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Indrema is the most recently announced console system to compete with the likes of Nintendo, Sega, Sony, and Microsoft. To cut to the chase, its nitch is that it's powered by Linux and that anyone can develop for the platform without interference (i.e. censorship) by Indrema, the company. On their web site (http://www.indrema.com/) they tout the advantages of open source game development and explain how the system will revolutionize the game industry. At the very least this thing is going to be an MP3 player and a TV web browser.

As of now, the L600 model of the Indrema Entertainment System will feature a 600MHz processor (type unspecified), 64MB of RAM (type not specified, but said to be "fast"), 8/30/50GB hard drive (optional), 10/100Mbps ethernet, 1 s-video in, 1 s-video out, 1 component HD in, digital audio out, 4 USB ports (type not specified), DVD capability, MPEG-2 in hardware, a next-generation, upgradable nVidia GPU, wireless keyboard and mouse (optional), and built-in MP3 player. On the software side, it'll include a modified version of Linux ("DV Linux"), Gecko browser and e-mail, and a bundled game (undecided as of now). They estimate the price to be about $299.

Now here's the part where I get to rant. As cool as this box seems, I can't help but think that Indrema will become bankrupt on such a venture. First off, they're going against the most powerful lineup of consoles in video game history: Sega's Dreamcast, with by far the most innovative and imaginative titles (Shenmue, Jet Grind Radio, Samba de Amigo) ever seen anywhere; Sony's Playstation 2, the current holder of the video game mindshare with a virtually unlimited supply of cash; Nintendo's Gamecube, well... Nintendo has Miyamoto, Mario, Zelda, and Metroid; and Microsoft's X-Box, which simply has raw, vast resources (this isn't exactly a bad thing). The challenges that a totally nameless contendor must face are innumerable, the cost of this beast of a machine not being the least; hundreds of thousands of geeks aren't going to support a console with such a high cost of production. I really want to see this system succeed. The ideal it embodies is mind-blowing: Open Source in the video game industry is seemingly impossible when you consider how revenue is made; consoles lose money, but the software licenses make it back. If Indrema isn't going to collect royalties on free games, and if there aren't many for-profit games, just how is this going to work? I wish Indrema the best, but they've got a lot to prepare for...

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