In a rather unexpected move, Lenovo has revealed plans to enter the video game business with a controller-free console that would compete with the likes of Microsoft's Xbox 360, Nintendo's Wii, and Sony's PlayStation 3. According to Lenovo spokesperson Jay Chen
, the eBox has been in development for a while, but only recently a team of employees split off into a separate Lenovo-owned company, Beijing eedoo Technology, in anticipation of a launch later this year.
The console will have a gesture control interface like Kinect and use a webcam to read and interpret users' movements. Not many details are available at the moment so it's hard to tell if any major game developers will be backing the project. All we know is Lenovo will initially focus heavily on the Chinese market, where the company believes it can be successful because they understand the local culture and customers better than its competitors. Of course, the fact that the Chinese government has banned importing game consoles since 2000 means the eBox will probably have little competition there.
The eBox will reportedly make its debut this November, but may not hit the market until the first quarter of 2011. The company hopes to eventually sell the device across Asia and other overseas markets. Although pricing hasn't been set it is expected to cost less than the Xbox 360 and come with 30 free games.