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Handhelds Media Software Hardware Entertainment Games Linux

Handheld Gaming / Media-player Gadget Runs Linux 238

Posted by timothy
from the redundantly-so-yes-it-runs-linux-redundantly dept.
An anonymous reader writes "LinuxDevices has profiled a new portable game- and media-player based on embedded Linux. The GPX2-F100 features dual ARM9 processors, USB 2.0, a 3.5-inch color LCD, and support for both native and emulated games. A Linux SDK (software development kit) will be available when the device ships. Hmmm... I wonder how hard it'll be to get GPE and OPIE running on it?"
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Handheld Gaming / Media-player Gadget Runs Linux

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  • Yes, but... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Will it run Windows?
  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Sunday July 31, 2005 @06:24PM (#13209951)

    I believe that Linux will make more significant inroads into the user community via embedded devices than it ever could as a more general-purpose operating system.

    As a parallel, take the electric motor. When the electric motor first became commercially available, it was sold in catalogs as a general-purpose unit, along with various belts and pulleys to adapt it for specific tasks. Nowadays, electric motors come in all shapes and sizes, each customized for their specific tasks. Many household appliances contain electric motors that we don't think twice about. When's the last time you performed maintennce on the electric motor in your toothbrush?

    I believe computers are moving along the same route, progressing from general-purpose systems to smaller, more ubiquitous installations. I also believe Linux is suited for such a move in a way that the other OSes are not.
    • I believe that Linux will make more significant inroads into the user community via embedded devices than it ever could as a more general-purpose operating system.

      Yep.

      Or, more to the point, Linux will shine in areas where it can shed the various Windows-replacements that slow it down. Linux works great on servers because the average user doesn't ever even notice the OS that hands them their website.

      Similiarly, Linux has chances for great growth in areas where people don't mind sudden and dramatic UI change
    • The biggest reason that Linux is going to take over in the embedded space is because you don't have to pay the Microsoft Tax. If you license WinCE (who the fuck came up with that acronym? Are they still employed?) you get to pay Microsoft for every device you ship, which means that Microsoft gets much richer if you develop the next iPod. There's also the fact that WinCE is huge compared to Linux. Strip out the bloat and crap of modern distributions and you get a product that's small and efficient in a way t
      • If you license WinCE...you get to pay Microsoft for every device you ship, which means that Microsoft gets much richer if you develop the next iPod.

        The iPOd is based on a proprietary OS licensed by Apple:

        The iPod uses PortalPlayer's "Digital Media Platform", which is marketed as a turn-key solution as it includes System-On-Chip integrated circuits (ICs), a customizable firmware suite, integrated third party services, PC software, and so on. The iPod uses PortalPlayer's PP50xx chip, which contains two ARM

        • Hypothetical, dumbass.

          If the person that did invent the next "iPod" used WinCE as the OS, his scenario would have been correct. Hence, your intended counter is rendered moot and unfounded.
        • Have you heard Steve Jobs whining about the The PortalPlayer Tax? I didn't think so.

          Because PortalPlayer knows that if they piss Apple off bad enough Apple can either buy them or develop their own in house solution. And if you don't think Apple has this kind of software talent then you haven't been paying attention to the fact that they've been keeping MacOSX running on multiple hardware platforms for years in case they wanted to change.

      • The biggest reason that Linux is going to take over in the embedded space is because you don't have to pay the Microsoft Tax.

        I believe that is only the second or third reason. The number one reason is that there are no restrictions whatsoever on how you use or modify the code, other than the high-minded requirement to share your changes as others have shared theirs. Another leading reason is that the code is just darn good and packed with an amazing number of options. Yet another reason is that you do no
  • With any luck... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Retroneous (879615)
    It'll not bomb like a leadweight and will see a European release this time, too....
  • by Anonymous Coward
    i'm a gp32 owner (predecessor of this handheld), and an other gp32 owner pointed me to this post.

    he had also submitted the arrival of this handheld a week ago, but now it only got posted here cause it was on that linuxdevices? he probably didn't mention linux so it doesn't get posted?

