China Hatches Its Own Video Game Console Brand

May 17, 2011

SHENZHEN, China, May 17, 2011 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Companies like Google and Facebook may find it’s easy to conquer and dominate the world, except one quarter of it, China. But the counterparts, or knockoffs, are blooming in the Amazing Oriental. The same thing just happens when Taishan Online Technology, or Toltech, a Shenzhen based company, announced the launch of its third generation of i-dong, the Chinese brand of home video game console.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110517/CN01670)

Despite the accusing of plagiarizing Wii, PS Move and even Kinect and the fact that the name i-dong is reminiscent of some kind of adult toy, Toltech has been moderately successful in its home territory.

In an interview with Chinese local business newspaper, Xie Feng, CEO of Toltech, admitted i-dong was first inspired by Wii. “But we are not cloning Sony’s PlayStation nor Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect,” Xie said. “All core technologies are developed by ourselves and we have patents issued by the State Intellectual Office of China.”

“Shenzhen manufactures iPod, iPad, and Kinect for the world,” said Xie. “Actually we do research and development besides manufacturing. We are catching up bit by bit.”

i-dong is developed with the technologies supplied by China’s Academy of Science, top science research institute in China, as described on the official website of Toltech. Along with CAS, Taishan Sports Group, the largest sports goods supplier for 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2010 Asian Games, is the major shareholder of Toltech.

i-dong is a motion-sensing video game console based on a handheld motion controller wand, with three cameras to track the wand’s position, and inertial sensors in the wand to detect its motion. First revealed in December 2007, i-dong launched in mainland China on 20 May, 2010, offering mainly sports and fitness games.

Hardware available at launch included a sensor bar, the main motion controller, a supplementary controller, and spherical devices, such as ping pong paddle and racket, with infrared light refractor serving as markers, while the sensor bar can read infrared signals. Take the latest released game, Miya Yoga for i-dong, for example: to practice Yoga, users are required to wear spherical bands mainly made with infrared light refracting material on both hands.

According to Xie, the i-dong can be used for gaming with a PC or a set-top box, besides the dedicated i-dong box. The product is currently selling for RMB 1680, or equivalent of US$258.

Barely known by many of the over 8 million Kinect fans, Shenzhen is where Microsoft manufactured its Kinect machines, with R&D based in the United States, according to Ya-qin Zhang, vice-president of Microsoft and chairman of Microsoft China R&D Group.

In a forum held in China when Kinect debuted in late 2010, Zhang disclosed that Microsoft was seeking to introduce Xbox and Kinect to China. But there is no clear time table yet, for China will not lose its tight control on importing home video game consoles in the short term. In an ordinance enacted in 1995, all game consoles were banned amid public complaint about the negative impacts on children. It was believed that children would indulge themselves in playing games, thus abandon study.

As a matter of fact, the banning was a critical move by China to protect its video game industry rather than the children. Good news for Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony is, several big Chinese companies, included Lenovo and Asus, have announced to join the arena and welcome competition from the Big Three.

“More players entering the market is good for the industry,” said Xie. “Most Chinese consumers have little idea of what a motion control video game is. We’ve found it hard to open the market in the past three years, when there’s only one player, that’s Toltech. We can beat none of those major players. We won’t be beaten down, either. China’s market is big enough for all players. “

With the government’s competition shelter and technology support, Toltech has made ways to take most of market share, claiming to be China’s NO.1 home video game console. But Toltech’s ambition is not limited to China. On 12th May, 2011, i-dong’s advertising video appeared on the big LED screen in the land mark New York Times Square.

“May be one day we will sell i-dong in the United States, Europe and Japan. Who knows?”

    Sun Dandan,
    Phone: +86-755-2699-3188
    Email: sundd@toltech.cn

SOURCE Taishan Online Technology

Source: newswire

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