about the Envizions EVO 2 console pricing, specifications or pre-orders visit www.envizionsinc.com Media review testers can receive a free EVO 2 unit upon request and supplies are limited. Request can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org.