On January 2 2019 Slightly Mad Studios(Project Cars, Shift 2: Unleashed, Need for Speed: Shift) CEO Ian Bell Tweeted out “The Mad Box is coming.” The studio has been in talks with component manufacturers and can’t really say much more now other than they are hoping for a 2022 release date. According to Ian, The Mad Box will be the most powerful and advanced console out there when it launches, supporting 4K and VR gaming at 60fps, competing with whatever Xbox and PlayStation have on the market.
“What is the Mad Box?” Bell wrote. “It’s the most powerful console ever built… It’s literally ‘Mad’… You want 4k, you want VR at 60FPS? You want a full engine for free to develop your games on it? You have it.”
Variety did an exclusive interview with Ian Bell, where Ian stated that “It will support major VR headsets” and will “have the specs of a very fast computer from two years from now”. The Mad Box will also support games from all developers and Slightly Mad Studios does not plan on spending the money for exclusives at the moment. Ian also did not mention a price point for their console, but said that it will be comparable to whatever Xbox and PlayStation have out at that time.
Ian made a good point as to a reason why they are developing their own console, basically saying that the industry is like a monopoly now (with only Nintendo, Xbox, and PlayStation being the only real viable console options). Ian also stated that“We think competition is healthy and we have the required hardware contacts to be able to bring something epic to fruition based on our designs.”
I for one am excited to see something like this. While the major console giants have done relatively well in providing us all with what we want and need, it’s nice to see someone come along and hopefully add some options. While we all know that PC will forever remain the “God Standard” for gaming because you literally have tons of options as far as how to build your PC and what components to put into it, making your budget your only real limitation. It has been great to see that consoles are starting to get more attention, in regards to how hardware inside of them goes and what they are capable of handling, all while on a somewhat reasonable overall cost for most gamers.
EDIT: Thanks to IGN we have a brief video showing off The Mad Box.