Long-awaited Linux gaming console about to ship

John Walton
Cell Phone Editor
| April 7, 2009

People have been installing Linux on just about every electronic device they can for over a decade now. And more recently, gamers have taken to installing a distro on their game console. There are even flavors hacked specifically to address the requirements of particular gaming systems. While all of this geekery is sure to continue, those with a specific urge for a Linux platform console are about to have their prayers answered.

A company called Envizions is releasing the first open source gaming system, the EVO Smart Console. It runs a stark, Fedora-based Linux distribution known as Mirrors, which power users can upgrade to the more feature-rich, Mirrors Evolution X. The stock OS boots in five seconds, and requires no configuration - great news for those who lust after the best Linux games available but can't get their 3D card, controller, etc., to work properly. EVO is plug-and-play.

Envvizions EVO at phonedog.com

The first nine titles will be sold on SD cards for $20 a pop, and the EVO comes with three pre-installed. Third-party developers will be able to set their own price in Envizions' online shop. Internet, VoIP, and HD video playback are a few of the features aside from gaming. And the system will access Envizions' cloud computing service, where over 10,000 movies and some Amiga-based games can be ordered on demand.

For those of you unfamiliar with Linux gaming, check out World of Padman, Tremulous and Alien Arena. While I can't be sure it will turn up on the EVO, one of my all time faves, Prey, now has a Linux client. Just wanted to throw that out there.

The EVO ships with a quad-core, 64-bit Athalon processor clocked at 2.4 GHz, an ATI HD 3200 graphics processor, and 2GB of RAM. Pre-order beta versions for developers will ship on April 10, and were priced between $280 and $350. The rest of us can order for $380, with the product set to ship on April 17th. The beta program ends on June 17th.

The first Linux gaming console at phonedog.com

Via Linux Devices, by way of Digg.