    this is the successor of the gp32, the machine that relies on things made by the community, open for any developper since it started and most progs are completely open source (emus for a lot of systems , up to snes and sega gen
  • Kudos to them (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stormwatch (703920) <rodrigogirao&hotmail,com> on Sunday July 31, 2005 @06:25PM (#13209958) Homepage
    Got to respect a company that lists emulators among the highlights of their game system! Who else would dare to?
    • Re:Kudos to them (Score:2, Informative)

      by QJimbo (779370)
      Well, you have to remember emulation itself is perfectly legal. It's just when you download ROMs that you don't own in cart form that you're breaking copyright laws. Then again I wonder if the "download ok - share not ok" thing applies to roms on the net as well.
    • yeah, upon seeing this article, I was going to post the same thing. There's something seriously wrong with a console who's only claim to fame is emulation. It seems like a better deal to me to just buy the console it emulates. But then again, I'm not a software pirate.
      • upon seeing this article, I was going to post the same thing. There's something seriously wrong with a console who's only claim to fame is emulation. It seems like a better deal to me to just buy the console it emulates. But then again, I'm not a software pirate.

        Bitter, are we? No, that is far from the main claim to fame. The Linux SDK ranks well ahead of that (think third-party apps) and you have to admit, the unit looks lovely, the specs are lovely. If it comes out for less than $300 they won't be able
      • You really take an Atari 2600 hand held, a Genesis hand held, a NES hand held, and a TG16 hand held on the plane with you? With all those carts? And I have to ask...Where did you find the Vectrex and Amiga hand helds?!?!?!?

        Ohhhhh!!!! Your a troll!!!!! I see.
  • by Cpt_Kirks (37296) on Sunday July 31, 2005 @06:31PM (#13209975)
    When are companies going to realize this type of device (Video, MP3, Gaming) needs a fucking HARD DRIVE?

    I mean it's not like tiny hard drives don't exist.

    At LEAST make it an option!

    • "When are companies going to realize this type of device (Video, MP3, Gaming) needs a fucking HARD DRIVE?"

      Hmm yeah, a CF slot would have been nice. Then again, a $200 PocketPc would get you what you want. At least for the video bit. For gaming and music, 1 gig cards are easily available and affordable. You're only going to get 4x that with a CF card. If you want more, prepare yourself for a less portable and more expensive device. That said, the $700 20 gig Archos unit is pretty neat.
    • Adding a microdrive is going to add $200 to the price. Things like the Life Drive seem kind of nifty, but there are several new laptops available at that price.
      • What about a CF slot? That wouldn't add much to the price, and it may actually drop it in price from an SD slot. (Granted, CF IS bigger...)

        Then, you could put a MicroDrive in if you wanted one.
    • you can already buy 5GB drives inside CF cards, its just a matter of time before someone manages to squeeze a single 1GB platter inside a SD card.
    • I mean it's not like tiny hard drives don't exist.

      At LEAST make it an option!

      It has USB and it can have the filesystems module to mount paritions off a USB hard drive.

      Personally I like the idea of no moving parts in something that can be easily dropped.

      • It has a USB _client_ port, that probably works as a usbstorage client device.

        This means you can use the console as a removable drive, not that you can attach removable drives to the console.
    • Then decided the downsides (physical size and battery life) outweighed the benefits.

      CF slots are a hell of a lot larger than SD slots.
    • I suspect the comany in this instance knows exactly what it is doing. Which is not taking on IPod etc, beause a small Korean comany is likely to have little to no success in doing so.

      The company have stated that they are considering it for their next generation, although really I think this is excessive.

