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Lies and misinformation, that's what.
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Member since May 2011 · 2462 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: WTF is this Zeebo shit?
So I saw a new console announced today and I just can't figure out what kind of scam it is, or if it's just run by idiots.  The hype: A cellular console jointly developed with Qualcomm (who make mobile phone chips) that will allow gamers in developing countries to download games over mobile networks.  Games will use the BREW development platform, the same used for countless mobile phone games, and the console features Qualcomm's 3D chip, adreno.

The logic seems sound: a console that downloads games over the mobile phone system that developing countries already have, with prices approaching those paid for pirated games.  You see, the PS3 and Wii haven't been launched in Brazil yet, so prices for legitimate consoles there are 3-5x more than other countries.  Perhaps no surprise to anyone, piracy is rampant and old hardware is still popular (via TecToy, Sega's MegaDrive is still a hot product).

And that's the sales pitch: 5-50MB games, locked to each console, impossible to copy.  Surely people will fall over themselves to get ten-year-old games in countries where they still think the 19-year-old MegaDrive is awesome.  And if not, consider the pull of original titles like Extreme Sports and Super Action Hero.

The problem is, their sales pitch is full of lies and misinformation.  If it's not a scam to suck money from gullible investors, it's certainly a company run by idiots.  Let's go through their claims.

Piracy: They claim that they can defeat piracy, and use bullshit claims and bad math to back it up.  ESA figures are quoted, indicating a $3 Billion loss in 2007, due to piracy, then claim that for every legit game sold ten more are pirated.  Doing the math, it seems that they want you to believe 10 x legit sales = $3b.  ESA's own figures say that legit sales for 2007 were $9.5 Billion... 

This is a great quote: "Due to rampant piracy, [...] today’s popular gaming platforms aren’t affordable..."  I guess it's unusual to conflate the idea of expensive consoles and piracy, normally that's a software problem, but OK.  Let's assume that much makes sense.  How are we to believe the idea that piracy makes things less affordable?  Last time I checked it made things cheaper.  Silly me.

They further claim that hundreds of millions of games have been downloaded wirelessly without one ever being pirated.  At first I thought they were joking, as a search on any warez site will turn up hundreds of mobile phone downloads cracked and ready to play, but then I read between the lines: Out of all the wireless games out there, one of them still hasn't been pirated!  I wonder which one it is...  No matter how you read it, Zeebo doesn't look good: They're liars, or idiots.

Pricing: Their strategy is to charge more than the local price for imported games.  I can't even imagine how that makes the slightest bit of sense, so I'm just gonna leave this here...  "Selling titles for only a slight premium over the gray market prices of the original titles, so consumers have no reason to leave home to shop."

Magic!  "Providing automatic wireless software upgrades so consumers are never faced with console obsolescence or warranty issues with either the console or the games..."  I can't imagine how they're gonna resolve warranty problems with the power of wireless.  Qualcomm's fucking amazing!

Style: ZeeboNet.  Z-Credits.  'ZEN Interface'.  The Z-Wheel.  I'm done here.

Raw Brutal Power: 128MB RAM!  Well, OK, it's a low-power low-cost system that (and this is a real selling point for them) weighs less than an Xbox 360 power supply.  RAM's heavy, obviously, so it was chucked.  But hey, at least it has VGA graphics, right?  640x480 video, and since it's VGA we know it'll be non-interlaced (ie: progressive).  Too bad it only has composite-video outputs, which can't actually support VGA resolutions.

Future Proof:  "Additional enhancements may include [...] new services."  Phew, I was worried about the future.  But no, the future's awesome:  "By 2012, the worldwide video game market is projected to become a $68 billion industry."  Yup, from $9.5b in 2007 to $70b in 2012.  Only Zeebo allows you to capture a market that will increase in value seven-fold in five years. 

