Pour one out for the Mad Box. The ambitious sounding new console from Project Cars developer Slightly Mad Studios promised to rival the next generation of Xbox and PlayStation, but it seems those lofty plans may have hit a snag.
Announced at the start of 2019, the Mad Box was billed by Slightly Mad CEO Ian Bell as “most powerful console ever built.” He said it would support 4k, VR at 60FPS, have a full engine for free to for other developers to create games on, and more.
Unfortunately, it seems as if the announcement of Google’s own ambitious game streaming service, Google Stadia, has caused two investors to walk away from the Mad Box project
Speaking with PCGamesInsider.biz, Slightly Mad’s online marketing director, Nathan Bell, suggested the Mad Box’s future was looking pretty bleak, with the Google Stadia announcement back in March being largely to blame.
We had some solid investment lined up, but Google saying ‘the future of gaming isn’t in a box’ hasn’t done us any favours. Two investors pulled out after the announcement of Stadia. All I can say at this stage is the future of the project is questionable.
This follows on from the news that Slightly Mad recently had to withdraw its trademark application for “Mad Box,” after the name was contested by a French casual games company. All in all, it’s not a great time for the studio.
Back in January, Bell revealed that there were “several interested parties” looking at the Mad Box, as well as “multiple investors already offering the required funding for us to see the product to completion.” It remains to be seen just how much of a hit the Stadia reveal really was, and whether or not Slightly Mad will still have the funding to complete the console as planned.
The future of the Mad Box might well be looking bleak, but Bell shared some pretty nifty looking design concepts early in January. Bell noted on Twitter that these designs (below) aren’t indicative of the final console, but they still make for some pretty interesting viewing.
Design concept (number 4 I believe?)… Would love to hear your feedback. pic.twitter.com/svwUS1CQig
— Ian Bell CEO SMS (@bell_sms) January 7, 2019
The console was originally planned to release in around three year’s time, and would have been priced competitively with Xbox and PlayStation. It’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not the Mad Box will still release in some capacity, or at all.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.