Linux game console beta opens, includes 100 test units

Linux-based video game console EVO from Envizions is available for pre-order today. The system is based on a 2.4GHz Athlon 64x2 4850E+ CPU with 2GB of DDR2 expandable to 4GB, an ATI HD3200 graphics processor, a 120GB HDD, and other customizing options.

EVO open source game console

Unfortunately, the company has rather messily publicized the console's pricing. The "Beta" version of EVO is listed on Envizions' site for $379 (Linux) and $479 (Windows), but is also listed as costing $799.99 for the EVO Smart Console HD (Vista), and $499.99 for the EVO Smart Console (Mirrors Evolution) on the console's dedicated site.

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According to the company's announcement on April 1, the consoles were listed as $279-$350 for resellers, OEMs and early adopters. The retail price, says the company, will be $379 after April 17.

EVO console home screen

First, however, a beta program will make 100 consoles available for purchase, and the testing period will last until June 17. Games will be distributed as downloads and on SD cards for $19.95.

In a similar state of preparedness, the Linux-based handheld Pandora has been making waves as it progresses through its stages of readiness. That $330 device has not yet reached the mass production phase, but it is nonetheless approaching. The group's "to-do list" puts several tasks in the range of one month for completion, but mass production and board testing will take several combined months.

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