The Fun Box, China's First Home-Grown Console, To Debut This Month

The Fun Box, China's First Home-Grown Console, To Debut This Month

Flag of China

The Tegra 4-powered Fun Box console will only be available for sale in China.

Less than three months after China announced the end of a 14-year-long ban on game consoles, the country's first home-grown system is just about ready to take the stage. Developed jointly by networking equipment manufacturer ZTE Corporation and online gaming company The9, the Fun Box - and yes, that's what it's called - will be built on Nvidia's Tegra 4 chip, with 2GB of RAM, USB and Micro USB ports, and wireless game controllers.

Partnerships with game makers haven't been revealed, although the companies are reportedly in talks with developers in China and abroad. The unit will also support high-definition video streaming from online sources as well as through USB devices.

China represents a uniquely huge and untapped market for console makers, but the Fun Box isn't going to have a clear run to the top, as Microsoft announced last year its intention to jump into the market through a deal with BesTV New Media Co., a subsidiary of Shanghai Media Group. The specifics of that deal haven't been revealed but if Microsoft is able to get some form of the Xbox on the market, the Fun Box may have a very tough time competing with its established library of games and aftermarket accessories.

The Fun Box is slated to debut sometime this month.

Source: Bloomberg

Permalink

The Fun Box?

It's still a far better and more descriptive name than the "WiiU". At least "Fun Box" makes me curious about "what is inside, and is it in fact fun?" Whereas "WiiU" makes me wonder if I've pee'd myself?

2 GB RAM? Even my 6 year old PC has 4 GB and even that is begging for an upgrade.
I have a lot of friends in china...and I honestly cant see one of them buying a beefed up Ouya. Most of them are PC gamers and are used to better (if pirated) graphic.

Also...fun box? Really?

Fun box? Still better name than xbox one. Though it does sound like a euphemism for a ladies front bottom.

Ok first off: Anyone else hear the name Fun Box and just think of one of those $20 cheap consoles you see in Rite-Aid preloaded with all those old 8-bit games? It is REALLY hard to take this seriously with a name like that, although granted when you think about it the Playstation would sound kinda silly if we hadn't grown up hearing it.

Second: Who's gonna buy this thing or even make games for it? As the article says it's gonna be a though time for it when placed against the now suddenly legal heavy hitters. If the freaking WiiU is having trouble getting decent games made for it with it's low installed base how is new console without a major advantage over the compatiton gonna fare?

A Tegra 4 with 2GB of RAM could make for a fairly decent and cheap console, much better performance than something like the PS Vita TV for example. If it can get some games behind it unlike the Ouya it might be worth a damn.

luvd1:
Fun box? Still better name than xbox one. Though it does sound like a euphemism for a ladies front bottom.

Sounds like a euphemism? It is a euphemism.

The only way it could be less euphemistic is if they straight out called it The Vagina... although the ZTE Vagina sounds like a sports car, so it would probably confuse the market.

Fun box huh? Guess we'll just skip all subtly and describe the thing for what it really is.

I wonder what western games will eventually get state approval for the consoles in China.

Look, guys. China only recently lifted this ban. Their first foray onto the market is NOT going to be all Aston Martins and James Bond. Or in their case, Bruce Lee kicking Chuck Norris' ass. China has ALOT of frigging issues about itself. Catching up to our standards is going to take ALOT of work.

It osn't a beast, but it sounds about par with last gen as far as hardware, maybe better. If it can get the Chinese market it'll make bank and we may see a new contender in the console wars.

Funbox! Oh Funbox! Small and square and dark.
Funbox! Oh Funbox! Check out these cool fun locks!
YAY!

Hey it's called FUN BOX!, it sounds like such a better name than the Wii U and Xbone, totally doesn't sound like some cheap knock off product you'd buy from a thrift store, no sir it sounds 100% top notch uber quality than those other two platforms!.

Honestly, is "Fun Box" really all that much worse than "PlayStation"?

Also, who wants to place bets on the XBox faring as badly in China as it has in Japan? Microsoft doesn't seem terribly adept in understanding Asian markets.

Microsoft should sell the xbox 360 for 100$ in china, should work out pretty well for them

Fun Box.

