It appears that the PS5 and the next Xbox may have competition from the most unlikely of sources — Slightly Mad Studios. The developer of Project Cars, Project Cars 2, and Need for Speed: Shift has announced the Mad Box, a console which it claims will be “the most powerful console ever built”. Slightly Mad CEO Ian Bell took to Twitter to make the announcement and in conversation with Variety Gaming he said that the Mad Box would ship in about three years, be available worldwide, and be its own standalone console like the Xbox One₹ 4,299 and PS4. It would also work with most VR headsets in the market. The Mad Box price, Bell said, would be on par with upcoming console prices.
“It will support most major VR headsets and those upcoming and the specs will be equivalent to a very fast PC two 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.”
What’s more is, Slightly Mad has no plans to give developers incentives to make exclusives for the Mad Box.
“We think the industry is a little too much of a monopoly or a micro oligopoly,” Bell said to Variety Gaming. “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.”
As for funding this venture, Bell stated that Slight Mad is in talks with several interested parties.
“We have multiple investors already offering the required funding for us to see the product to completion, but it’s still early days and we’re looking at the best offers right now,” Bell explained. “All that we have approached are discussing standard partial ownership investment deals.”
It will be interesting to see how close the Mad Box gets to the PS5 and next Xbox in terms of specifications. More so when both are rumoured to run bespoke next-gen AMD Navi tech. With VR being at the forefront of the Mad Box’s ambitions, it could be a dark horse in the three company console race.