CES 2013: Ubisoft and Lenovo

by: John -
More On: CES 2013
Over at the Venetian’s Aquanox, I met with representatives of both Ubisoft and Lenovo. Lenovo developed a tabletop computer and partnered up with one of Ubisoft’s studios, RedLynx to create some nice casual and social games for the IdeaCentre Horizon Tabletop PC.
The Intel Core i7 processor powers the massive 27” 1920x1080 backlit display. It’s actually got its own battery, which is kind of interesting and it can last up to 2 hours unplugged. For space, there’s 1TB of hard drive space and 8GB of memory is on board.
Powered by Windows 8, you’ll have the ModernUI when the whole thing sits upright. There’s a sensor that knows when it’s tilt down to a table top mode and that’s when a different, more social UI is presented with a radial dial in the middle to choose various types of programs to run. It’s pretty impressive when you sit next to it and I didn’t feel any heat emanating from the setup.
Now, with this type of product, Lenovo was looking for some good content to utilize it when it ships. They went with RedLynx, who created three little games that allow for folks to gather around and play like on board games.
Raiding Company was shown first to me and it’s a dual stick top down shooter, similar to Smash TV.. Four people can play at once as you go around shooting enemies and gathering up treasures and upgrades. 
Lenovo was nice enough to make some peripherals though to enhance the experience. There’s a suction cup jostick that you place over any of the controller areas onscreen and you can use that to move around or aim where you shoot. It gives it a more arcade feel and makes moving a lot simpler than trying to use the touch screen.
DrawRace2 was a nice little casual racing game whereby you draw your path around the track and use a button to simply turbo when needed. It was rather fun to see the different paths each person took and to strategically turbo to try and get into the lead.
King of Opera is a very simplistic game where there’s a spotlight and up to four opera singers running around the board. They constantly rotate and only move forward when you push a button. You try and get into the spotlight or bump the person out of the spotlight. Only when you are in the spotlight do you earn points. 
All the games have a good high quality look and use propriety or the Unity engine to power them. Each game is also easy to jump in and play, making it so no one gets frustrated into figuring out how to play well. These games were made to get people together and enjoy playing simple, yet fun games with a unique setup in the IdeaCentre Horizon Tabletop PC. 
In conjunction with the peripherals that Lenovo is creating for the computer such as the joystick I mentioned and even some dice, you have a very unique and fun experience that can be had by people sitting around it together. With RedLynx and Ubisoft, they also have some good quality software at launch to boot.

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