Elonex iGame Family September 2009
Elonex iGame games console and iPod dock
The Elonex iGame Family is two devices in one: a dock to let you play your iPod through your TV, and a simple-but-fun games console. It’s not a match for the Nintendo Wii, but it’s family-friendly and not too expensive. Find out how the Elonex iGame performed in our first look review.
This article, Elonex iGame Family, was last updated on 01 September 2009 and is now out of date and held in our online archive for reference. Explore our latest Technology articles.
With its all-white colour scheme and motion sensing controller, the Elonex iGame has obviously been inspired by the Nintendo Wii. However, don’t expect it to be able to compete with the best of the Wii's gaming repertoire: the iGame is a more basic affair, as its price (£79) reflects.
The iGame is supplied with just one motion-sensitive controller – a shame, since it’s definitely aimed at family multiplayer gaming, and an extra controller would have been a welcome addition to the package, though extra controllers can be bought separately. The controller is very similar to the ones used with the Nintendo Wii, though it’s smaller and feels cheaper. The device itself isn’t unappealing, but the build quality feels rather plasticky.
Setting up the Elonex iGame is a simple process – once you’ve connected the cables to the TV it’s easy to get going, and the quick-start guide is clear and easy to follow.
Games on the Elonex iGame
The games that are included with the iGame are rather basic compared with those available on other consoles, both in terms of gameplay and graphics. The best of them are undeniably fun – such as tennis, bowling and darts – though they may lack long-term appeal.
However, Elonex will also be offering an online store where users can download new games for a few pounds, which will significantly add to the appeal. It's hoping that independent software developers will be encouraged to write their own games, and sell them through the online store – rather like Apple's extremely successful .
Connecting your iPod to the Elonex iGame
But the iGame does more than just play games: it’s also a multimedia dock for your iPod. This makes it an alternative to traditional docks with built-in speakers – see our comprehensive speaker dock reviews for more info on these.
The iGame's dock works well, letting you play your music and video collection through your TV – though of course the sound quality will depend on how good your TV’s speakers are, and it’s important to remember that video that looks fine on your iPod’s tiny screen may not look so good when you display it on a full-sized television.
You can use the iGame controller to pick and choose what to listen to via an on-screen menu, which works well despite looking a little basic. Elonex also claims to be working on an update that will let you play your existing iPod applications via the television – this is intended to be released as a free download. This would be an effective solution for listening to your iPod in your living room, providing that your TV is connected to some good-quality speakers.
Elonex iGame: our verdict
Although dedicated gamers will get more out of a Nintendo Wii – even if it's a little more costly – the iGame may be worth a look for the more casual user, especially if you have younger children and you’re a keen iPod user. However, it remains to be seen whether the online game store will provide sufficient good-quality games to significantly boost the iGame’s appeal.
It's available from www.igamefamily.com, selected HMV stores from 1 September 2009 and major retailers from the 3rd week of September 2009.