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Yet another console powered by technologies found in personal computers is reported to have been canned by its designer Apex Digital. At the same Apex is reported to be facing financial problems and the arrest of a high-ranking executive from the company in China.

A report over web-site claims that the ApeXtreme game console that was unveiled in early 2004 had “drifted into vaporware”. While the company’s representatives said that the product had just been put on hold, one of the company’s key-partners for the console - Digital Interactive Systems Corporation – said the firm was unlikely to work with Apex Digital on the product.

The ApeXtreme console was initially meant to be fully based on VIA Glory Console Platform. The console’s central “brain” was 1.40GHz VIA C3 processor, while the input/output functions were intended to be carried out by VIA CN400 North Bridge coupled with VT8237 I/O controller. A DeltaChrome graphics chip from S3 Graphics would be the graphics base for the console, while VIA’s Vinyl technology would provide 6-channel audio support. After decision to change the specs, ApeXtreme was projected to include AMD Athlon XP 2000+ processor as the CPU and NVIDIA’s nForce2 IGP based mainboard with 256MB dual-channel DDR memory as the base for the console. Such combination would provide a bit higher performance compared to the initial system, however, graphics feature-set of the machine would still be limited to DirectX 7.0 supported by the GeForce4 MX graphics core.

Apex Digital focused its console to be very friendly to the user and was designed to automatically detect the type of content the user puts into the ApeXtreme.

The news came as Apex was facing financial problems with its co-founder arrested in China.

Historically there were a number of consoles based on technologies for personal computers. Virtually all of them did not appear to be a success. Prospects of consoles designed to play PC games are also extremely shady these days, as there are barebone PC manufacturers who offer small form-factor fully-functional computers with design to fit into living rooms, furthermore, there are computer makers who build their PCs, including Media Center PCs, that are also intended mostly for living rooms. Given that those PCs are more powerful and can run games faster, even being priced times more compared to affordable consoles, there is a very limited list of advantages consoles like ApeXtreme may have over PCs except of pricing.


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