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Envizions Announces Next Generation 3-D Online-User Open Source Community For EVO Smart Console, Our Universe Open source EVO combines both 3-D community and multi-player delivery service For Immediate Release ANNISTON, Ala. Apr 16, 2009 --- Envizions Computer Entertainment Corporation today announce its 3-D online community service for the EVO Smart Console. The open source 3-D community will be known as "Our Universe." The new open platform will allow users to create their own avatars and explore a real-time virtual world. Our Universe beta is expected to go live in the last quarter of 2009. The Our Universe moniker is homage to open source development, meaning that Envizions 3-D online community platform belongs to everyone. Unlike other 3-D online communities, the Envizions' Our Universe will have a sub-plot story line for users that require a more-game entertainment challenge; other users may simply want to meet new friends, download new content, watch videos, communicate with friends and demo new open source games. An additional feature allows users to upload content from their EVO console to their Our Universe world. Users can travel from Earth to other planets based on special achievements. The Our Universe platform will also support gamers to connect with other gamers for online multi-player game delivery service. More details and pricing for the online component for this service will be available over the coming months. Presented as an open source platform, developers can create new worlds, environments and characters. Open source developers can also utilize Envizions' e-commerce services and launch new games. The platform will use an open source 3-D server platform, to be named in the future. Terrence Johnson, director of Envizions' operations, stated, "Envizions will contribute code to the project and is excited to work with other developers. Our Universe will launch directly from the EVO Mirrors X interface link. We want our customer base to know that EVO will operate similarly to other virtual world applications but provide an expanded features-set and storyline theme. The Our Universe viral campaign was kickstarted at BlackFridayProject.com (http://www.blackfridayproject.com) a month ago, accompanied by several other EVO surprises. EVO is the first open source convergence system to combine PC, DVR, Gaming Hub, Cloud, and Internet TV in an all-in-one device. Currently beta units are been shipped to customers, partners, and distributors. The suggested retail price for the system is $379.99, and 9 classic Linux games are available April 29, 2009. About Envizions Computer Entertainment Corporation Envizions Computer Entertainment Corporation was incorporated on August 10, 2004, and founded by Derrick Samuels. With main headquarters located at 801-5 Noble Street, Anniston, Ala., the company is involved in electronic devices, media, and publishing. The company's most ambitious project is the highly anticipated EVO Smart Console. For more information, visit EnvizionsCorp.com (http://www.envizionscorp.com), and NVETV.tv (http://www.nvetv.tv).

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Quote:
Original post by AvatarOfChange
Currently beta units are been shipped to customers, partners, and distributors. The suggested retail price for the system is $379.99, and 9 classic Linux games are available April 29, 2009.


What's the price of an X-Box in America?

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The 60 GB "Premium" model runs $300 and is the one that nearly everybody buys.

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While its nice to see that someone has actually brought a linux-based console to market after the failed Indreama and Tuxbox project, I just don't see them being successful until they shift away from the PC-based platform these projects always pursue.

The reason being, is that they simply cannot compete on cost or distinguish themselves in the market. They can't include cutting-edge hardware because it costs too much, so they rely on older technology that, even then, wasn't at the cutting edge, just to keep the retail price within the realm of reason. They can't subsidize the hardware, because they don't seem to have a way to monetize on software sales. Ultimately, this leaves them as nothing more than they really are, a Linux PC that calls itself a console.


If someone ever wants to come along and do it right, I think the plan would look something like this:

1 - Drop the PC platform; its just too damn expensive. Adopt a Media-centric ARM SOC instead, such as the Omap3530 (Pandora portable, Beagleboard) or the i.MX515 (upcoming ARM-based netbooks) or nVidia's Tegra. Any of these chips can create something capable of performance in the range of the Dreamcast or PS2, in 480p resolution. Furthermore, *I*, myself, can order an Omap3530 chip in single-unit quantities for about $75 USD. For my money, I get a super-scalar ARM Cortex A-8 core with SIMD running at 600Mhz, I get a DSP for Video and audio codecs, I get a programmable OpenGL|ES 2.0 GPU, I get 256 megs of on-chip flash for OS and system files, I get 128 megs of on-chip DDR RAM, and a host of other small features. Its time these folks stop trying to make an open-source PS3 (while ending up with an open-source XBox) and start trying to make an open-source PS2 (which is entirely feasible). Texas Instruments' Omap3530-based beagle board sells for $150 USD, and turns a profit for both TI and the distributor, Digikey. There's no reason you couldn't make an open-source Dreamcast/PS2 and break even at a $130 price point.

