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Cryptocurrency Zilliqa is launching a Web3 gaming console in 2023

Popular cryptocurrency Zilliqa is launching its own Web3 games console for 2023. It will reportedly allow players to earn coins while playing its exclusive titles. Does this model have the potential to take off within the industry?

While we hear constant talk of the impending Metaverse, Web3 isn’t discussed nearly as much.

Both envision hyper-connected worlds for business and entertainment, but crucially the Web3 will be decentralised so no one entity is controlling the flow of information or servers – you could call it ‘anti Silicon Valley’.

It’s within this space that blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, and NFTs will thrive, in theory.

In terms of the timeline for both digital spheres, we’re still very much in the early knockings, meaning companies are vying to innovate now so they’re established as key players when Web3 inevitably takes off.

Given that gaming is far and away the most lucrative entertainment industry out there, it’s no surprise that decentralised companies are trying to get in on the action already.

Zilliqa’s upcoming Web3 console

One such organisation entering the fray is Zilliqa, a proprietor of blockchain tech which owns its own cryptocurrency called ZIL.

Last week, the company unveiled its prototype for a gaming console that will operate exclusively within the decentralised space.

It’s not firmware – like Decentraland or Dom Hofmann’s upcoming Supdrive – but rather a full-blown piece of hardware akin to the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X. It features HDMI, Ethernet, USB-C, USB 3.0 connections, and presumably its own controller.

We’re not sure whether or not Zilliqa plans to enter the conventional gaming market, but it has revealed that exclusive games will be developed to suit its USP.

If you’re wondering exactly what that is, Zilliqa will tailor its games and console’s UI so that players receive ZIL tokens for completing specific in-game tasks.

While most games today utilise in-game currency that is earned and spent within that specific experience – or titles across a publisher’s own roster, like Ubisoft – in this case ZIL tokens would be redeemable across all games and within its own Zilliqa store.

That means you could complete tasks on a certain game and earn ZIL, then load up another and use it to unlock that game’s bonus content. Within a recent press release, a spokesperson even claimed that the console ‘can eventually pay for itself,’ as ZIL is a recognised cryptocurrency.

Zilliqa also plans to incorporate a system where unique auto-generated content like avatar items or weapon skins can be bought and sold on the console store.

‘With the backing of Zilliqa’s large crypto community and the easy-to-use infrastructure, we have no doubt that we can become the Steam equivalent for Web3 games,’ says chief of gaming Valentin Cobelea.

Will the gaming community take to this concept?

If it can be tapped into, the gaming community is an absolute goldmine for profits. But, equally, a few poorly considered decisions can kill a project stone dead.

While the financial incentive for gamers is obviously an interesting one with a lot of possibilities, any tangible success for Zilliqa will likely come down to the quality of the games on offer.

It plans to launch with two native titles including a first-person shooter dubbed WEB3WAR, but we’ve yet to see how impressive (or subpar) these projects are likely to be. Thankfully, it sounds as though Zilliqa understands the importance of delivering an enjoyable experience first and foremost.

‘We compare ourselves to the Counter-Strikes of the world, where the focus is on the gaming experience and not the earning part. If you have fun, you enjoy the game, and then you are rewarded,’ says Cobelea.

Of course, there will be sections of the community that do not want ecommerce to intrude into their escapist hobby at all, but it’s down to Zilliqa to establish the right balance. It could work like Microsoft rewards on Xbox, where a small notification reveals a completed a task and then quickly vanishes.

If I had to place a bet, despite the intriguing concept here, recent history suggests that the odds are firmly stacked against Zilliqa from the offset.

The pushback Good Luck Games received back in March when acquired by crypto company FTX shows that gamers are still hesitant to trust the intentions of financially aligned companies. After the acquisition, reviews on Steam nosedived dramatically and have yet to recover.

Only time will tell if gamers can be brought onside, but one thing is for sure: companies will keep pushing to make bank from the next iteration of the internet.