Rumour: Acer to launch Wii-style PC console

Written by Ben Hardwidge

February 26, 2009 // 2:56 p.m.

Tags: #acer #agnihotry #air-mouse #atom #console #controller #gamepad #hornet #intel #ion #leaked #media #motion #nvidia #presentation #sensor #slides #sumit #wii #wiimote

Whatever you think of Nintendo’s diminutive Wii console, you can’t deny that the idea of a motion-sensing game controller has been enormously successful for the company. It’s already inspired numerous derivatives too, from the Asus Eee Stick, to the Logitech MX Air, and now Acer looks like it’s going to get in on the wand-waving action with a small form factor PC called the Hornet that comes with a familiar-looking gamepad controller.

Donanimhaber has just leaked some slides detailing the Hornet, which the site says will be based on Nvidia’s Ion platform. In the slides, the device is shown to come with a game controller that can also act as an “air mouse” and “home media controller.”

Unlike the Wii, the Hornet will also have an HDMI output according to the presentation, and it will also have the ability to play various PC games. However, given that the Ion GPU only has 16 stream processors, it won’t be able to play them at particularly high settings.

Even so, the ability to playback HD movies as well as functioning as a PC and games machine would make the Hornet quite a versatile, low-budget machine, especially if it genuinely only costs “couple hundreds [sic] dollars” as it says in the presentation.

Acer was unable to comment on the slides, but did say that the company would be launching some new product designs in Amsterdam in April. Whether the Hornet will be among them is as yet unconfirmed, but the company has previously expressed an interest in building Ion-based products in the second half of this year.

In a recent interview with Laptopmag, Acer’s vice president of product marketing, Sumit Agnihotry, commented on Nvidia’s Ion platform, saying that “the benefits are great, including the ability to play back high def content. You will see us looking at this technology much closer in our second half products.”

Nvidia wouldn’t confirm whether the Hornet would definitely feature an Ion motherboard, saying that we would have to ask Acer, but the lack of any kind of denial makes it look as though Acer has an Ion-based PC in the works.

Could an Ion-based PC with a motion-sensing controller be a hit for Acer, or would it come across as a “me too” device? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

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