      I don't think you understand the nature of the device, and why SD cards are in this instance are more appropriate. obvious ones being Cost(Ecomomy of scale,Commodity device sub $200), Future-proofing, Lo

    • by S3D (745318)
      Add a camera to it and I'm sold. Really, Photo browser without camera kind of useless. Camera would make it perfect mobile augmented reality [uni-weimar.de] platform
  • by natrius (642724) <niran@NOspam.niran.org> on Sunday July 31, 2005 @06:31PM (#13209977) Homepage
    Consumers want their consoles to have open development platforms whether they know it or not. Imagine the kinds of things people would have done with the PSP right now if Sony actually allowed it. It's understandable why they don't: they make money off of games sales that go through them, whereas some indie developer selling games off his website would get them nothing. The sad truth is that you'll never get such a nice piece of hardware as the PSP for a good price with an open development platform. This device looks nice, but it's missing WiFi. Instead it has a radio that only communicates with other units. I'm sure the other PSP specs are better than this device as well, but it'll be interesting to see what people can do with it when it comes out since they won't have to waste time working around firmware upgrades and the like.
    • I've seen exactly three uses of "open" or "homebrew" development:

      1. Needless desktop application functionality, such as a shell or a web browser, on a device that lacks even a keyboard.
      2. Emulators to play others' original commercial work on.
      3. Knock-offs of successful commercial games. (ObPineightResponse: But they make the games BETTER!)

      Why is it that all the innovative games (Katamari Damacy, etc) still come from big corporations? Why hasn't the Linux development community managed to break the mold tha
      • You're [happypenguin.org] kidding [linuxgames.com], right [freshmeat.net]?

        The number of innovative open source games out there is astounding. I'll put the Debian 'Games/' package section [debian.org] up against any handheld out there (sure, the GB beats it for quantity, but quality?).
        • No [meriam-webster.com], I'm [meriam-webster.com] not [meriam-webster.com]. The top listed games are ripoffs of Civilization, any FPS, Puzzle Bobble, Breakout (!!), and emulators to play other games. About the only original game that's worth playing out of that list is Nethack.

          Right now the Linux open-source gaming scene has about as much depth as a "500 games in 1" shareware CD from 1991. I'm sure in 14 years you'll have something to instill more pride in prospective users.
          • Battle for Wesnoth is hardly a ripoff, no more so than Ogre Tactics was a ripoff of Might and Magic.

            BZFlag predates almost every modern 3D FPS, and by far any FPS with as many gameplay variants as it has.

            Maybe you could call Neverball a super monkey ball ripoff, but I dont think so.

            Crossfire is an improvement, not a ripoff, and its an improvement of ANOTHER open source game.

            As to "any FPS"... which FPS might that be? I cannot recall EVER playing a good FPS on a handheld console. Now that PDAs, and embedd
        • You're joking right? I'm a linux zealot, and a gamer, but those games mostly suck.
      • Needless desktop application functionality, such as a shell or a web browser, on a device that lacks even a keyboard.

        Try telling that to Sony Computer Entertainment, which added a web browser to the PSP 2.0 firmware.

        Knock-offs of successful commercial games.

        Remember that the GNU/Linux OS itself is a knock-off of a successful commercial operating system (UNIX System V). Would you rather have this device run Windows Mobile like a Pocket PC device does?

        (ObPineightResponse: But they make the games

        • Try telling that to Sony Computer Entertainment, which added a web browser to the PSP 2.0 firmware.

          Just because Sony, one of several companies Pineight slavishly follows, adds a web browser doesn't mean that Pineight has to.

          Remember that the GNU/Linux OS itself is a knock-off of a successful commercial operating system (UNIX System V). Would you rather have this device run Windows Mobile like a Pocket PC device does?

          I would rather not give a shit what OS my handheld gaming device runs. The PlayStation 2, G
  • From someone who doesn't know the real hoopla about embedded linux - what are benefits of running linux on a handheld versus making an OS highly optimized for that thing?
    • Less developement time, and since it's open source, no licencing.
      Not to mention all the stuff that comes with linux... if you were making a product that only did one thing, like receive email, I could see writing a custom solution as something to consider, but when you have a device that you want to do LOTS of stuff, linux is good because it already does lots, and you can build on it from there. I'm assuming that's what you were asking anyways...
      • Plus GPL'd tools like uClibc and Busybox [quite the pair] make it really easy to develop and build a system that is efficient with both memory and storage. Last I heard, all of the offerings from MS on this behalf are behemoths.

