Zeebo – a new console or codename for a Zoolander spin-off

Zeebo ConsoleZeebo, a new console from a Brazilian firm of the same name was launched recently. And it looks more slick than the PS3 and X360 combined (truth be told – that would actually resemble a sanitary towel in a breadbin).

Don’t get too worked up though, this is not a contender for the aforementioned systems. Tech specs aside (hey, that finally makes Wii the second underperformance platform on the market, nice), it won’t get a worldwide release. This is a product targeted for emerging markets such as BRIC – Brazil, Russia, India, and China (if they ever decide to form a military coalition, they already have a cool acronym) and offers games only via a 3G wireless network.

Now, I generally wanted to offer sound reasoning why this ‘console’ is a bull’s arse on a stick, and laugh at it a bit, but after seeing  a post from a Brazilian on Gamasutra pounding the idea behind the launch to oblivion, I decided to hand over the mic to the natives. Here’s his post, original unedited English:

First, that thing is improperly aimed….

He said that he is aiming at the middle class people (like me), he only do not tough that middle class people buy PS2 (that is 199 USD too here…) and that games that get pirated are the expensive ones, noone buys Quake pirated, you can get it for much less than 30 on the PC, and not pirated.

Also, fourth big console? Are you kidding right? The specs are par with the dreamcast, and you think that the console is on any nearer generation?

And lieing to people about the dangers of the place with piracy does not work, specially when that place is THE DOWNTOWN WHERE THOUSANDS OF BUSINESS MAN AND WHERE THE MAJOR BANKS ARE AND WHERE YOU CAN SEE HUNDREDS OF COPS ON THE STREETS…

If that is dangerous, then my aparment (that is in one of the major streets and has skyrocketing land price, but not much cops around) is a slum.

Now into the Zeebo itself…

First, it is a cellphone crammed in a box, the specs are nowhere good, and it rely on the 3G network to work at all, and here the 3G network is really defective, I know several people with 3G modem, and they keep complaining on how they do not work even on major centres…

Second, as I already stated, it is mistargeted and mismarketed, it is 199 USD, but the PS2 is 199 USD, and Sony will manufacture it here in Brazil (and games too), thus making your argument that Zeebo defeats piracy from non-official consoles invalid. Also, as you stated, rich people buy PS3 and Wii right away. And poor people do not have 199 USD even to eat and buy clothes.

Third, the specs, starting from the 1gb flash memory, that is obvious that the reason for that is to force users pay for the re-download (for those wondering, if you fill your Zeebo flash memory, you need to delete some games, and if you want them agian, you need to pay for a re-download tax), and games like you stated on marketing that you think that console supports, are way bigger than that (ie: someone stated to a newspaper that in one years the technical level of the developers would allow something like Resident Evil 4… If he said Shenmue I would be more convinced, since Shenmue seemly IS possible on Zeebo, based on the specs, but Resident Evil 4? In one year? And how do you fit RE4 on 1Gb?)

Fourth, you are building too much hype and making people get annoyed at that, you should not make website that begs you to buy it and has overhyped marketing (like the phrase: “… the best game system of all time…” or “(games) … with the most awesome graphics ever made…”), also the site already offer even cards (like a pre-paid phone card), and the console is not even released yet!

Fifth and last, the people that know the Zeebo manufacturer and would love to buy it, are currently mad at it, not evne the fans of TecToy would buy Zeebo… Why? Well, like they keep stating and saying to you, they want decent products with decent price, like a MegaDrive (yes, they still sell that here) with a cartridge port (yes, Tectoy removed the cart port, you can only play the included games, 180, altough 170 suck, and the game that would make most people want a Megadrive, Sonic 3, is not included, also obviously since it lacks a cart port, you can not attach Mega CD to it, thus no Sonic CD too…)

And yes, I am being caustic, I am caustic to any company that thinks that they costumers are idiots.

There you have it. Give the man a cigar. He clearly needs it ;)

Gamasutra aricle here.

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~ by Pawel Wyslowski on May 22, 2009.

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