Games, in a Cube.

CubeGame, if you will.

Cant see companies outside China making games for this. Will be interesting to see what games are released on it, bet they will be bad.

I find it hilarious that the first thing the Chinese do after a fourteen year ban is copying the Ouya, one of the biggest recent disappointments.

On the other hand, when it runs Android or a carbon copy, there shouldn't be a shortage of compatible games at least.

Fun box, I wonder if people will mistake is for a male masterbater.

luvd1:
Fun box? Still better name than xbox one. Though it does sound like a euphemism for a ladies front bottom.

Giggity!

This just seems like baby's first console, given the specs and the limited distribution. I'm interested to find out the rest of the specs, price and any planned games for it.

kajinking:
Ok first off: Anyone else hear the name Fun Box and just think of one of those $20 cheap consoles you see in Rite-Aid preloaded with all those old 8-bit games?

Yeah, it sounds like one of these knockoffs Ashens is "reviewing".
But then again it is probably just a lazy translation.

I wonder what games will be on it and how it will be priced.
I'm sure 300 heroes will be on it, for one.

Those specs sound poor, but I do wonder what games it will have, and how many of them will be originals and not rip-offs of successful games.

Looking forward to hearing more about it. Also, how come nobody can make up good names for consoles anymore?

Soon, I'll be able to use "Your Mother's fun-box is better than China's."

China's a large demographic. Really, the only problem with producing games for it is the Govt. I see many companies producing games for it. The specs aren't half-bad either. I can see this actually going well.

SonOfVoorhees:
Cant see companies outside China making games for this. Will be interesting to see what games are released on it, bet they will be bad.

Oh plenty of game publishers outside of China are making games for this thing. They just don't know it and won't be getting paid for it. Pirate Ports R Us! I sense lots of upcoming entertainment value from this system. Granted all of it from watching people like Ashens tear it apart...

And you all are making fun of "Fun Box" because you haven't heard its full name. It's the "Super Happy Lucky Fun Box"! That's much better, isn't it?

kajinking:
Ok first off: Anyone else hear the name Fun Box and just think of one of those $20 cheap consoles you see in Rite-Aid preloaded with all those old 8-bit games?

No, I think of how I was born into this insane asylum.

OT: I wanna see the commercials for this. Should be a hell of a riot.

"Fun Box! You'll want one after seeing what it does."

FalloutJack:
Look, guys. China only recently lifted this ban. Their first foray onto the market is NOT going to be all Aston Martins and James Bond. Or in their case, Bruce Lee kicking Chuck Norris' ass. China has ALOT of frigging issues about itself. Catching up to our standards is going to take ALOT of work.

Hmmm... It would be interesting seeing Chinese gaming companies entering the major gaming market or at least trying to become part of the triple A industy. Would it like Japan eventually with its own gaming culture only producing titles only found in China that become popularly imported the like Monster Hunter series or unreleased sequels like Valkyria Chronicles 2 and so on? Perhaps a new "Squaresoft" may emerge from China. Or it may give rise to another EA games or whatnot. In any case, there's potential to something new.

Producing a cheap console seems like a good way start since it gives a low threshold for gaming companies to make games for it. The console in China in my opinion would have to provide something PC gaming most likely could not, which is something the Wii does. The party games. And usually party games does require high end machines to play. Anyways, that's how I see it.

Can't wait for all the badly made state funded propaganda games for the Fun Box.

Gary Thompson:
Can't wait for all the badly made state funded propaganda games for the Fun Box.

Sigh. You do know that the Chinese Gov't really doesn't have THAT much control. As long as you don't criticize it directly, the Gov't hand waves nearly all internal media produced.

Will there be propaganda games? Sure there will. You've got Homefront, Call of Duty, Battlefield 4, Killzone, Assassin's Creed III... Oh, wait, no, you meant games that support a country who ISN'T allowed by the West to have propaganda? Okay then.

My point above is to point out that all media has propaganda, but not all media is propaganda.

SonOfVoorhees:
Cant see companies outside China making games for this. Will be interesting to see what games are released on it, bet they will be bad.

BeerTent:

China's a large demographic. Really, the only problem with producing games for it is the Govt. I see many companies producing games for it. The specs aren't half-bad either. I can see this actually going well.