        When a single kilobyte makes a difference, you're going to want the system that's already compact to begin with.

        Not to mention the fact that you've got a system with a large embedded following and a huge user support community. Slap a few dollars into most underfunded developers' han
    • Porting simple SDL-based Linux games to this device will be a breeze, since it's already Linux and SDL.
    • what are benefits of running linux on a handheld versus making an OS highly optimized for that thing?
      The application that no-one ever thought of putting on the thing at development time can be easily put on it without too much pain of porting.
    • The consumer is likely to get a much more feature rich device with linux. The designers don't have to waste energy doing things linux already provides. TCP, threads, loads of API's, gcc, etc. There's also the obvious advantage of having access to all Linux software, although this means little to many people.

      The linux kernels running on these devices are highly optimized. Access to source allows one to strip out all unneeded functionality, and these kernels compare well to custom ones. Linux has come a very

  • by soapdog (773638) on Sunday July 31, 2005 @06:41PM (#13210018) Homepage
    This device is not made by gamepark, former gamepark of gp32 fame splited in two companies, one called gamepark and the other called gamepark holdings. Most of the original gp32 team moved to the new GP Holdings company, only one of the engineers stayed on the "other" gamepark which is yet to deliver its new device. So GPX2 is the successor of G32 but is made from a different company populated by the original gp32 crew with a name much like the old company... just check any of the cool gp32 foruns like gp32x.com and check the history.
  • Price (Score:3, Insightful)

    by someguy456 (607900) <someguy456@phreaker.net> on Sunday July 31, 2005 @06:53PM (#13210066) Homepage Journal
    The best part is that the company is trying to get the final versions out for $100. I doubt that it will end up that low, but I appreciate the effort
  • Linux games? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Toby_Tyke (797359)
    Looks as though the games for this thing will be based around SDL. With a bit of luck, we might see games developed for this being ported to Linux. The only thing stopping me from ditching windows completly is games.

    The specs do look very impressive too. Over 8 hours of video playback is far better than a PSP, plus it supports Xvid, so I can rip my DVDs to an SD card for when I'm on the train.

    Just hope it gets a european release.
    • Re:Linux games? (Score:2, Informative)

      by chudgoo (812186)
      Over 8 hours of video playback is far better than a PSP...

      You realize that the screen is larger, right?
      And since you mentioned ripping DVDs you are also aware that the GP has a 4:3 screen whereas the PSP has a 16:9 screen... Unless you want to squash them into frame you'd probably be better off with a PSP.

      Mandatory Fanboy Declaration Statement!
      I own a PSP, DS (x2), GBA SP (x2)

    • As a sibling post mentions, the screen is too small. QVGA is so 2002. Even Palm does better than that now. This thing needs to be full VGA 640x480 to gain any real traction in the market.
  • Dear editors (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nekoes (613370) on Sunday July 31, 2005 @06:58PM (#13210079) Journal
    I've noticed a trend in recent stories upon slashdot.

    It's becoming popular to link to a seperate site that the user has to click through in order to get to the site the post mentions. For example this post here doesn't even mention who or what makes the device, only that linux devices is running a profile on it. In order to get any information about the device, the user must go to linux devices and use a link they provide. This could have been avoided by hotlinking GPX with the manufacturer's page.

    While this is relatively minor compared to Friday's post (http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/07/29 /2121223 [slashdot.org]) where the write up on slashdot only links to Joystiq's site, where the actual content (what the post was about) was hosted on entirely different servers. It would have been okay to link the source Joystiq, but linking the content is necessary so I don't have to jump through hoops to see what the news post is actually about.

    Thanks a lot,
    -a slashdot user
    • Meet slashvertising :/
    • It's becoming popular to link to a seperate site that the user has to click through in order to get to the site the post mentions. For example this post here doesn't even mention who or what makes the device, only that linux devices is running a profile on it.

      Quite true.

