VIA got their big break a few years ago when Intel failed to deliver the best chipsets to the market for the Pentium III. For the couple of years following, VIA enjoyed tremendous gains in market share which slowed down courtesy of NVIDIA's entry into the chipset market and Intel's lawsuit preventing VIA from producing Pentium 4 chipsets. Although the legal issues have since been resolved, VIA took it upon themselves to transition away from being known as just a chipset manufacturer and towards becoming a platform leader.

Since then we have seen VIA dabble in CPUs, audio and more recently – systems. For the past two years VIA has been talking about building more than just PCs, and just before this Fall's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) VIA began drumming up hype for a possible entry into the gaming console market.

At the start of CES the veil was lifted and VIA's first attempt at a game console stood in the lime light. The internals are all VIA with the system put together and sold by Apex. With many questions remaining about how the console works, we spent some time with both Apex and VIA to shed some more light on the new endeavor.

Introducing the ApeXtreme
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  • titananandtech - Saturday, January 10, 2004 - link

    I already own a GameCube and PS2 and love them. I also own a PC and it's fun too, but sometimes I wish I was playing my PC games in my living room instead of in the office. I guess I could build my own living room PC pretty easily, but this has it done already!

    I'd love to see Homeworld2 in all its glory on the big screen. But how will I control it? I wireless track ball? A wireless keyboard/mouse combo set up on a TV tray? I don't get it..
  • klah - Saturday, January 10, 2004 - link

    "Madden 2004...either 640 x 480 or 800x600 given the degree of aliasing as you can see in the image below."

    See where?

  • Cygni - Saturday, January 10, 2004 - link

    I dont think it will do too well...
  • Kishkumen - Saturday, January 10, 2004 - link

    Unfortunately, I think this is a bad idea in it's current form. The living room gaming space is already too saturated especially with Gamecubes in the $100 range. They hinted about a multimeda type appliance and I think VIA/Apex would have been better off pursuing the higher end home theater market rather than console gaming. With the popularity of HDTV increasing, I think there would be much higher demand for a good HDTV based Tivo-like personal video recorder.
  • sandorski - Saturday, January 10, 2004 - link

    I too think it's an interesting idea. If they had a customized version of WinXP, something like this could make a good retro PC Games box, as newer games will be very difficult to play on it.
  • NYHoustonman - Saturday, January 10, 2004 - link

    Very interesting idea...
  • KristopherKubicki - Saturday, January 10, 2004 - link

    Yes, it will run pre-approved PC games.

  • AgaBooga - Saturday, January 10, 2004 - link

    I wonder if this will be able to run PC games or not...

    It would be very nice if you take a pc game you have and run it on a console that easily...

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