Tectoy's announced the Zeebo, a 3G network-based gaming console that will supposedly launch in Brazil in July of 2009, then spread to other markets in the following months. The console will apparently be constantly connected to a 3G network for no cost to the gamer, with all games and content paid for and downloaded via said network (which sounds suspiciously like the never-realized Phantom). In theory, this would mean lower costs for the consumer while cutting down on piracy. Titles that are to be preloaded in the Brazil launch of the system include the mobile game Action Hero 3D, Evil Prey, and Quake... not exactly state-of-the-art, but according to its manufacturers, the Zeebo is not meant to directly compete with platforms like the Wii, Xbox 360 or Playstation 3. Instead, the system will be aimed at "emerging" gaming markets, including those which could not normally afford expensive hardware and games. Confusingly, the price mentioned for the console is a steep $599, with games set to cost between $10 and $30 -- not exactly the most affordable item we've ever heard of, but we'll keep our ears to the wall for further updates should the Zeebo ever come closer to existence. And, comparison to the Phantom aside, we hope it does.
Update: We're aware of the craziness of the $599 US price tag, but the source does specify US dollars, though we're unsure of whether it's a typo or the actual price. Update II: Thanks to a tip from a reader, we've confirmed that the US dollar price of the Zeebo will be $258, or $599 in Brazil. Not a bad deal! [Via Folha Online; thanks Fabio V.]