Forward-looking: At the start of the year, UK-based game developer Slightly Mad Studios said it would be challenging the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 successors with “the most powerful console ever made.” Now, the company has released concept images of the machine and its controller, which looks pretty interesting.
Slightly Mad CEO Ian Bell posted images of the ‘Mad Box’ on Twitter. They’re only concepts, which means the final product may change drastically, but they give an idea of the company's ambitious plans.
First look at the Mad Box controller concept. Enjoy! pic.twitter.com/7vlEgcTckC— Ian Bell SMS Group (@bell_sms) 21 January 2019
The controller uses an Xbox-style setup, with thumbsticks in the upper left and lower right sections and a D-pad between them. But what really differentiates it from Microsoft’s design is the touchscreen in the center. Judging from the images, the idea is for it to display contextual information and graphics based on the game being played. A driving title (presumably) shows the speed, gear, and boost on the controller, while another game—likely an FPS—highlights the respawn button.
Sneaky additional image... pic.twitter.com/PjS9NHE5LT— Ian Bell SMS Group (@bell_sms) 21 January 2019
Additionally, one picture shows a keyboard on the controller’s screen, which, assuming it’s implemented well, could make typing a lot easier than the current methods used by consoles. In another post, Bell points out the controller’s precision triggers and rear paddles.
The console itself is equally stylish, boasting plenty of curves and lights, which could change colors to match the controller.
Bell said the Mad Box will have specs equivalent to a “very fast PC 2 years from now” and come with next-gen VR capabilities. He added that unlike current consoles, online features might be free, and they could see players earn credits that can be turned into real money through ads.
The Mad Box isn't scheduled to launch for another “three-plus years,” and there’s no guarantee that the project won’t fall apart before then, so we’ll have to wait and see how it all pans out.