In the past few years, Huawei has been actively expanding its business from telecommunications equipments to smartphones, tablets and set-top boxes (STB) and other consumer products. Its latest attempt is to enter the video game industry. TRON will allow users to play games and watch video on television, which was first introduced in CES 2014.
Recently, Huawei has been trying to build its consumer branding, in order to drive revenue growth beyond the telecomm equipment industry. Over the years, Huawei has established itself as one of China's major smartphone manufacturer, but still lack consumer awareness. Launching a new gaming console will be an important step.
The TRON console is cylindrical and its Operating System is based on a modified version of Android. It connects the control remotely by Bluetooth. In the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, TRON uses the NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor, but Huawei said that it is likely to upgrade it to the new Tegra K1 processor, which came out earlier this month.
Just last week, the Chinese government lifted its 13-year ban on the sale of certain types of gaming console. However, Huawei expressed that their intentions to launch TRON did not come from the abolishment of the ban.
According to a report by PwC, China already stands as the world's third largest gaming industry, with a large online gaming market. However, the world's giants in the video game industry, Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft, have very limited share in China.
From the industry's point of view, TRON is not a breakthrough product. Other Android-based gaming consoles have arrived in the market, such as the game-of-the-same-name developed by a US start-up Ouya. Hence, the prospect of TRON in the China market depend on its price and software.
As of today, Huawei has yet to announce the price of TRON. A spokesman said that the price is likely to be under US$ 200, depending on the size of storage space. To create an attractive software content, Huawei has been collaborating with game developers from China, US, Europe, Japan and South Korea, but has yet to disclose the specific name.
In addition, Huawei said that the console will allow users to view videos on Ultra HD 4K, provided they have 4K display. Current plans only include sales in China, as Huawei has not decided to expand it overseas.
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