2 - Physical media is for retail-bound players. Distribute all software through something like Apple's AppStore. Eliminate the reliance on retail shelf-space, eliminate shipping, and go directly to the consumer's hard-drive. This also gives them a way to monetize on software sales -- the big players get maybe $5-10 USD on each $60 USD game sold (10-20%), Apple keeps 30% of each AppStore sale, I'd be willing to bet that keeping 25-30% of sales would provide the sustained profitability they need to succeed, but also a means of attracting developers.

3 - Monetize on open-source staples. Games like quake 1, 2 and 3 have long been popular in the homebrew like scene that surrounds these types of devices due to iD's support in releasing source code. The problem though, is that the game resources are not open-source, requiring the user to track down an old disc release, and possibly run some extraction tools on the data to make the game complete. I'm certain that iD would be happy to license the content into an easy-to-use package. Sell the full game for 10 bucks, give away the engine-only version for free for those who have the disc already. $7 in iD's pocket, $3 in the hardware manufacturers.

4 - Concentrate on what counts. These companies always pile on features in order to try to justify their hardware costs. The primary example is DVR features which, while it makes a nice bullet point, I think most people who want a DVR at this point, have one. This doesn't mean you can't do PC-like things, such as web browsing and streaming audio/video -- in fact, you should do everything that adds value to the platform, you just have to be careful that software features aren't used as an excuse to justify expensive hardware decisions.



Look at what we see today in the game industry -- AAA titles are costing so much money that even big-name platform exclusives are largely a thing of the past. We've seen the up-surge of downloadable game content: The AppStore, Xbox Live Arcade, Community Games, PS Store, Full last-gen games from xbox, PS2 and PS1, downloadable classics on Nintendo's Wii... These are trends that are the up-and-comers. Re-monetizing older software is hugely profitable, as are the kinds of small-scale games you find on Live Arcade, PS Store and WiiWare. Furthermore, the type of independent developers a non-mainstream device will attract aren't able to compete with AAA Xbox 360 titles, but they are able to compete with any of the downloadable content we've seen, and even much of the retail software (for better or worse) that we see on the Wii.

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The Evo Smart Console has brand new, expensive hardware that makes it a very strong system. Check the specs and you will see. How we offer this for the price that we do is very simple.

Also, if there weren't more and more people wanting DVR everyday, then there would be a few large companies going out of business. What's more important is that all those TiVo & DVR users could save a stack of money by switching to the Evo because the Evo's DVR capabilities come without monthly fees.

I like your your plan though. You should give it a try and maybe we will meet at Linux World. I wish you the best of luck.

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No offense, but if you want to give this an honest chance, you may want to present it better. The current website doesn't have a very professional look, contains spelling and grammar errors and starts playing fairly annoying background music on every page.

Quote:
Original post by AvatarOfChange
what do you mean?

He moved it to the appropriate forum. Apparently you posted it in the wrong forum. Consider it a service.

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I really do appreciate the move.
I'm told that, with a little programming experience, one could run wine on the console.

The websites are always being updated. Thank you for your input. The music will either be changed or there will be an option to turn it off.

We humbly accept any and all suggestions.

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Quote:
Original post by AvatarOfChange
The Evo Smart Console has brand new, expensive hardware that makes it a very strong system. Check the specs and you will see. How we offer this for the price that we do is very simple.
Not to sound rude, but you need to check your facts.

Here is a newegg pricelist for components matching your specs. As you can see, the selection I picked provides equivalent (and in places better) specs, for $100 less than the Evo - and these are single-purchase retail prices, I assume buying in bulk would be cheaper. For that $100, you could afford to add a dedicated video card (for instance, the ATI Radeon 4830, or NVidia 9600 GSO), which would allow one to actually play games.

So my impression of the Evo is that it is overpriced, given the low specs, and will be hamstrung by the lack of a dedicated graphics card.

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You don't sound rude at all. Our system has a ATI HD 3200 that was tested w/ Crysis @ 60+ frames per second. It plays great. Our system hardware costs 500+ and we offer it at $379 US. I am going to check with IT and make sure about the prices, but the last time I added it up we were @ around $540 for everything. My first instinct is to say that prices have gone down a little since last quarter, but not so much that somebody could build our system for the amount that we sell it for.

Do you make your own ketchup or do you buy it at the store?

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Original post by AvatarOfChange
Our system has a ATI HD 3200 that was tested w/ Crysis @ 60+ frames per second. It plays great.
At low resolution and quality settings, sure. I have this exact integrated GPU in my machine, and while not bad for integrated, it is hardly a powerhouse.
Quote:
Our system hardware costs 500+ and we offer it at $379 US. I am going to check with IT and make sure about the prices, but the last time I added it up we were @ around $540 for everything. My first instinct is to say that prices have gone down a little since last quarter, but not so much that somebody could build our system for the amount that we sell it for.
Have your IT guys take a look at my pricelist there - your system components, retail from newegg, cost less that $300.
Quote:
Do you make your own ketchup or do you buy it at the store?
I build my own PCs, where possible, as it tends to save a little cash, and offer a little more flexibility in configuration. I realise not everyone does this, but I am just saying that for the $500 you expect the hardware to cost, you could afford a real video card.

