Fuze Entertainment is launching a new home console in the Chinese market later this year called the Fuze F1. The new console will not only enter into the market to compete with the Xbox One and PS4, but it's also going to undercut the PlayStation VR's $399 price with its own headset that only costs $169.
According to Gamasutra, Fuze Entertainment wants to use the F1 as a bridge between the massive mobile audience in China and the burgeoning hardcore audience that's just getting a taste of console gaming after the ban was recently lifted on home consoles in China.
The VR component isn't detailed so we don't know what the hardware specs are for the HMD, but the Fuze F1 console will be based on Android technology and will only cost $138, with a supposed “Elite” version costing $230 that comes with a 500GB hard drive.
The console itself will run on an Nvidia Tegra K1, which is a quadcore running at 2.2ghz per core. Just to put that into context, this is a CPU setup that has been about a decade old in the world of hardcore PC gaming. The F1 will also be running a Keppler GPU at 325 gigaflops, and it features 4GB of DDR3 RAM clocked just under 1ghz. HDMI and USB 3.0 support is included along with a custom Android-based operating system running Open GL 4.4, appropriately named the Fuze OS.
Just to be completely clear: the specs of the Fuze F1 will not allow it to run VR games anywhere near that of the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, and it's even far and away from the PS4 and what the PlayStation VR will be able to output based on the specs alone. However, as an entry-level VR device, not unlike Google Cardboard or Samsung's Gear VR, the Fuze F1 and its HMD will be designed as a cheap alternative for those who want to experience some aspect of VR gaming but don't want to spend a lot of money on it.
My only worry is that low resolution VR with potentially poor frame-rates can pose a health risk to those who use it, from eye-strain to nausea to headaches. Hopefully Fuze Entertainment takes the appropriate measures to ensure that the VR experience – while affordable and cheap – will also provide users with the necessary safety measures to avoid any potential health hazards.
Sony has made sure that any game that cannot consistent and perpetually maintain 60fps output cannot be certified to run on the PlayStation VR. Hopefully Fuze Entertainment has a similar certification process in play, especially given some of the high profile games that will be available on the F1.
According to ZhugeEx, the F1 will feature a lot of AAA titles to appeal to the Chinese gaming market, including Dynasty Warriors 8, Hawken, Mighty No. 9 and Red Ash to name but a few.
They have deals with more than 200 development partners and plan on getting 76 games up and out for the console at launch; they also have 100 more games in development, set to be released throughout its early lifespan on the market. They're hoping games like Saints Row, Assault Android Cactus and BlazBlue will appeal to both casuals and hardcore gamers alike, nestling the Fuse right in between the more expensive Xbox One and PS4 and the more cheaply made mobile products that dominate the Chinese gaming market.
The Fuse F1 is expected to release later this year in China.