A few weeks ago, the CEO of Project CARS developer Slightly Mad Studios, Ian Bell, surprised the gaming world by revealing his company is developing a brand new console called the Mad Box. Skeptics were quick to jump in, but Bell has remained steadfast in his vision: he talked about developer support, hardware goals, and briefed the world on a general design philosophy when he revealed concept images of the console itself. Today, Ian Bell has shown the world what he’d like the Mad Box controllers to look like, too.
It looks like the majority of the controller’s top is actually one big LED screen, and it’s capable of highlighting various buttons to help guide the player through the control schemes of games. It looks like it’ll also show battery life, something gamers might want to keep an eye on if the controller is constantly powering a huge LED display.
The image shown above also reveals a drastically different Mad Box console design concept than what Ian Bell previously released, though a strong focus on LED-intensive design remains. This is a theme that has evidently carried right on through to the controllers, which feature several LED lights and a huge display that apparently doubles as a touch screen, since it can be used as a keyboard.
First look at the Mad Box controller concept. Enjoy! pic.twitter.com/7vlEgcTckC
— Ian Bell SMS Group (@bell_sms) January 21, 2019
Bell followed up on the tweet with another image that revealed the underside of the controller will feature a trigger button at the top, and two rear paddles near where the index finger will rest on the grip. When one consumer commented that the controller looked huge, Bell stated that it was smaller than it looks – though it’s hard to judge without another object for scale.
Interestingly, he also revealed that Mad Box Studios has some fairly bold plans for online support: he’s considering integrating a system where gamers earn credits for every hour spent online, which they could then redeem for ‘real world money’ or, presumably, in-store items. He admits the system would rely on ad revenue, but pointed to the success of websites like YouTube as an inspiration.
The Mad Box console is a long way from release, and Slightly Mad Studios is evidently considering many options for its ambitious entry to the console market. The company is certainly off to a better start than Soulja Boy’s console attempts, but any final product is likely years away – and it’s a far guarantee from success.