Fuze Entertainment CEO, Wang Feng, took to the stage in Beijing yesterday to unveil their brand new console named “Tomahawk F1” according to a post from video game analyst and blogger known as ZhugeEX. Fuze’s F1 console will be launched in China on June 1.
Consoles have been banned in China since 2000 and it was only a couple of years ago that the ban was lifted and Sony and Microsoft started to sell PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in the country. Since 2000 we’ve seen PC gaming grow to be huge in China and in 2015 we saw PC games software/services gross $12 billion in China. Mobile games have also taken off in a huge way in China with games software on smartphones and tablets now generating $7 billion during 2015.
Consoles are very niche in China and aren’t even a $250 million business yet in the country with the PS4 & XB1 only having a tiny install base of 500,000 in the country. Consoles are set to remain a niche in China as users are simply not used to paying upfront for gaming hardware, when there are Internet cafes across China and subsidised phone contracts, nor are they used to paying for games software upfront when most PC and Mobile games are free to play. These reasons help explain why Consoles aren’t big in China and why Sony and Microsoft haven’t had huge successes yet.
Fuze want to enter the console market in China as they see an opportunity to compete with Sony and Microsoft who have only just started selling their consoles officially there.
Fuze believe that they can create a competitor console that can be successful in China and bring true console gaming to Chinese citizens and solve some of the issues that PS4 and XB1 have in China. It’s been difficult for Sony and Microsoft to get local Chinese support with many local developers opting to release games on Mobile and PC. Overseas support is also dry with many not choosing to release a specific Chinese version of their game in Simplified Chinese. The companies also have issues with the Government who may censor and block certain games and services from running on their machines and the high costs of the console and games means they have an issue of appealing to a mainstream audience in China.
Fuze Entertainment hopes to position their console in what they call the ‘mid market’, in that it is better than all other Chinese Android consoles but still below what Sony and Microsoft can achieve on a global scale. Instead they plan to win over consumers through AAA games that can’t be found on other Chinese consoles and through a good selection of Chinese games at a low price that Sony and Microsoft can not offer. They state that their ultimate goal is to build the best domestic game brand which brings the perfect gaming experience to Chinese gamers.
Fuze confirmed that they had over 200 development partners who were bringing games, services and tools to the console and made a point of saying that they had great partnerships with these game publishers such as Koei Tecmo, Codemasters, Comcept, Ubisoft, Deep Silver, Arc System Works and a whole load of other AAA publishers. Plenty of independant overseas developers are bringing their games to Tomahawk F1 and we should see games like Assault Android Cactus, Ziggurat and Heart & Slash on the console. Fuze CEO noted that this console is all about bringing the best overseas talent to China to show more Chinese gamers what they’re missing out on by only playing Chinese games. But they also plan to attract Chinese gamers using popular domestic titles and even plan to bring small Chinese indie devs onboard with their console as well. In total around 76 games have confirmed to launch on the console this year and Fuze are promising that more than 100 games are in development and due to launch in the future.
More about the technical features of F1
According to ZhugeEX’ s blog the console is a lot smaller than the PS4 and Xbox One due to the fact that it is an Android console and does not have a disc drive. Fuze aim to cut down on distribution costs for publishers by only allowing games to be sold digitally and downloaded to the console. This is one of the issues that Fuze want to solve in China which is distribution and cost of games. You may have noted above that they are attempting to solve the issue of poor software output that Sony and Microsoft have struggled with by bringing in big/small overseas games and big/small Chinese games too their console to make it more appealing. Now this move of only allowing digital downloads means that publishers can charge less for their games and encourage people to buy more games overall. So another issue has been solved by the company (technically speaking).
The controller, as seen below is very very very similar to another controller that all of us will have seen before. It’s pretty much a copy of the Xbox One controller but seems a bit more plasticy and also of cheaper build. Once again more evidence of Fuze just copying what already works rather than being original. The console itself comes in two different versions. A “Play” version and an “elite” version with the differences very much similar to what we saw with Xbox 360 and their Core/Elite versions. The console is a full square and 19cm by 19cm but the elite console has slightly more depth of 56cm compared to the play version which is 35cm deep. The reason for this is because the Elite console houses a 500GB hard drive where as the Play console only has 32GB of onboard storage. The console also looks somewhat similar to a PS4 (Surprise, more copying) although it may have just got away with not being a complete rip off due to the diagonal stripe.
- Nvidia Tegra K1 (4 Core A15 @ 2.2GHz
- Nvidia Keppler @ 852Mhz (325GLOPS)
- 4GB DDR3 RAM @ 933Mhz
- 32GB eMMC storage (Elite = 500GB HDD)
- Wi-Fi & Bluetooth support
- HDMI, USB 3.0 x 1, Ethernet (Elite = Qi Wireless controller charger)
- Fuze OS (Android) + Open GL 4.4 & Open GL ES 3.1 support
- Chinese & English game support
Fuze are pitching the console as a true home entertainment system that can play Games, Movies, TV, Music and much more and they hope that Chinese consumers will buy one in order to turn their standard TV into a smart TV with all the functionality they need. The console even plans to support VR with Fuze releasing a VR headset later in the year to support VR Games and other content on the device.
Source and first seen at: ZhugeEX