Looking for Love:  Zeebo is looking for partners who meet these criteria:
  • A trusted consumer brand
  • Strong relationships with local manufacturers, final assembly and reverse logistics
  • Connections to local software developers and content publishers who can bring culturally relevant content to consumers
  • A financial track record that would make Zeebo a powerful companion to your brand
Yeah, if I was launching a powerhouse console that was going to take the world by storm I'd be looking for someone, anyone, who could provide them with hardware and software and name recognition and money too.

And finally, Success: Before they even launch, they're happy to tell you "Zeebo is considered by many publishers as the world's 4th gaming console."

[Image: /grafx/games/zeebo.jpg]

[Image: /grafx/games/z-pad.png]
This doesn't look like a Wii Classic Controller
BLEARGH
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Member since May 2011 · 2462 posts · Location: Brisbane
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The Zeebo console, currently only for sale in Rio de Janeiro, is about to see its first price drop.  That seems early to me, you don't generally see a $50 price drop in the first 6 months of a console's release, so I'm keen to ascribe this to impending desperation.

Zeebo CEO John F. Rizzo says "Zeebo has already proven to be quite popular in Rio de Janeiro" but doesn't mention any figures. 

I'm not encouraged by a bullshit company with a daft idea and silly lies dropping the price and launching in one city.  Sure, when Nintendo launched the NES, they did so in a few cities only, but the entire game industry had just imploded and they were creating a new market.  Zeebo can claim no such grand purpose.

Source: Gamasutra
BLEARGH
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Well, YOU may find the Zeebo a nice piece of crap. Your opinion, who am I to try changing your opinion?
But, Zeebo comes with some interesting proposals, including making games in Portuguese and opening space to local programmers to get a chance to publish their games.

And, due to the sucess of the Wii, it's proven that isn't necessary a top game of 50 GB to make sucess.
Playstation 3 comes here with excess of taxes, so it costs very expensive. Even the Xbox 360 isn't cheap here. Zeebo is the cheaper machine we can to buy new and is the only that comes with games in Portuguese. Things that Companies as Nintendo or Sony didn't think in to offer us.

But, how you aren't Brazilian, neither understands the life in Brazil, stay with tour opinion.
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Member since May 2011 · 2462 posts · Location: Brisbane
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I never said the Zeebo was a piece of crap.  In fact, I said that 10 year old games are probably going to be popular in a country where 19 year old Megadrive games still sell.  The point of this thread is that the people running the company are idiots and/or liars.  Their website is full of impossible statements and flat-out lies, so no matter how great the machine is for Brazil, these people suck.
BLEARGH
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Member since May 2011 · 2462 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Apparently Sony is working for Zeebo now.  According to Fudzilla* the PS2 has been released in Brazil for the first time (officially) at a price that makes the Zeebo look very attractive. 

Quote by Fudzilla:
Sony is about nine years late releasing its PS2 in a lucrative, but somewhat poorer market. But just to show it has its fingers on the pulse, Sony has decided to sell it for a stonking $465, which is even more expensive than a PS3. Normally you can pick up a PS2 for about $100. To be fair the Brazilian government is to blame for some of this price hike as taxes on consoles are about 70 per cent in Brazil, but that is still 450 percent higher than most other countries.

Holy shit, you guys.  $465?  What possible convoluted logic led you to this?

* They didn't say as much, but I can read between the lines.
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Subject: Hi i am from Brazil, and i also saing "wtf is zeebo"?
Hi everbody here in Brazil is not dificult buy a ps2, and the new generetion games are very comon right now, the xbox 360 is the most sold this time here, and genesis games are now on every cel phone, But i dont now how this zeebo SHIT is seling, i think most of the people who buyit are druck, retarded or junkie there is a movie on you tube were this guy he bought the zeebo and he is very piss-off and this zeebo is more expensive than a ps2, normali a ps2 cost 200 dollars and this zeebo cost 300 dollas. so iam also saing how can a person espend his money on this shit from second world war and do not buy an xbox 360 or an ps2 or even an wii. this must be some kind of bad joke.
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