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 2014, Olympus released a cinematic reveal trailer of the PlayBox, followed by a Q&A livestream and press conferences. The console was released worldwide on 22 April 2015 for US$479 at launch.
Support for the original PlayBox is expected to end in early 2024, with complete discontinuation expected by September 30, 2024.
On 1 March 2017, Olympus announced that an upgraded PlayBox model and a portable PlayBox was "in the works". The names and specifications of the consoles – the PlayBox Star and the PlayBox Go, respectively – were revealed on 7 April 2017. Both were released on February 21, 2019.
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 AMD-brand processor. It comes with a 6TB hard drive, 4 USB 3.0 ports – two of which are USB 2.0 compatible, and a disc drive that can read DVDs, CDs, Blu-ray Discs, and HS-DVDs.
The console itself is designed with a glossy gray color and has two air vents on the either side of the console. There is a glowing white PlayBox logo button on the console that acts as a power button.
The controller comes equipped with ABXY buttons, two circle pads 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 14 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, infrared 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 games and apps
- YouTube – a video sharing and viewing site
- Olympus+ Cloud – a cloud storage service where users can save clips of games for later use
- 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 Files – a file browser, where downloads from the PlayBox Browser and other services can be stored on the device
- Olympus+ Music – a music streaming app
- AccuWeather – a weather app
- PlayBox Browser – the web browser for the PlayBox, based off of Google Chrome
- Live TV – one can watch television if a cable box or satellite dish is detected or connected
- Twitch – a livestreaming service
- PlayBox Tips – a PlayBox help and guidebook
- Aria – a virtual assistant
The PlayBox Network is a subscription-based online multiplayer gaming service, similar to Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus. It costs US$3.99 for a 3-month subscription, US$7.99 for a 6-month subscription, and US$12.99 for a 1-year subscription. With PlayBox Network, a player has access to exclusive PlayBox apps and operating system releases earlier than non-Network members, support for party and group chats, and discounts of up to 80% off games and apps in the PlayBox Marketplace.
A Player ID is a profile for a PlayBox user, presented in the form of a digital card. A PlayBox can support up to six Player IDs locally.
Usernames can be up to 25 characters in length, and are free to change, but can only be changed once every 30 days.
Profile pictures are associated with a Player ID. When creating a PlayBox Player ID there are ten default pictures, with other pictures from games purchasable anywhere from US$0.05 to US$1.00 in packs of four or five. A user must be at least 18 years old to use a custom profile picture.
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 include:
- Player ID
- Profile Picture
- Recent games played
- Gender (Male, Female, Other; can be set to private by user preference)
- 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.
- Main article: List of PlayBox games
Italicized are the launch titles for the PlayBox.
- Roblox (22 April 2016)
- Minecraft: PlayBox Edition (22 April 2016)
- World of Tanks (22 April 2016)
- Minigame Mania (22 April 2016)
- World 2103 (22 April 2016)
- Dark Souls III (22 April 2016)
- WW3: Declaration of War (22 April 2016)
- Far Cry Primal (22 April 2016)
- The Creepypasta Collection (24 April 2016)
- The Olympics: Rio 2016 (24 April 2016)
- World of Warships (24 April 2016)
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (24 April 2016)
- Civil War: Blues and Grays (24 April 2016)
- Fallout 4 (24 April 2016)
- Grand Theft Auto V (24 April 2016)
- Star Trek Online (24 April 2016)
- No Man's Sky (24 April 2016)
- Rocket League (24 April 2016)
- Hockey League 17 (27 April 2016)
- Stellaris (9 May 2016)
- DOOM (13 May 2016)
- Overwatch (24 May 2016)
- Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (30 January 2017)
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (1 April 2017)
- Terraria: PlayBox Edition (22 April 2017)
- F1 2017 (25 August 2017)
- Madden NFL 18 (25 August 2017)
- Ark: Survival Evolved (30 August 2017)
- Cuphead (30 SEptember 2017)
- Call of Duty: World War 2 (3 November 2017)
- PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (30 December 2017)
- Fortnite (30 December 2017)
- WW3: Fall of the West Coast (1 January 2018)
- Hello Neighbor (1 January 2018)
- Kerbal Space Program (1 January 2018)
- Disney Infinity 3.0 (1 January 2018)
- Leader of Nations (1 January 2018)
- Universe Sandbox2 (1 January 2018)
- Subnautica (5 January 2018)
- The Sims 4 (27 February 2018)
- The Olympics: PyeongChang 2018 (1 March 2018)
- H1Z1 (1 March 2018)
- Bejeweled Collection (1 March 2018)
- Bejeweled Original
- Bejeweled 2
- Bejeweled 3
- Bejeweled Blitz
- Bejeweled Twist
- Bejeweled Stars
- Far Cry 5 (29 March 2018)