So I’ve been thinking about the performance capabilities of the Zonbu.
A 1.2 GHz machine, not long ago, was a kick ass bit of kit. I gamed on much more humble machines “back in the day”.
Even today, as we’ve discovered in this blog, you can do some pretty heavy lifting and multitasking with the Zonbu, despite what some of the casual reviewers suggest.
Which got me thinking, some of the best PC games I ever played were on much slower systems. And many of them are now open source…
First up, of course, is the perennial classic Doom.
Frankly, you don’t really have a funky new Linux platform until someone ports Doom to it.
Hell, my Nokia N800 has Doom on it. I kid you not.
I think this should be included in the base distribution, albeit with the ability for a parent to disable it, as it might be a but much for younger users.
Good games never go out of style
There are lots of other great titles that might be available, or that there are open source equivalents for.
I’m not going to go hunting around, but to jog readers memories, games like the early Command and Conquer, Pirates, Super Mario Bros., Racing Destruction Set, Duke Nuke’m, Quake, Unreal and legions of others could be viable on the Zonbu.
Great gameplay is great gameplay and never out of style.
I’d even be willing to pay for a “games pack” that brought these titles to the box and made it more enjoyable.
Some good options are already included
I’m not going to detail them here, but a really nice cross section of games is already included, I just think things like Doom would add a lot.
The billiards title is very good, the chess is nice and so on. I enjoyed the Tetris clone and the super Breakout version took me waaaaaay back.
I’ll talk more about those in another post, but I would be remiss to not recognize the work that has already been done here.
This box has some nice 3D graphics capabilities and 64MB of shared VRAM – lets put that to good use.
As a conversation starter, here is the Gamespy list of Top 50 games of all time.
See if you agree and let us hear what games you loved that could possibly run on the Zonbu.
“This box has some nice 3D graphics capabilities and 64MB of shared VRAM – lets put that to good use.”
–Are Compiz/Beryl desktop effects enabled? If not can you enable them?
There is no sign of them so far.
I was doing some research on that today actually.
There are some impressive videos on YouTube and GoogleVideo, showcasing what it can do.
There is a nice window transparency function enabled by default, but that is the extent of visual effects I’ve seen. I’m not sure a full Compiz type solution fits with the sleek design philosophy of the Zonbu, but it would be a nice option…
You may have to go Mac Mini for that kind of power.
The one main Beryl effect I use all the time is the zoom function, mostly to make the Youtube video box bigger. It would be nice to have that on the Zonbu, which will for many people end up being mostly a surfing machine.
Well that is the nice thing is Beryl/Compiz is infinitely configurable… in the Linux-goes-way-overboard department.
However, that may mean it can be slimmed down and effects that are “cheaply” supported in the hardware might be made available and others hidden. Just a thought.
Does the Zonbu have abuse installed/available? It is side scrolling shoot-em up, I played in the old DOS days but it has been ported to Linux/SDL.
I highly reccomend it.