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"Plans for Linux Game Console End"

A start-up company called Indrema failed to receive funding to continue its operations, and
with it, went a proposed open source video game console along with the hopes and dreams of
hundreds of independent game developers. Indrema had hoped to enter a marketplace already
crowded with industry giants like Sony and Nintendo and the impending release of
Microsoft's X-Box console system.

The L600 console was a set-top box that was going to perform a wide range of entertainment
functions. Indrema had planned it as a multi-function device capable of playing games,
downloading MP3 files from the Internet and even playing streaming video. It had been
scheduled for a late spring release and was going to be competitively priced at $299.

At its height, Indrema had nearly 50 employees most of which had already been released in
the last few weeks. The few remaining employees will also be let go in the very near
future. The problems for Indrema, which was founded by CEO John Gildred with his own
money, can be directly traced to the demise of the stock of many tech companies. With the
market in a state of turmoil, it became impossible for Indrema to receive the outside
funding they had been desperately seeking.

Indrema was founded in January of 2000 and had hoped to capitalize on the support of
hundreds of independent and small game developers who are unable to secure development
deals with the large console companies such as Sony and Nintendo. They had also hoped to
receive support from the entire Linux community as the L600 was based around the freely
available OS.

Unfortunately, although it was receiving a great deal of attention from small developers
and the media, the timing for the console couldn't have been much worse. The game console
market, which was already over crowded with new machines, was getting ready for the
anticipated Microsoft X-Box. Also, long time industry veteran Sega was having such a
difficult time that they recently decided to stop future developments of hardware to
concentrate on developing software for the other consoles. This was certainly a factor
for potential investors looking at the possibilities that Indrema would be profitable.

Like the other console makers who lose money on their hardware, Indrema had hoped to make
money by charging developers a fee to test and evaluate their software for certification.
In the short time since its introduction, Indrema had amassed a community of about 100
developers with hundreds of project in the works. Many of the developers are planning to
continue work on their projects although they are porting them to PCs running Linux.

Indrema had a great idea but was fighting what was ultimately a losing battle. For now,
independent and small developers will again focus their attention to the PC platform,
which is perhaps their only viable solution for high performance games.

  - by Clayton Crooks

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