The French startup Wizama presented the first “board game console” at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in 2019, according to the company. The developers describe SquareOne as a combination of a classic board game with touchable elements and modern computer games. Wizama has won the CES Innovation Award 2019 in the gaming sector for this new concept.
The 19 inch tablet can be used by several players in parallel. The players carry out their action with real objects such as cards, dice and game figures on the display of the tablet, which in turn reflects the action of the players in the virtual in-game world.
The startup has developed a new patented technology which allows to recognize different objects on the display. A total of 26 slots are available on which game elements can be placed. As soon as the tablet is started, it automatically recognizes which game should be started based on the placed pieces, dice or other elements. Communication between the game elements and the tablet is via Bluetooth and NFC. Since the game elements such as the dice are completely passive, they do not need a battery and are therefore durable at low production costs.
The various games are offered in a total of 32 languages. It is possible that a player who speaks only Spanish, for example, can play with a player who speaks only Arabic on the same console. In order to offer a large number of different games directly for the launch, Wizama has entered into a cooperation with various studios. Five titles are included in the scope of delivery.
Thanks to the high viewing angle stability of 170 degrees, players can look at the Multi-Touch display from virtually anywhere. The console weighs 3.2 kg and offers 2 GB of RAM and either 64 GB or 128 GB of internal memory. In addition, data can be stored in the provider’s cloud. An undefined Android version is used as the operating system. There are no details about the CPU either, here we are only talking about a Hexa-Core ARM processor.
The console will be offered from early summer 2019 for 499 dollars. The price includes 4 game pieces, 54 playing cards and one dice as well as five games.