On Wednesday, Slightly Mad Studios CEO Ian Bell surprised the gaming world by proclaiming that his studio was developing a stand-alone console. Slightly Mad Studios is mostly known for developing Project CARS, prompting mixed reactions to the ambitious announcement. Today, Bell's fairly new Twitter account has published concept images of what the proposed Mad Box console will look like.
Bell claims that the Mad Box console will be "the most powerful console ever built", being quite capable of playing VR games at 180 FPS and other titles at 4K. The company aims to release the console about 3 and a half years from now, and it will supposedly be equivocal in power to the "fast PCs" of two years from now. These are quite ambitious goals, and Bell states that they've been confirmed by his chief technology officer.
Bell stated that the internals of the Mad Box Console were blurred in the newly-released concept images, since the actual hardware behind the unit is still being finalized. He isn't sure whether the console will feature more than one GPU, indicating that talks with hardware suppliers are in the early stages.
It looks like the console will be fitted with an LED-based exterior. This is likely something of which gamers will be able to customize on the fly.
Slightly Mad Studios will allow developers to use the studio's own developmental engine to produce games at no cost, which could be a big incentive for companies to offer products on the platform. Regardless of how developers create titles, Bell states that all developers will be allowed to produce games on the Mad Box. Slightly Mad Studios has no plans on paying developers to create exclusives, an idea that Bell says isn't in line with the company's thinking.
If and when the Mad Box ships, Bell promises that the cost of the console will be in-line with other upcoming consoles. Slightly Mad Studios hasn't secured investors for the ambitious project, but Bell says he's already been approached by multiple investors. There's still a long way to go before the Mad Box can become a reality, so only time will tell if the ambitious console can compete with the big three or if it will fade away like the Ouya.
Slightly Mad Studios' Mad Box has yet to receive a precise release date.