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Lenovo is backing a new video game system that is expected to launch in the second half of this year in China. The iSec system has Kinect-like motion controls and is aimed at a mass market consumer that doesn’t buy the current game consoles.
Beijing-based Eedoo Technology (spelled eedoo by the company) hopes to cash in on the fact that foreign companies like Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft are barred from direct sales in China. Eedoo is funded by Lenovo, China’s biggest PC manufacturer, and it unveiled the iSec (previously known as the eBox) on Friday. The name refers to Sports Entertainment Center.
The iSec uses a 3D depth camera, much like Microsoft’s Kinect motion-sensing system does, so that a user can control the system with hand gestures or body motions. The games that the company has talked about so far focuses on exercise or martial arts. The system also supports other kinds of entertainment such as movies and web surfing or karaoke.
China’s government hasn’t approved the game consoles in the past because they have been focused purely on fun, rather than entertainment. Eedoo has an edge in getting approval because it is locally made and it is family friendly, with a focus on health and entertainment.
Jack Luo, chief executive of the company, said the company will focus on the Chinese market first. He did not disclose the price. China’s online game market based on the PC is going through a boom right now, with overall revenues expected to hit $5.8 billion in 2011, according to Niko Partners. Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft are still trying to get approval to sell their machines in the country. Zeebo, another low-cost console maker, launched in China with a focus on education titles.