As we just announced, on the all-new, consumer-friendly iConsole.tv Blog, we’re going to be tapping Intel Iris™ graphics technology to enable iConsole.tv to take on the big guns.
We go over all the general reasons why in the link above, but we want to take a minute to share with developers a bit more about our methodology on this choice. Intel Iris is a radical departure from past Intel graphics arrays. For the first time, Intel delivers truly jaw-dropping gaming graphics.
Comparatively, we expect the very high-end Iris silicon that we’re using, will be able to take on rival high-performance gaming consoles with power to spare. We may not win every benchmark, but we think we’ll win our fair share.
Finally, Intel’s impressive openness allowed us to take both Iris and Android to new heights. Intel is the only GPU player in this space to open up their entire discreet-class graphics driver. While we’ll be using some closed-source components to make things even more epic, having an open platform to start with has allowed us to rapidly create iConsole.tv, in a manner that no other graphics silicon in the industry provided for today.
We didn’t make this choice lightly. Some will remember when our team, early on, showed off prototypes of an Intel-powered MeeGo gaming console years ago. Going back to Intel after that, and using Iris specifically, was something we vetted for over a year. We’re convinced that we will be able to leverage Iris and Android to make an amazing new experience in gaming.
Fourth-generation Intel Core processors give us great graphics, as well as tremendous power on the processing side. That enables Android to be even more of a multitasking champion. It enables games to run at their target FPS, while recording a TV show in the background. It enables you to play a first-person shooter while backing up all the Macs and PCs in your home onto your iConsole.tv simultaneously. Iris on Fourth-gen Core Processors give us the ability to scale up to 4K, drive two displays at once, and pave the way to a wireless display future.
More Resolution, New Ports, New Powers
Combined with the benefits of Android, developers will be able to achieve mainstream performance levels with far less difficulty in terms of optimization. And, with 8GB Of DDR3 RAM in Unit 00, you’ll have more RAM than any Android to-date to optimize with. Our primary developer kit hardware will ship with Dual HDMI ports, but DisplayPort gear will be available on-request for developers ready to dive head-first into 4K.
Another major change that brings us closer to production, we’re shipping developer kits with 500GB Solid State Hybrid Hard Drives. We’ve selected and configured these drives to optimize and deliver boot-times that are truly solid-state-speed. And, these drives will also be able to cache games and load content faster than rival next-generation consoles with similar drive capacity. It’s a premium feature that will also extend the life of the drives inside iConsole.tv beyond the competition.
As we noted in our Friday developer blog post, we’re going to be fine-tuning these developer kits via firmware and software updates as we go. That means clock speeds and other stats may not match what you pull up when you search for part numbers. Mostly, we’ll be upclocking/overclocking our developer kits to match the faster GPU in the consumer iConsole.tv units. Iris graphics chips that we will be using in consumer production, aren’t available currently in enough volume for us to fit those onto Unit 00. We plan to adjust clock speeds along the way to bridge the gap.
So, without further ado, here is a basic overview of the mass-production Unit 00 dev kits. Please note that these are not production specifications, these are just for the developer kits. Specs we take into production will be at least 41.3% more awesome.
Fourth-generation Quad-core Intel Core Processor (formerly “Haswell”)
Intel Iris-derived Discreet-Class Graphics
8GB DDR3 RAM
500GB Solid State Hybrid Hard Drive
Six USB 3.0 Ports, Two USB 2.0 Ports
Two HDMI Ports – Both ports are 3DTV-capable, 3DTV will be enabled in a future update
802.11n Wi-Fi with future WiDi capability
External Antenna for Bluetooth & WiFi – For maximum range and superior performance
PS/2 Port – Only for developers, this won’t be on the consumer units
Dual Gigabit Ethernet Ports – Supports Android Debug Bridge (ADB) via Ethernet
Analog and Digital Audio Outputs – Audio primarily runs over HDMI, of course
One year of app reviews and updates on the iConsole Store, included for free
iConsole OS Developer Preview, Based On Android Jelly Bean
$699 + Shipping
Available to Order
Just click on over to our sign-up page to buy your Unit 00 Developer Kit, and join the iConsole.tv Developer Program.