Bell tweeted “The Mad Box is coming” early on Wednesday from a freshly-made Twitter account with only a few tweets originating from it. In a follow-up tweet shared shortly afterwards, he answered the question that was likely on many people’s minds: What’s a Mad Box?
According to Bell, it’s a new console that he says is “the most powerful console ever built.” Said to support 4K gameplay with virtual reality games able to run at 60FPS, Bell also said that the device would have a “full engine for free” to develop games on it.
What is the Mad Box? It's the most powerful console ever built... It's literally 'Mad'... You want 4k, you want VR at 60FPS? You want a full engine for free to develop your games on it? You have it.— Ian Bell SMS (@bell_sms) January 2, 2019
The sudden emergence of the tweets from a new account with some spectacular claims in them could easily be taken for some kind trolling attempt from someone masquerading as the CEO, but the tweets were backed up by the Slightly Mad Studios account. Slightly Mad Studios, the group responsible for the Project Cars games as well as other driving games like Need for Speed Shift retweeted both of Bell’s comments about the Mad Box. Bell also spoke to Variety in an interview where he shared more details on the console.
“It will support most major VR headsets and those upcoming and the specs will be equivalent to a ‘very fast PC 2 years from now’,” Bell told Variety. “We’re in early talks with manufacturers of components so we can’t say much more right now other than we have the designs specced out in detail.”
As for the games that’ll be available on the Mad Box, Bell told Variety that the team plans to “allow games from all developers, old and new.” Speaking on the topic of having exclusive games for the console, Bell added that the Mad Box will support a cross-platform engine and said the team has no plans, for now, to incentivize developers by paying them to exclude other hardware vendors.
A price tag for the console wasn’t shared, but Bell said it would be “competitive with upcoming console prices.” He said the plan for the Mad Box is for it to “be matching the best of the rest early in the lifecycle.”
Release dates and timeframes for the Mad Box console weren’t mentioned, but Bell said the team is in talks to ship it outside the UK and in to areas “not particularly open to other vendors at this moment.”