In a gaming world dominated by consoles like the PSP and Gameboys, HCL comes with its latest “innovation”, launching ME Gaming devices, which are powered by ‘analytical and brain training games’. HCL claims this series of seven portable consoles, ranging from Rs. 799 to Rs. 4990, to be the first ‘Converged Handheld Gaming Console.

The first five consoles of the series, starting from the cheapest one, have number of games ranging from 25 to 100 with no additional memory card slot, while the other two support up to 2GB and 4GB external memory and 5MP cameras. Yet there is no confirmation as to whether the consoles come with a fixed amount of games or users could also download new ones.

The claim of ‘Converged’ handheld gaming console – whatever that means – seems rather shaky to me: the PSP already very prevalent in the modern era offers a great gaming experience along, with a widescreen experience and excellent graphics. A search on YouTube for videos showcasing gameplay on the ME gaming console revealed nothing, and all we have to go by, are images on the HCL Store, here. Also the 8 and 16 bit graphic gaming idea sounds low-end to me, reminds me of my days with tetris and other block games on my beloved single cell powered black and white ‘video-game’. A little too late to get into that business?

These devices can be used for watching movies, listening to music and recording videos, and it sounds more like a mobile phone without phone capabilities. Its a range of Green&Teen gaming product based on green technology for users of the age group of 4 to 15. 100% recyclable it would not only aim at entertaining the masses but also serve as an educational tool with games that would enhance the users analytical abilities.

Even though from the pricing of these devices is reasonable, unless I hold one of these in my own hands and am fully satisfied with the gaming experience, I would rather save money and for a PSP or Gameboy advanced; at least I would have the assurance that I am getting my money’s worth. Another drawback that I couldn’t help but notice is the lack of any mention of multi-player gaming.

It’s interesting that HCL’s attempt to break into the gaming world carries a pitch that it is a learning experience for its users – that’s probably meant to convince the parents, more than potential gamers.