      Does anyone else here remember when the "Related Links" section filled with advertising links? Remember when the text actually told you what the link really was about?
  • by jav1231 (539129)
    The question isn't how hard it will be to get GPE or Opie loaded on it. The question is how hard will it be to even GET one. It's a two-parter: a) it's going to be priced out of the market as usual and b) it will....(wait for it) only be available in Asia! These stories make me giddy with excitement! Like going to a car show and looking at concept cars. Aren't they cool? Oh, you'll never get one.
  • I got a link to this yesterday, and my main question was what the CPU speed was. It would be nice to have full-speed SNES emulation, which the 200MHz Dreamcast is not quite capable of. If it takes throwing part of the emulator (like the sound emulation) onto the other CPU, then great, as long as someone does it.
  • PSP Movies (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DavidD_CA (750156) on Sunday July 31, 2005 @09:00PM (#13210578) Homepage
    I realize this is a bit off-topic, but today I was at Target and saw them selling a PSP version of the movie Kill Bill 2.

    Thing is, it was selling for $29.99.

    Did their market research really show them that people would be willing to pay thirty bucks for that? Will those things even play in normal DVD players?

    Even at Amazon, I see PSP movies priced at $20 and up. What's the logic here?
    • The logic here is that if you are a kid rich enough to buy a PSP (and likely more than one as it is a portable device with a moving disc--very fragile) then you are rich enough to spend tons on movies.
      • and likely more than one as it is a portable device with a moving disc--very fragile

        Right. Like portable CD players. And portable DVD players. And portable mini disc players. Hell, even iPods fall under that description. Does everyone need to buy 2 of those too, because they're so fragile?
    • Even at Amazon, I see PSP movies priced at $20 and up. What's the logic here?

      SCE* probably charges more per title and/or per copy for a license than the DVD Forum does for two reasons: the UMD Video patent portfolio is eight years (40 percent) newer than the DVD Video patent portfolio, and the format hasn't been around long enough for economies of scale to kick in. How much did DVD Video titles cost in 1997 when DVD Video first came out in North America?

    • Either people will buy it, or they won't and the price will drop. We'll see. It surprises me, but UMD movies have actually been selling damn well.
  • And it plays 720x480 at 30fps, Divx, etc?

    And let's not forget: 14 hours of battery life with music playback, 8 with movies.

    Seriously, if you were thinking about buying a PSP, expensive UMD movies (or clippled movie playback on Sony Pro Duo memory sticks), hacked emulators, and the 5-hour battery life, I think it's obvious that this is a much better choice. Not only does it lack a design that's likely to throw UMDs like Ninja stars, not only does it have great battery life, dual CPUs, and Linux, it also re
  • Close, but no cigar (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Bodhammer (559311)
    I almost bought a PSP this weekend after reading that Sony had released firmware with a browser. What stopped me was the price of 1GB memory stick at > $100. There is no way I will pay that when 1GB memory keys, CF, and SD exist at 1/2 that price.

    This device is close except for the screen size and what sounds like a proprietary wireless setup. Why are they not using 802.11?

    Oh well, I will keep looking and waiting...

    • You can actually get the Sandisk 1gb for somewhat under $100. You don't even really need all that space - good quality video comes in at about 100mb an hour, so a 512 is fine for most people.
      • Unless I'm mistaken, the point was that the memory costs too much. And it's true that it costs too much whether you're getting a 1GB card or a 512MB card. Just a quick glance at a bigtime retailer (no links because I'm not here to advertise for companies) shows that you pay a 50% premium over the cost of SD and CF for Sony's proprietary connector. I guess that's fine if one already has a PSP to feed, but for those trying to figure out the economics of buying one in the first place it's a real turn-off.
        • I guess. My real point is that you can get a 512 for less than the price of 1 game, so it doesn't strike me as that much of a big deal. The prices are too high, but they'll come down (they already have). And yes, I wish they'd used SD, but hey this is Sony. Strictly speaking it's not even proprietary, as it's used in non Sony devices and made by non Sony manufacturers.
  • GPE and OPIE (Score:3, Interesting)

    by absurdist (758409) on Sunday July 31, 2005 @09:39PM (#13210715)
    Hmmm... I wonder how hard it'll be to get GPE and OPIE running on it?"

