The PlayBox is a home video game console and entertainment system developed by Olympus Inc. Announced in October 2015, it was released worldwide on 22 April 2016.
Development of the PlayBox began as early as March 2009 under the codename "Trinity".
Olympus worked with its game development subsidiaries in designing the console, with input on the controller and the operating system being taken into consideration.
On 2 October 2015, Olympus released a cinematic reveal trailer of the PlayBox, which was followed by a Q&A livestream the next day.
The console was released worldwide on 22 April 2016 for US$479 at launch.
Support for the PlayBox is expected to end in early 2024, with complete discontinuation expected by September 2024.
The PlayBox uses a custom developed accelerated processing unit. The CPU consists of ten 64-bit core processors with 16GB of GDDR5 memory (5GB reserved for system use) and a core 4.4 GHz processor. It comes with a 6TB hard drive, 4 USB ports, and a disc drive that can read DVDs, CDs, Blu-ray Discs, and HS-DVDs.
The console is compatible with Oculus Rift and HTC Vive virtual reality headsets.
The controller comes equipped with ABXY buttons, two circle pads (similar to the Nintendo 3DS) in place of the joysticks, a 4-way directional pad, a gyro sensor, a motor for controller vibration, and two sets of triggers: one set labeled T and another labeled B. In addition, it supports wireless charging and has a battery life of roughly 20 hours. The Home button is represented as the PlayBox icon, and has a row of three buttons below it: Home, View, and Share.
The PlayBox Eye has a webcam design that comes integrated with a dual-lens camera capable of 4K resolution video. It comes equipped with a depth sensor, multi-array microphone, IR sensor and other hardware components that provide full-body 3D motion capture, facial and voice recognition capabilities. It processes 4 gigabits of data per second to read its environment, and is capable of detecting a player's heart rate, facial expression, and speed of player movements.
Software and services
PlayBox OS is the operating system that runs on the console, and is a distribution of the Linux kernel.
The user interface is similar to that of the Xbox One's, with several key differences.
A list of apps that come with the PlayBox is below:
- PlayBox Marketplace – the digital marketplace for video games and DLC.
- YouTube – a video sharing and viewing site
- Pandora – an Internet radio service
- PlayBox Network – the online subscription service for the PlayBox
- Settings – the control panel where users can manage system and user settings.
- Netflix – the digital streaming service
- PlayBox Browser – the web browser for the PlayBox, based off of Google Chrome.
- TV – one can watch television if a cable box or satellite dish is detected or connected.
The PlayBox Network is a subscription-based online multiplayer gaming service, similar to Xbox Live. It costs US$12.99 for a 3-month subscription, US$15.99 for a 6-month subscription, and U$22.99 for a 1-year subscription.
A Player ID is the universal name for a player's username, and can be up to 20 characters in length. Changing a user tag is free. The PlayBox supports up to 6 profiles on one console. Profile pictures, or "Player Pictures", are also associated with a Player ID. When creating a PlayBox Player ID there are seven default pictures, with other pictures from games purchasable anywhere from US$0.05 to US$0.70 in packs of four or five.
A Player Card is an informational panel used to summarize a profile on the PlayBox Network, viewable through the PlayBox console or the PlayBox website, and usually include:
- Player ID
- Player Picture
- Recent games played
- Birthday (Day and Month are public, Year is private)
- Favorite Game Genres
- Short Bio
Players have the option to create or join community groups, called "Circles", based upon personal interest. Circles include discussion boards, game clips shared by other members, and the ability to join group chat and launch cooperative games.
Players can share the last 60 minutes of recorded gameplay using the controller's "Share" button. This allows the player to also select a screenshot or video clip appropriate for sharing. Game clips can be uploaded to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, their PlayBox Network profile, or a USB flash drive. The ability to create photo collages and animated GIFs is also present.
Players can watch live gameplay of titles which their friends are playing through the PlayBox interface with cross-game camera and microphone input, spectate silently, or broadcast their own gameplay live via Twitch, YouTube Gaming, or Ustream - allowing for friends and members of the public to view and comment upon them from other web browsers and devices. If a user is not screencasting, a friend can send them a "Request to Watch" notification.