Yet Another Gaming Console -- What is the EVO 2?
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Yet Another Gaming Console -- What is the EVO 2?

Remember the Linux-based EVO Smart Console gaming device that came out by Envizions? Yeah, I didn’t either, but according to Envizions, it was sold out, and gave them the confidence to come out with their next device, the EVO 2.

This time, instead of making it a Linux-based device, they have decided to make this one Android-based. At the time of this writing, there is not a lot of information on this device, but here is what we know from looking at their website, and from rumor sites:

  • It is expected to be fully available worldwide by the end of 2012
  • The MSRP on this device is for $129, and will be sold at Verizon stores in the US, or online through their website
  • It will be based on a modified version of Android 2.3 (aka Gingerbread)
  • It will produce 1080p graphics
  • It will run just about any Android game or app
  • It can be controlled by a remote similar to the Playstation 3 remote, and a gamepad, similar to the Xbox 360
  • A “portable version” (looks like a mini-tablet PC) will go up for sale later with an MSRP of $79
On paper, it doesn’t look very much different from any other Android tablet or phone device, minus the screen. Many of the higher-end Android tablets and phones already have HDMI-out connections, that at least for me, the only thing compelling about it is the fact that it does not need its batteries to be recharged.
Perhaps, since I already own the Sony S1 Tablet, I am not very impressed by the EVO 2. Having a game pad is already boring to me since the S1 already supports PS3 controllers to be connected to it, and Sony has exclusive titles for the S1 through it’s PSP-certified games platform.
As for the media capabilities, unless you do not have a Roku, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3, AppleTV, or smart TV, you already have the capability to stream Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, and YouTube videos to your TV. The remote control is a nice touch, but all of them have remotes as well. Do you really need another remote on your coffee table?
On their webpage, they boast the ability to play Angry Birds on a big-screen TV, and the ability to stream media from other computers within the home. Sorry guys, but Roku beat you a long time ago with Angry Birds, and just about every other device out there can stream media from your home computers. Perhaps they have a simpler way to set up streaming? If I can just plug in the device, and magically all of my computers know to share with the EVO 2, we have a major security breach here.  Sorry, but I don’t want my porn collection being broadcast all over the house.
As far as its price point is concerned, it was originally slated for $249, but later revised its price to $129. I would venture to guess that this reduction came as a result of Android tablet PCs coming down to the $200 range, that boast much higher specs than the EVO 2, and also have a screen attached to them.
If the EVO 2 is to be a serious contender in the video game console world, it will need to have exclusive hit titles that make people want to go out and get one. From what I can see from its website, it looks like it’s just another Android-based device, dressed up differently, and without a screen. There is a EVO 2 app store, but no information as to any titles exclusive to the EVO 2.
With such unimpressive specs and without exclusive content, and the fact that playing Android games on the big screen is appealing to just about no one, it is amazing that Envizions is actually going through with this product. If it were me, I’d rather put that money towards a retro Pac-Man game and get more value out of it.


Guest Author: Michael Chiu is a true gaming geek who’s passion for gaming and technology has given him experience in the industry as an investor and also as an entrepreneur. Michael grew up playing Pong and has continued to play many more game well into adulthood. Michael and his wife live in Silicon Valley, California. One of the many sites he came across while researching for this article was http://www.menshideaway.com, which gave him the idea to build a “man cave” for his very own house.