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True, it may be for BRIC and other emerging markets, but that doesn’t take away from the fantastic achievement that is the Zeebo game console. While relatively low-tech in terms of its gaming specs (it outputs 640×480 graphics via RCA cables), the system has a very contemporary game delivery system, using a free 3G service to allow gamers to purchase and download titles. Think something like this would take a miracle to get off the ground? Maybe there already was one. More info after the clicky thingie…

The Zeebo has officially launched in Brazil, and launches in other parts of Latin America and Asia in the near future. The brainchild of Qualcomm’s Mike Yuen and Tectoy’s Reinaldo Normand, Zeebo is the answer to the question of how to make gaming accessible to the billion or so people in the world’s emerging markets. The 3G delivery system means that landline-based phone or internet connections aren’t required, and also reduces the possibility of game piracy, since the console is hard-wired to talk to the ZeeboNet game delivery network via 3G.

What’s more, the console has four titles embedded in memory: EA’s FIFA 09 Soccer and Need for Speed Carbon, Brain Challenge by Gameloft and Prey Evil by 3D Realms / Machineworks. A fifth title, ID’s Quake, can be downloaded for free once gamers get the system home, up and running. Zeebo’s website lists another 15 titles available for download, including Crash Bandicoot, Crazy Taxi and Pacmania, among others. Yes…major publishers are on board. And why not? When you’re talking about a market of a billion people in the not-too-distant future, titles that sell for $5 – $15 (the cost of Zeebo games) can add up to staggering revenues for publishers.

The Zeebo console itself sells for about $200 in Brazil, weighs just 2 lbs (less than the Xbox 360’s power brick) and uses only 1 watt of power.

You have to give the folks behind Zeebo major props for launching a fourth console in such a way that actually makes it affordable long-term for gamers. Now the question is how long before those emerging markets start to demand more cutting-edge gaming and Zeebo announces a next-gen title to compete with the Big Three?

Zeebo, Inc.