iQue Box

From RGDWiki

The iQue Box (codenamed "BB2" - BroadOn Board 2) was a cancelled successor to the iQue Player based on Nintendo GameCube hardware. It was to play region-locked GameCube discs exclusive to the iQue Box as well as CDs and DVDs. There were also plans for it to support online play, photo viewing, video playback, PC connectivity over USB, and playback of karaoke discs.

The iQue Box was mentioned in a Chinese interview, but little was known about it until a document describing it was exposed as a result of the Zammis Clark Breach.

The project was cancelled in late 2004 due to BroadOn shifting work to the NNGC (Wii) project; the Wii is notably very similar to the planned iQue Box in functionality, but as the iQue Box project seemingly did not get to the point of active development, most of the Wii's code was instead inherited from the original iQue Player and the iQue NetCard.

There are conflicting reports of how far the console was into development when it was cancelled; some sources say that the console was still in its testing phase and exterior designs had not yet been developed, and others say that iQue had already began to train repair personnel for the console.

Features

The iQue Box was designed around the unique demands of the Chinese market, including unique media & connectivity features which were not present in the GameCube. The target price of the system was USD$80-90 (lower than the retail price of a GameCube in the US in 2003-2004), although the DVD licensing fee was not included in this price.

According to a table of features found in a leaked document describing the iQue Box, the iQue Box was to include or support the following:

  • DVD playback
  • Video CD/Super Video CD playback
  • Audio CD playback
  • CD-R/MP3 playback
  • MPEG4/DivX playback
  • JPG photo viewing
  • Karaoke CD+G playback
  • Karaoke DVD playback
  • An optional karaoke singing game
  • An optional multi-function remote control
  • Parental controls
  • Streaming audio/video from and accessing photos on a PC
  • 2 USB ports
  • 2 microphone ports
  • Composite/component/S-Video output along with digital and analog stereo audio output
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • Possible hard disk drive (this was undecided at the time of writing)
  • 10/100 Ethernet
  • Optional modem
  • Optional wireless connectivity
  • Dual-layer DVD support
  • On-screen karaoke menu capable of recording and playback from a USB drive
  • USB peripherals for third-party games
  • MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4 playback from PC
  • Playback of games stored on PC
  • Possible GBA emulation (for playing back GBA games from a PC)

Proposed System Configurations

4 configurations were proposed for the iQue Box:

       1. Model A (Lowest Cost) - Limited USB 1.1 expansion + No HDD
       • 2 USB 1.1 ports (ALI chip) 
       • Ethernet 10/100 on-board (+$2)
       • No IDE HDD expansion
       • No 802.11g
       • Modem (standard USB 1.1 dongle: $25)
   
       2. Model B (Middle Cost) – Limited USB 1.1 expansion + HDD expansion
       • 2 USB 1.1 ports (ALI chip)
       • Ethernet 10/100 on-board (+$2)
       • IDE (interface on ALI chip) + mechanical adapter + HDD expansion slot (+$$)
       • No 802.11g
       • Modem (standard USB 1.1 module: $25)
   
       3. Model C (Higher Cost) – Expandable solution using PC Card Bus + HDD expansion
       • 2 PC Card slots (PCI-PC Card chip: +$5)
       • Ethernet 10/100 (standard PC Card module: $15)
       • IDE (interface on ALI chip) + mechanical adapter + HDD expansion slot (+$$)
       • 802.11g (standard PC Card module: $40)
       • Modem (standard PC Card module: $25)
   
       4. Model D (Highest Cost) – Expandable solution using USB 2.0 + HDD expansion
       • 2 – 4 USB 2.0 ports (USB 2.0 chip: +$6)
       • Ethernet 10/100 (standard USB 2.0 module: $15)
       • IDE (interface on ALI chip) + mechanical adapter + HDD expansion slot (+$$)
       • 802.11g (standard USB 2.0 module: $50)
       • Modem (standard USB 1.1 module: $25)