12 years after its arguably timely death, an obscure video game console called the Zeebo lives again thanks to the efforts of an emulator developer. Well, sort of, anyway.
The Zeebo was released in Brazil and Mexico in 2009 as the very first digital-only video game console. Built to spec with Qualcomm's BREW development platform, the Zeebo was intended to sell mobile-style games in regions where imports of more popular consoles were often prohibitively expensive. Despite hosting games from franchises as massive as FIFA, Crash Bandicoot, and Resident Evil, poor quality hardware and software ensured that the system never really found an audience, and it was discontinued in 2011.
But now, a Zeebo emulator is currently in very early development courtesy of a dev who goes by Tuxality. It has not yet been publicly released, but you can see it booting Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D in the video below - albeit with some severe graphical corruption. As with pretty much any emulation project, its progress is entirely dependent on the time its developer can manage to spare.
But honestly, any progress on Zeebo emulation is a sight to behold. This is a console that's darn-near unheard of in English-speaking corners of the world, and with a library almost exclusively filled with games no reasonable person should ever want to play. Yet somehow, the Zeebo has managed to develop a community of fans that seem to only partly be in it for the memes.
If you want to know more about the Zeebo, your best resource is probably the videos produced by the excellent YouTube channel Stop Skeletons From Fighting. Those videos include a feature-length breakdown of the console's history and an ongoing series reviewing every single game available for the platform. While there aren't many Zeebo games that look appealing to play, there is a surprisingly solid version of Double Dragon here, as well as a Resident Evil 4 port so legendary fans modded its enemies into the remake.
Zeebo won't make a list of the best video game consoles, but it's up there among gaming history's most interesting footnotes.