Taipei, Taiwan and Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 08 January 2004 - VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator and developer of silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions, and Apex Digital, Inc., the foremost manufacturer and marketer of consumer electronics in the USA, today launched the ApeXtreme personal gaming console at the Consumer Electronics Show 2004, booth CEN13639, and at a private press event in Las Vegas, a ground-breaking living room console that bridges the gap between high performance PCs and game consoles.

“The ApeXtreme PC gaming console smashes the boundaries of living room entertainment by bringing full throttle PC gaming to the TV, and enabling digital audio and video to be experienced at their finest,” said Wenchi Chen, President and CEO, VIA Technologies, Inc. “The superlative market reach of Apex Digital and cutting edge technologies from VIA and S3 Graphics combine to drive the new market paradigm for the connected home.”

Setting new standards in console gaming with Hi-Def DX9 graphics and VIA Vinyl 6-channel surround sound, the stylish ApeXtreme also offers a whole host of digital entertainment capabilities, such as playing DVDs, VCDs, audio CDs, MP3s, Internet radio and slideshows, making it the complete personal gaming and entertainment console for the living room.

"Personal Gaming Consoles are an exciting new market category, bringing for the first time thousands of PC games to the living room,” said Dr. Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research, the leading multimedia market research firm in Tiburon, California. “The ApeXtreme provides an excellent solution for opening up this segment by delivering a rich experience at CE price points."

The ApeXtreme is based on the new VIA Glory Personal Gaming Console Platform, a dedicated interoperable platform of key VIA and S3 Graphics technologies aimed at reducing product development costs and expediting time to market for system builders, enabling them to deliver the power and performance of PC gaming and entertainment into the living room.

“The ApeXtreme takes console gaming to the highest level yet by offering the PC gaming experience at living room console prices,” said Steve Brothers, President, Apex Digital, Inc. “While other companies are experimenting with the Personal Gaming Console concept, we are making it happen thanks to the VIA Glory Personal Gaming Console Platform.”

About the ApeXtreme Personal Gaming Console

The ApeXtreme offers a truly immersive 3D gaming experience through the S3 Graphics DeltaChrome graphics accelerator that includes native Hi-Def HDTV support for superior visuals, the V8 8-pixel pipeline 3D engine running at a blistering 2.4 Giga-pixels per second fill rate, hardware implementation of DirectX 9.0 and beyond (Pixel/Vertex shader 2.0+), and the powerful and flexible Chromotion programmable video engine with ingenious post processing capabilities. The user experience is made even more realistic through the VIA Vinyl Six-TRAC Audio with enhanced sound positioning technology, providing support for theatre-like six-channel surround sound.

The ApeXtreme PC Gaming Console runs with the Microsoft® Windows® XP Embedded operating system and automatically detects and plays DVD and VCD movies, audio CDs and slide shows or pictures from a CD through Windows Media Player from a home network or optical drive, or from the system’s 20GB hard drive. Optimized for game console like operation, the ApeXtreme is ready to play within in a matter of seconds after switching it on and can be operated via game pad or keyboard and mouse.

The ApeXtreme PC gaming console is designed to fit into a living room or den with its sleek, low profile design and quiet operation. The front panel has a DVD drive slot for CDs or DVDs, standard DVD playback control buttons and four easily accessible USB 2.0 ports at the front for multiple PC game control pads or keyboard and mouse combinations. The back panel includes 6-channel surround sound connectors, an additional two USB 2.0 ports for extra connectivity, such as to a wireless network, a high-speed Ethernet (LAN) port, a modem connector and complete connectivity to all types of TVs.

About the VIA Glory Personal Gaming Console Platform

The VIA Glory Personal Gaming Console Platform extends the boundaries of living room entertainment by enabling the powerful graphics and digital audio available on the PC to be experienced through a standard TV and Hi-Fi set-up. A key element of the new VIA Spearhead Platform Initiative, the VIA Glory Platform is targeted at OEMs to help bring innovative personal gaming consoles to market quickly, easily and more cost effectively.

The VIA Glory Platform is built around the most advanced digital media technologies from VIA, comprising a 1.4GHz VIA C3™ processor, the VIA CN400 digital media chipset, S3 Graphics’ DeltaChrome Hi-Def DX9 graphics processor, VIA Vinyl 6-channel surround sound audio, the VIA VT8237 South Bridge and a host of VIA companion chips for USB 2.0 and Ethernet (LAN) for high speed connectivity.

Additionally, the VIA Glory Platform integrates various software suites developed by VIA that enhance the user’s experience through, for example, auto detecting and loading PC games with a minimum of time and effort from the user. As a native x86 platform, it is compatible with all recent Microsoft® Windows® and a variety of Linux operating systems and is able to use additional third party middleware.

More information may be found at: www.via.com.tw/en/VInternet/gloryplatform.jsp.

Availability of the ApeXtreme PC Gaming Console

The ApeXtreme PC Gaming Console comes in two flavors priced at US$299 and US$399 respectively. It will be available from a range of Apex Digital retailers and distributors; more information can be found at: www.apexdigitalinc.com/retailers.asp.



About Apex Digital, Inc.

Headquartered in Ontario, California, Apex Digital, Inc. is the USA’s leading manufacturer and marketer of DVD home entertainment players and a fast-growing supplier of analog and digital televisions. Founded in 1999 by David Ji and Ancle Hsu, privately held Apex Digital, Inc. expects to exceed US$1 billion in sales for 2003. The company’s products are carried in over 20,000 retail outlets nationwide. For more information about Apex Digital, Inc. go to www.apexdigitalinc.com.

About S3 Graphics, Inc.

S3 Graphics, Inc., a VIA Technologies, Inc. joint venture company, is a leading supplier to the 3D enabled PC graphics market it pioneered. Today, S3 Graphics ships low power, high performance, Commercial Grade 3D graphics sub-systems to top tier notebook manufacturers. In addition, S3 Graphics integrates market-leading chipset technology from VIA into shared memory architecture products for the high volume, value PC market. Headquartered in Fremont, California, S3 Graphics has a long-term commitment to top performance, quality and state-of-the-art features for desktop and mobile applications. Additional information can be found at the Company’s website at www.s3graphics.com.

About VIA Technologies, Inc.

VIA Technologies, Inc. (TSE 2388) is the foremost fabless supplier of market-leading core logic chipsets, low power x86 processors, advanced connectivity, multimedia, networking and storage silicon, and complete platform solutions that are driving system innovation in the PC and embedded markets. Headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, VIA’s global network links the high tech centers of the US, Europe and Asia, and its customer base includes the world’s top OEMs, motherboard vendors and system integrators. www.via.com.tw