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Handhelds Portables (Games) Games

Pandora Console Ready For Pre-Orders 309

Posted by kdawson
from the thinking-outside-pandora's-box dept.
Croakyvoice writes "Finally, months after the official announcement, 3,000 lucky people can now pre-order Pandora, possibly the world's fastest handheld console. It boasts a processor capable of up to 900 MHZ, PowerVR 3D graphics, a large 800x480 LCD touchscreen, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, dual SD card slots, TV out, dual analogue and digital controls, a clamshell DS Lite-style shape, and a 43-button mini keyboard. The console already boasts an amazing amount of ready-for-release software such as Ubuntu and many full-speed emulators for systems such as Snes, Amiga, Megadrive, and many more that are not publicly announced yet. The console is as powerful as the original Xbox and on a par with the Nintendo Wii. Those interested should visit OpenPandora.Org. For the full history of Pandora from inception until the present, check out the Pandora Homebrew Site."
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Pandora Console Ready For Pre-Orders

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  • Broken Link (Score:2, Informative)

    by mikesum (840054) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @05:41AM (#25215835)
    What I love is the fact that the world map has a broken link for North America, Japan/Korea, and Australia. I got the emailed newsletter that contains the working direct link and a link to the world map. It's still not fixed after 14 hours. You'd think they'd actually test it sometime today.
  • Atlantis Game Boy (Score:2, Informative)

    by tepples (727027) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {selppet}> on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @06:00AM (#25215911) Homepage Journal

    If two years count as an insane short amount of time..

    Game Informer (July 1996) and Total (issues 53 and 54) reported that Nintendo was working on a handheld video game system called Atlantis. In 2001, it was finally sold under the name Game Boy Advance.

  • due to cost. (Score:3, Informative)

    by tepples (727027) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {selppet}> on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @06:07AM (#25215941) Homepage Journal

    Why oh why can't a device that looks like a potential competitor for a N810 have GPS built-in?

    It would raise the bill of materials unacceptably. But it does have two USB ports and two SD slots that could probably be used for SDIO. Enthusiasts will find which GPS dongles work best with Pandora.

  • Re:What about... (Score:4, Informative)

    by James_Duncan8181 (588316) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @06:10AM (#25215961) Homepage
    Battery life is listed as "10+ hours". Thank ARM's non-crack-filled view on how power efficient a chip can be.
  • by aliquis (678370) <dospam@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @06:26AM (#25216041) Homepage

    Though the real successor of the GP2x is the Wiz:
    http://gp2x.co.uk/ [gp2x.co.uk]

    And the difference is smaller between those. I'd take the Pandora over the Wiz though, except for form factor maybe. The resolution of the Pandora is the best part :)

  • Re:No GPS.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by ricegf (1059658) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @06:41AM (#25216127) Journal

    Nope, N810 can also act as a (non-powered) USB host, and also has Bluetooth (I'm quite confident, since it talks to my Bluetooth keyboard pretty darned well :-).

    N810 has a single rather than dual SDHC slot (the N800 had dual slots, not sure why they dropped that in the N810), slide-out keyboard (rather than clamshell design), and same resolution screen, but lacks the gaming controls and DSP.

    N810 runs Maemo Linux (with GTK+ graphics), though I believe a port of Ubuntu is available or in-work, and is about the same price. Looks about the same size.

    Biggest difference to me (other than N810 being a third generation device shipping in volume) - N810 has an official Palm Garnet emulator that runs all those games I bought in my Treo days. It'd be a Good Thing is Access would port that to Pandora as well.

    They look pretty similar to me. N810 topped Amazon's Electronics best seller list a while back. If Pandora is well-implemented and can get some marketing behind it, it could do well. I hope so - Choice Is Good.

  • Re:Limited audience (Score:2, Informative)

    by 4D6963 (933028) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @06:46AM (#25216165)
    Leave the Pandora out of the mix, it's not Korean at all. It's made in Europe and the "headquarters" are in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
  • by OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @07:14AM (#25216349) Homepage

    There's also price. Of course pandora has many more features, perhaps a comparison is in order. @#$!@#$ slashdot doesn't support tables, so this is the best I could do :

    Pandora

    Pandora [openpandora.org]
    ARM Cortex-A8 600MHz CPU
    128M ram
    3D opengl ES 2.0 acceleration
    800x480 4.3" touchscreen LCD
    Wifi
    Keyboard
    dual SDHC card (both expansion and storage)
    Internal battery and USB charger
    $329.99 / £199.99 (Inc VAT) / E249.99 (Inc VAT)

