Will Mad Box Close the Gap Between Consoles and PC?

Will Mad Box Close the Gap Between Consoles and PC?

The world of high-profile gaming is divided today, and the gap often seems to be too big to cross. On one hand, we have PC gamers with their superior game variety and constantly upgradeable hardware, on the other, the world of consoles with exclusive titles, backed by veritable giants in the world of technology and software. While “Triple-A” developers almost always release their games both on consoles and PC, independent developers will almost always stick to a single platform, meaning that console gamers will almost invariably miss out on a variety of amazing indie titles. On the other hand, console exclusives can be run on a PC with the help of emulators, the experience is often imperfect due to hardware limitations and the differences in control options. Sometimes, not even the official ports released by the game’s developers are good enough.

This is where Slightly Mad Studios and their (hopefully) upcoming Mad Box gaming console comes in.

Racing game enthusiasts are probably familiar with the “Slightly Mad” title – the company, based in England, is the force behind successful games like EA’s “Need for Speed: Shift”, and “Shift 2: Unleashed”, and Bandai Namco’s “Project CARS” series. These games were all released on both PC and consoles, without discrimination, and without exclusivity. This gives us a glimmer of hope when it comes to closing the PC/console divide – starting with the gaming console planned by the company.

Back in January, Slightly Mad CEO Ian Bell made an announcement on Twitter that may have a serious impact on the world of console gaming (then again, it may not – we’ll see). According to his announcement, he plans to break into the world of high-profile console gaming with a brand new gaming console called the “Mad Box”, which he called “the most powerful console ever built”, capable of native 4K resolution at up to 120fps, and will support all major VR platforms as well at 60fps per eye. What he plans to release is a console as powerful as a “very fast PC 2 years from now”. But the hardware of the upcoming console is just part of the innovation.

What’s more interesting is the new gaming engine Bell plans to launch together with the console. Bell announced that he plans to make the new engine available for developers free of charge. If – and this is a big IF – the engine will be the same the company will use to build its own games (given their history of releasing their games both on PC and consoles at about the same time), it may be a game engine that will allow deploying games on both PC and the Mad Box.

This is, of course, a very slight possibility at this point. But keep your fingers crossed!

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