China's Lenovo to launch video games console

China's IT giant Lenovo has said it will launch a video games console this year to vie with Nintendo's Wii, Microsoft's XBox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3 in the booming motion-gaming market.

The company - China's biggest computer maker - has developed a prototype of the eBox console and has set up a new company called Beijing eedoo Technology Ltd. to produce and market it.

The eBox, which can be connected to high-definition television sets and the Internet, is a controller-free console that can be operated by gestures, according to a statement sent by Lenovo to AFP on Monday.

The Lenovo console "targets the entertainment needs of 120 million Chinese urban households" and will be released by the end of this year in China, the company said.

It will then be unveiled gradually in the Asia-Pacific region and other overseas markets, the company said.

The eBox would be the second in the world to operate with motion-sensor technology, with Microsoft due to launch its Kinect system for the XBox 360 on November 4.

No financial details about Lenovo's investment in the new product or the new company were disclosed.

Lenovo's foray into the video game sector is the company's latest move to diversify its business into new product types including smartphones and tablet computers.

The company launched LePhone, its first signature mobile product, earlier this year.

At the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, Lenovo unveiled a hybrid personal computer called the IdeaPad U1 - a laptop with a screen that could be detached and used as a separate tablet computer, media reports have said.

Lenovo, which bought IBM's personal computer business in 2005, is the world's fourth-biggest PC maker by shipments behind Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Acer.

The company holds about a 30 percent share of the Chinese market, according to Chinese press reports.