China is a large demographic. It's also a demographic which whole-heartedly dislikes video games; you remember how the US regarded Dungeons and Dragons? Similar kind of attitude in China for video games. Compared to fighting that attitude, the Gov't basically doesn't care much unless it directly attacks the CCP.

If you're interested, the big games in China are DOTA, LoL, CS and WoW. Every Chinese male I spoke to about games has either played it or plays it, and every girl I spoke to knew of it (but would never admit to playing it). However, in a recent large movie, one of the actresses does play a video game and it wasn't too criticized, so the above attitude is changing among the younger generation.

Not only that, but the technology in China is quickly and vastly increasing in scope, originality and complexity; they have their own developing 'Silicon Valley' which is getting large amounts of investment from within. Not only that, but outside of China, we can look to Hollywood and the fact that China is the second biggest market for Hollywood and they want to get more tickets there as it is the largest potential market; I imagine the video game industry will move in the same way.

faefrost:

Oh plenty of game publishers outside of China are making games for this thing. They just don't know it and won't be getting paid for it. Pirate Ports R Us! I sense lots of upcoming entertainment value from this system. Granted all of it from watching people like Ashens tear it apart...

Right; there is a large pirating culture in China, yes. Because the sale of purely digital content was, for a while, effectively illegal so they aren't in the habit of paying for programs on a computer.

Secondly, there is a large bootleg movie market; the Chinese movie industry still makes billions for China and Hollywood, so despite piracy, they still get their moneys worth.

Thirdly, it's not like the PC gamers in the West aren't so utterly proud of how they pirate everything to stick it to the man, are they? Or that every DS player in the West bought those cartridges which let you download all of the Nintendo games for free? Glass houses, much?

Redlin5:

I wonder what western games will eventually get state approval for the consoles in China.

I'm curious how many will. In regards to film, there is a limit (I believe 32 or 34) of foreign films that can be widely distributed each year in mainland China.

And as I've said, they can't criticize the government or China.

kajinking:

Second: Who's gonna buy this thing or even make games for it? As the article says it's gonna be a though time for it when placed against the now suddenly legal heavy hitters. If the freaking WiiU is having trouble getting decent games made for it with it's low installed base how is new console without a major advantage over the compatiton gonna fare?

Chinese companies, for starters.

Then you've got the foreign companies who are begging for a chance to get into that 1.3 billion strong market which has been so closed off.

With the above mentioned limit, I bet developers will be fighting over who gets their games processed by the CCP. As corruption helps grease the wheels, it'll be companies who can afford to pay for it to happen, or companies who get proper Chinese business partners (and Chinese laws says no foreigner solo businesses, you gotta team up with a local).

kajinking:
Ok first off: Anyone else hear the name Fun Box and just think of one of those $20 cheap consoles you see in Rite-Aid preloaded with all those old 8-bit games? It is REALLY hard to take this seriously with a name like that, although granted when you think about it the Playstation would sound kinda silly if we hadn't grown up hearing it.

X box. A box... for x's?
A Play station. A station for playing.
A game boy. A boy with games.
A Wii. Like wee.
A game cube. A cube for games.
A Mega drive. Because it has a drive which is mega.
A Super Nintendo. Because it's super.

Finally, it's not for our market. It will probably have a local name which will sound less goofy than Fun Box. For example, Eggman is fine in Japan, but doesn't suit the Western market. Translation loses a lot of things.

Leon Declis:

Redlin5:

I wonder what western games will eventually get state approval for the consoles in China.

I'm curious how many will. In regards to film, there is a limit (I believe 32 or 34) of foreign films that can be widely distributed each year in mainland China.

And as I've said, they can't criticize the government or China.

I wonder this as well. Hollywood rewrites whole scripts, recasts characters, changes scenarios, for China. Where's the artistic integrity in that? And of those 34 films that China will allow, 14 of them must be in 3D or IMAX format. Oh well, money or something I guess.

