While most eyes are probably fixated on the upcoming next generation gaming consoles and devices this coming holiday season, iConsole.tv proposing to bring something unique to the table. Without much fanfare, it has unveiled a revised version of its Unit 00 developer hardware that is an Android gaming console, home theater box, and personal computer all in one powerful package.
Android gaming consoles are nothing new, with OUYA leading the race. But Unit 00 is quite different in many aspects. For one, it is powered by Intel chips, from its fourth generation quad-core Intel Core "Haswell" processor, to its Intel Iris GPU. Now, that last one is quite interesting because Intel is marketing Iris to perform just as well as discrete graphics cards coming from market leaders NVIDIA and AMD/ATI. The unit is also donned with 8 GB or DDR3 RAM, a 500 GB hybrid hard drive, six USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, two HDMI ports, two gigabit Ethernet ports, a PS/2 port, WiFI connectivity, Bluetooth 4.0, and future support for WiDI, analog and digital audio output, and external Bluetooth and WiFi antennas.
Support for Steam games will come from a key feature that OUYA doesn't have: a regular desktop OS. The iConsole.tv will be running both Android and Linux side-by-side, allowing easy and quick switching between the two systems. This will allow the console to have access to regular desktop apps but, more importantly, allow users to play their Steam and desktop games as well. This also means that iConsole.tv, as the name would suggest, can also double, or in this case, triple, as a set-top and entertainment box for the TV.
Of course, while those features might make people drool, the real challenge is in getting developers to rally behind the device. And so the iConsole.tv will be available to developers at a price of $699. But gamers need not worry about the price tag as the company projects the retail version to go down to $399 or $499 only.