    Well, if it's the same horrible job that Open Zaurus has done getting them done working on the Zaurus, why bother?

    Seriously. When OZ posts packages that "just need a little work" in order to run on their latest version, what chance is there of having ANY interest from the greater public, i.e. those people whose use is going to be necessary to move OZ from an interesting toy to something with mass acceptance?

    And no, this isn't a flame or a troll. It's a statement of fact. However, when I posted much the same thoughts on the OZ mailing list, I was attacked with such vitriol you'd have thought I was buggering the pope. And I've been using Linux in exhibits for a lot of years. OZ is simply not ready for prime time. And neither, sadly, I think, will be any port to this device.

    • OZ does have major issues. Especially with any of the 'less-used' Zaurui. Anything other than the 5500, C760, and C860 has major issues with OZ from my readings and experiences...

      That's the reason I maintain my own ROM for the 5600. And I'm currently working on cross-compiling Opie and getting that running on the 5600 with a generally Sharp-style ROM image (GCC 2.95, symlinks all over the filesystem, etc.) for compatibility... If everything goes well, I'll have it so it can run any app you'd normally be abl
  • I just hope this isn't doomed to bomb like the TapWave that was just reported last week.

    With no DRM and such, it just might work, or have a really good long life cycle with indie developers.

    Of course, you report this now, 3 days after I bought a 1.50 fw PSP.
    • The TapWave Zodiac bombed because it was a closed platform*, which only big companies like Nintendo and Sony can manage to pull off because of their massive first and third party support. The folks at GamePark understood that, and made their handhelds completely open. So no, it won't bomb like TapWave.

      *It was PalmOS-based, and could therefore run any PalmOS app, however the libraries needed to build real native apps were locked down and usable only by registered third parties.
  • by iignotus (877104)
    The GP32, the massively successful underground gaming device from Korea, already has hunreds upon hundreds of public domain game engines (like King of Fighters and DOOM) with games using them, as well as many programs that play DivX, WMA, OGG, MP3, display images, and emulate different systems.

    Currently SNES emulation for the 160+mHz-modded systems is full-speed without sound, and half-speed with sound (based off of snes9x). NES, Genesis and Master System emulatiors now run at FULL SPEED with sound and no
  • Wow, just imagine making a beowulf cluster out of a school bag full of them babies.
  • Sorry, but if you don't have the marketing budget of Nintendo or Sony and the developers signed you aren't going to be anything more than a curiousity. Nintendo has the handheld market sewn up and only a player like Sony can afford to chip away at that. The roadway of portable gaming is littered with cool "also ran" devices.
  • Supports captions through Microsoft's SAMI (synchronized accessible media interchange, or *.smi files, are basically Microsoft's answer to RealPlayer's *.smil or "smile" files)

    WHAT THE FUCK! SMIL is an XML mulitmedia synch language with 10 areas of functionality [w3.org]. The Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language is not from Real - although they HAVE turned themselves around and made a nice implementation, without extending it *COUGH*adobe-svg*cough*.

    Does it support this microsoft extedned bullshit, or is it
  • It seems like people around here don't remember the first GPX, it made many news storied on /., it was similar but a bit less power but it allowed full emulation, divx, and mp3... they were great little units. The only problem is that they are Korean and most games are Korean only.

    Since most people only use their PSP for emulation and movies, the GPX2 has a leg up on the competition... they just need to target the US (which I doubt will happen) and this could be a DS/PSP killer. Emulation, movie capabilitie
  • I usually tend to be negative and on the speculative side about things like this. But for once, I can't help feel a little giddy about this.

    I would take one of these things in a heartbeat over any of the "other" options. Just think -- a device that does not have to be hacked nine ways till sunday to keep emulators running on it.

    I was kinda down on the original GP32 because it used the "old" (hard to find and small) SmartMedia. But this puppy uses SD...

    Now the only hurdles left are:

    1. When will it be ava

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