Lenovo-backed Game Console for China Hit by Delays

The launch of a Lenovo-backed video game system for China is being delayed again in order to make improvements to the product, according to a spokesman with the company developing the console.

Beijing Eedoo Technology, which is funded by PC maker Lenovo, had originally planned on launching its iSec video game system this year, which was later rescheduled to early 2012. The company, however, has pushed back its launch date again to some time later in 2012, said Eedoo spokesman Victor Wang on Monday.

A source close to the situation however said on condition of anonymity that the launch of the product may be delayed further as the product was not found to be robust enough.

The delay may be a significant setback for Chinese consumers who do not have access to gaming systems like Nintendo's Wii or Microsoft's Xbox 360, and have to turn to the unorganized market to buy these devices.

"The product still needs work, and we want to invest more research and development in it," Wang said.

The iSec, which stands for "Sports Entertainment Center" was first unveiled in May and works with a motion sensing technology allowing for controller-free play, much like Microsoft's Xbox 360 Kinect device. Eedoo said it was to cost more than 3,000 yuan ($472), and be sold initially only in China, which has banned other gaming system like Nintendo's Wii or Microsoft's Xbox 360 from being officially sold in the country. The company was aiming to target 200 million households in China.

Although the company is delaying the launch of its iSec device, Eedoo unveiled another gaming system this past weekend, with its launch date expected after the Chinese New Year next month. (Pictures can be found here). The device, called the CT510, also features motion sensing technology, but will focus on offering exercise-related games, Wang said.

In contrast, the iSec is aiming to include gaming, along with features to turn it into a home entertainment system, capable of surfing the Internet, playing movies and allowing users to sing karaoke songs.

Eedoo's CT510 will be priced from 3,000 to 4,000 yuan, but the company is still determining how it will be sold to consumers, Wang said.

The company has previously tried to clear rumors about employees leaving the company and problems with the product's launch. At the same time, Eedoo has tried to lower expectations for the iSec, to emphasize that it is more of an entertainment system than a gaming system.

Last week, Eedoo CEO Jack Luo said in a microblog post, "Our product is not a gaming system. We don't want, nor do we have the ability, to offer large-scale complex games. The iSec entertainment system requires medium level complex games to support."

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