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I really just wanted to know if you make your own ketchup.... Just kidding.
I'm still checking on those prices. I really appreciate your input and if there is anything else, any other suggestions, just let me know. Thank you.

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Heinz all the way baby (Hunt's sucks, it is drippy).

But I do make my own ranch dressing and mustard, and computers :)

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Again, I don't want to sound like I'm bashing, because I have a lot of respect that Envizions has actually brought to market what so many others have tried and failed. I also think that there is room enough in the market for a hobby and indie-friendly, console, whether linux-based or not. I simply disagree that trying to compete on the higher-end of hardware is not a viable strategy.

As swift pointed out, the hardware included isn't all that great, and frankly, if you are spending on hardware what you say, then you're really getting ripped off. It surprises me greatly that these aren't even breaking even.

As far as performance, My Unibody MacBook is running a GeForce 9400M integrated chip, which stands toe-to-toe, with the Evo's Radeon 3200 chip. Under Bootcamp and Windows XP, playing Left 4 Dead, I have to turn my resolution down to 720p, disable MSAA, and turn the shader and texture detail down to low, just to keep a playable 30 frames per second. I just can't believe that Crysis, being far more graphically demanding, would reach 30fps on Evo, let alone 60... Maybe, just maybe, at 640x480 or 720x480 (480p widescreen) with all settings on low.

Again, I really think that trying to compete with today's AAA games is a poor strategy. Without a 7-figure install base, you're not going to attract big-name developers. Running Windows to leach PC games or relying on the precious few that get linux ports simply isn't enough software to keep an interest in the platform. This also relegates EVO to also-ran status, where the only big titles you have have already been there, done that on every other platform. In short, if I can play the same Windows version of crysis on the PC I already own, at far better quality, then why play it on EVO? If I don't play games on Evo, its nothing more than a DVR that happens to play some games. If I don't play those games, why not just get a DVR with more capacity for cheaper? The problem, in short, is that there is nothing to distinguish the Evo from the many other choices available to the consumer.

The only thing that EVO can distinguish itself on (and with the likes of XNA community games, even that window is closing) is on quality independent and hobbyist-made games. There is a lot of talent out there -- look at Braid, Castle Crashers, and many other small-scale games that have been critical and commercial successes. These are the types of games that a small team of 2-5 people can bring to market with a real level of polish, generate lots of buzz, and make enough money to fund their next venture. Now, here's the thing, none of these games would take advantage of the hardware you have (much as I maligned it for being obsolete earlier), these games would run great on that Omap3530 chip I mentioned before. So the conclusion I make, is that for 90% of the software you need, the bread-and-butter titles, the hardware is going to waste -- its only justified by the 10% of games I'd have more fun playing on my PC, and (possibly) for the DVR features. In my mind, it would be more effective to support those 90% with hardware that runs at less than 1/3 of your reported manufacturing costs, than to spend 2 times over again, just to add DVR and a few titles (that again, most people would rather play at their desktop.

I pose the question: Given the choice between a $380 DVR/console, and a $130 console that share 90% of the same software, which do you buy? Can't I also buy that $130 console and a $250 dedicated DVR? I don't think these questions are hard for the consumer -- I think you have a hard enough time trying to convince them to buy that $130 console. Honestly, in many ways I see this drive to add DVR functionality as "Hey guys, if this whole gaming thing doesn't work out, at least you got a neat (not to mention expensive) DVR." and it doesn't sound to me, that the EVO is a serious games machine.

I really do wish EVO the best, if for no other reason than what it stands for, but ideologies alone don't make for good business. I'd love to be proven wrong.

That said, if Envizions ever wants to change direction and align more with my line of thinking, then I'll simply say that I'm available and looking for work [wink]

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So I'm kinda confused as to what exactly it does? It's an open-source game console(pretty much a PC), running on linux. Sounds cool there(cept I've never used linux before).

I might be interested in purchasing one, if I could find out how hard it is to put my little games on it. Having my own little arcade would be a novelty!

If what Ravyne is saying is put a little less boost in it and lower the price I think that truely is a novel idea. Cuz as an indie developer(in the making) I can run any game I make on a far out-dated lab-top with no modifications. So I wouldn't need some PS3 or Xbox 360 platform, I mean sure it'd be nice to have my games run at obese FPS's(nerd porn) but it really doesn't matter as long as it's all stable.

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What are your games written in? The Evo comes with two gaming engines on it, but games you have already made may or may not work on it.

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