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Slightly Mad developing standalone, VR-supportive console

Project Cars 2 studio says The Mad Box will ship in about three years, won't court exclusives

Project CARS 2 studio Slightly Mad appears to be working on its own standalone home console system, currently called The Mad Box.

This morning, company CEO Ian Bell tweeted "The Mad Box is coming," followed by a handful of replies offering details as to the current plans for the machine.

"What is the Mad Box?" one tweet read. "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."

Other tweets from Bell said the console was planned to work with VR headsets and offer VR at 60 FPS "per eye" or 120 FPS for the console as a whole. He also said it would be compatible with existing PC peripherals including both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets, as well as unspecified racing wheels and fight sticks.

In a follow-up conversation with Variety, Bell said that the Mad Box was planned to ship in about three years, would be available worldwide, and would be its own, standalone console like the Xbox or PlayStation but would also be compatible with most VR headsets on the market. Cost will be "competitive with upcoming console prices," said Bell.

"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," he said. "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."

According to Bell, Slightly Mad doesn't intend to offer incentives for developers to create console exclusives on its machine.

"We think the industry is a little too much of a monopoly or a micro oligopoly," Bell said to Variety. "We think competition is healthy and we have the required hardware contacts to be able to bring something epic to fruition based on our designs."

Though Slightly Mad had used crowdfunding for past projects, Bell said that the company already had multiple investors offering the funding needed to see the project completed.

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