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New game console will have integrated wallet and cryptocurrency mining



First-tier blockchain Zilliqa is getting ready to dive into the world of Web3 gaming, with the launch of a gaming console and hub. A prototype version of the console was unveiled on Thursday, featuring a sleek design with a variety of inputs including HDMI, Ethernet, USB-C and USB 3.0 connections.

Full specs for the console remain under wraps, though Zilliqa highlights its ease of use, including a cryptocurrency wallet and built-in mining to “hide the complexity of Web3 from the end user,” according to a shared press release.

Zilliqa engineers spent six months in the research phase, designing and testing the console with the intention of seamlessly integrating aspects of Web3 – crypto wallet, mining software, blockchain technology – into a recognizable gaming experience.

Zilliqa “takes the approach of hiding the complexity of creating the embedded Web3 wallet,” said Valentin Cobelea, Zilliqa’s head of gaming technology. Cobelea pointed to the example of the NBA Top Shot collection of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) as a reference to emulate.

Players will be able to earn Zilliqa Tokens (ZIL) by completing missions, tasks, and play-to-earn missions in the games. In this case, tokens can be considered similar to coins or rewards in traditional games, but with the added functions of blockchain technology.

Additionally, Zilliqa noted that “players will be able to mine ZIL tokens,” a process they anticipate will “lead to greater decentralization of the Zilliqa blockchain, expanding the number of miners globally.”

On the subject of how much revenue players can earn, both for qualifying stakes and mining, Cobelea said their income “depends on how good the players are, and the amount they earn will reflect that.”

While Zilliqa has yet to release pricing details for the console, it claims the console “may eventually pay for itself”.

What is Zilliqa?

Zilliqa, founded in 2017 and launched two years later on the mainnet, is a tier-one smart contract blockchain. In recent months, it has aggressively pursued efforts to expand its influence in the gaming sphere, joining the Blockchain Gaming Alliance (BGA) in April of this year and forging partnerships with eSports teams MAD Lions, RRQ, and most recently Alien Worlds and XBorg.

Zilliqa’s partnership with esports organization Web3 XBorg will see the XBorg community help with game tournament creation and marketing efforts, as well as receiving beta access to test the Zilliqa game hub in October.

After this testing phase, the game console is scheduled to launch in Q1 2023, with the joint release of two native Zilliqa titles, including the first-person shooter (FPS) WEB3WAR.

The growth of Web3 games

Web3 games revolve around the principle that players must have full autonomy and ownership over their acquired assets, using blockchain technology such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

With cryptographically unique NFTs representing game assets such as weapons, skins, and emblems, the idea is that the player can own their digital property, sell it, or even migrate it between virtual worlds in the nascent metaverse.

But early adopters of blockchain gaming technology faced a backlash from skeptics in the mainstream gaming community, who raised concerns about the consequences of financialization for the gaming experience, the environmental impact of blockchain, and the effects of play-to-earn games on consumers in emerging markets.

Cobelea told Decrypt that Zilliqa does not plan to replicate the exact model of games like Axie Infinity, which – at least for a while – allowed players in some Asian countries to earn a living wage.

“We don’t want to compare ourselves to the Axie approach, but rather to the Counter-Strikes of the world, where the focus is on the gaming experience and not the profit part,” he said. “If you have fun, you enjoy the game, and then you get rewarded.”

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