Greg Walsh


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Proposal: A Reference Design for an Open Source Game Console

Thursday January 31, 2008

Estimated Reading Time: Less than one minutes

As I've been playing with MythTV, Ubuntu and the like for a year now, I keep coming up with the idea of an open source game console. I've figured that someone would have thought of this before, but, I can never find anything on the interweb about it.

My idea is (relatively) simple: come up with a list of hardware and a Linux OS that can play games out to a TV/HDTV/Monitor. The kind of games I'm talking about are the quick arcade games (Extreme Tux Racer), RPG (Westnoth), fighting (Paintown), etc. I'm not sure exactly what games, but, the eventual goal would be for teams and indies to make games that run on the console. Maybe even a way to buy games via digital distribution.

Here's my guess at what it should have to keep it affordable:

2GHz Processor

256 MB Video card with TV/component/DVI out

Wireless internet

160GB Hard drive

Wireless joysticks-up to four (GUI is controlled by joysticks)

DVD-ROM drive

The OS would need to support all of that and be driven by the joystick.

What am I missing? Again, the point is to create a reference design for people to build it themselves and be able to run certain games. I'm not looking for an MP3 playing, divx-serving PVR set top box. Just a fun way to play some good games while building a computer.