It's not that I'm saying China or its people ought to change their methods of entertainment consumption. I'm not the egocentric or presumptuous type. So if Chinese people want to see big, cool Hollywood movies, then, awesome. And if they don't want to see movies that will offend, they can just not watch them. I'm all for everyone enjoying themselves. What I don't like, is the idea of artists, writers, designers developers, etc. tailoring their voices specifically to please a government. So much of our history in cinema comes from challenging the status quo, making people think, even challenging our own state and federal governments - even further, challenging our own society's codes of morality, justice, and value. I would rather the talented express their talents in the fashion of their choosing. I don't want creators to muzzle themselves. I don't want cinema, literature, or gaming to bend the knee because one government - ANY government - would find displeasure in their messages.

Leon Declis:

X box. A box... for x's?

Xbox is a shorthand for DirectX Box, because it was the first and only console to run diretcX. Altrough i think there is some form of directx support on PS4 now......

I am curious as to how this will go. Maybe it will be a flop, maybe it will have a big stack of good games and end up sold all over the world. Probably somewhere between the two. The name seems kind of weird, but it's nice to have the goal of the thing stamped on the front. This is a Fun Box. Interactions involving this box should ideally be fun.

Same general idea as Game Cube or Play Station.

The WiiU, now, that name always makes me think of that Weezer song.

Guys! Check this out! Imagine MOBAS... WITH JOYSTICKS!!!!

vagabondwillsmile:

Leon Declis:

Redlin5:

I wonder what western games will eventually get state approval for the consoles in China.

I'm curious how many will. In regards to film, there is a limit (I believe 32 or 34) of foreign films that can be widely distributed each year in mainland China.

And as I've said, they can't criticize the government or China.

I wonder this as well. Hollywood rewrites whole scripts, recasts characters, changes scenarios, for China. Where's the artistic integrity in that? And of those 34 films that China will allow, 14 of them must be in 3D or IMAX format. Oh well, money or something I guess.
...
What I don't like, is the idea of artists, writers, designers developers, etc. tailoring their voices specifically to please a government. So much of our history in cinema comes from challenging the status quo, making people think, even challenging our own state and federal governments - even further, challenging our own society's codes of morality, justice, and value. I would rather the talented express their talents in the fashion of their choosing. I don't want creators to muzzle themselves. I don't want cinema, literature, or gaming to bend the knee because one government - ANY government - would find displeasure in their messages.

I don't disagree with you. And I tend to find that the creative fellows, the directors and actors and such, honestly don't care about things like that. This tends to be the bigger publishing studios who want this, and the guy who writes the cheque make the choices.

However, with China being so insular and the CCP developing an actively anti-foreign influence stance, things like this will not change for a while. My personal bet is something similar to the US film industry will happen; it was heavily regulated (self regulated for the US, but still), but as the domestic industry grows bolder, they will be able to create films that are creative and challenge society and the government and be more likely to be widely seen in China.

But a US film getting in which challenges the Gov't? Probably not.

But I feel it's important, even if we have to bend the knee occasionally, to make sure that Western films continue to be shown in China; it helps remind China that China isn't the only country there, there are alternatives to the CCP, and other cultures can match Chinese in the creative sense. They already get so little outside exposure already.

Wait....Isn't "Fun Box" a euphemism for "Vagina"?

I thought "Wii" was bad when I first heard it.

"I'm gonna go over to my friend's house and play with her Fun Box!"

[Buying a new game] "I can't wait to stick this in my Fun Box!"

"High, tech support? My Fun Box is making some strange noises."

"Every now and again, you'll need to clean the dust out of your Fun Box...so it can keep using game discs."

This could go on forever.

I'm excited. China's tech industry is growing really, really fast, and I can't wait to see what new games we get out of this. I'm sure we'll get a million shitty LoL/Dota clones, but I wonder how popular CoD or other "mainstream" titles are in China. This could be the beginning of a new golden age of vidya.

vagabondwillsmile:
What I don't like, is the idea of artists, writers, designers developers, etc. tailoring their voices specifically to please a government. So much of our history in cinema comes from challenging the status quo, making people think, even challenging our own state and federal governments - even further, challenging our own society's codes of morality, justice, and value.

As much as I agree with your initial statement, history is still in the past. I don't remember any movie being challenging in those departements since the 90's, I'd be grateful for recommendations though.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here