    GP2x WIZ

    Wiz [gp2x.co.uk]
    533Mhz ARM CPU
    64M ram
    3D opengl acceleration
    OLED Touch Screen 2.8" 320x200
    No wifi (BUT easy to add because of USB host)
    No keyboard (BUT again, easy to add because of USB host)
    single SD card (both expansion and storage, 99% sure SDHC card)
    Internal battery and USB charger (thank God ! compared to GP2X F-200 this is heaven)

    US$ 179.90 (~124.32 EUR) [play-asia.com]

    PSP

    PSP [about.com]
    PSP cpu 333Mhz
    32M ram (64M for the psp slim)
    3D acceleration (?)
    480x272 LCD screen (great screen imho)
    Wifi
    MS pro duo expansion (expensive, only storage)
    Internal battery and USB charger
    Probably USB host capability but not useable

    US$ 213.99 (179 euro) [amazon.com]

    Surprisingly of all these devices it's the PSP that has the largest library of emulators (even a "somewhat playable" n64 emu, something the pandora devs think impossible (read the gp2x forums ... well ... euhm tomorrow should be better, right ?)

    As an ebook reader the PSP blows the socks of the WIZ though, even if just because of larger screen, and it is also larger than the pandora, so I wonder.

    This list is limited to devices with actual useable gaming controls. The iphone/ipod touch and the nokia n810 are obvious competitors, but lack (decent) gaming controls. Actually the n810 is kinda nice, I ought to try one.

  • New toy (Score:2, Informative)

    by nitrowing (887519) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @07:26AM (#25216415)
    I bought the GP2X when it came out as a portable media player/ games machine. It sucked batteries dry at an alarming rate and has sat in my drawer unused after about the 4th set! I have an Eee900 (20Gb Linux) which I like quite a bit - it can play Urban Terror quite well, has loads for me to fiddle with (mods, software etc) and cost me about £50 more than this Pandora. So why do I want a Pandora?? Small, battery life... Anything else?
  • I'm sure the Nintendo DS portable will still be #1 for several more years.

    I'm sure it will, it has brilliant games! That wouldn't stop the Pandora from being a success at all, though, they're not competing that much. The DS isn't particularly good with emus thanks to a small screen, can't really emu anything more then a Genesis, has a damn slow browser which also suffers from the screen, is hard to code for, doesn't work as a Portable Media Player, and so on and so forth. If the Pandora makes the buyers happy, and the coders of the community keep coding and making all kinds of nice things, then it will be successful even with 15000 sales.

  • by mdwh2 (535323) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @09:55AM (#25217867) Journal

    If all the trivial Iphone stories we get count as "news", even when they're just based on rumour, then yes, I think a one-off story about a brand new product counts as news.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @10:06AM (#25218053)

    You didn't even try to find alternatives, did you? There is a fully working basic that can compile for GP2X, Windows, Linux and Mac OSx.
    http://www.glbasic.com/

  • by electrictroy (912290) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @10:29AM (#25218369)

    Which was actually a case of marketers who were lying. Anybody who has opened a Jaguar can see it used a 16/32-bit 68000 for its "brain", so basically the Jaguar was just a Genesis/Megadrive on steroids. In contrast, the Nintendo 64 actually did have a 64-bit processor that could grab & process 64 bit chunks from RAM or ROM, so the Japanese were being honest in their naming of the console. (The part they left-out was that most N64 games used the processor's 32-bit backwards-compatibility mode.)

    In any case, the N64 is clearly more powerful than the PS1. Just compare the 3D virtual world of Banjo-Kazooie versus one of the PS1 Spyro games. Banjo has more polygons and a smoother frame rate, and yet despite that superiority, the N64 still sold only 1 unit for every 3 PS1s sold.

    That goes back to my original point: The superior console/portable is typically NOT the #1 selling games machine.

  • by tepples (727027) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {selppet}> on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @11:13AM (#25219105) Homepage Journal

    Anybody who has opened a Jaguar can see it used a 16/32-bit 68000 for its "brain"

    There were three CPUs inside a Jaguar. An MC68000 (intended as an input/output procesor or "IOP") sat next to the game controllers. A 32-bit RISC CPU ("Tom") was on the GPU die, and another 32-bit RISC CPU ("Jerry") sat next to the APU. The "64-bit designation" of the Jaguar comes from the 64-bit data bus between Tom and RAM. What confuses a lot of critics is that games varied in how they allocated tasks between Tom and the IOP. Some games, especially those developed by Genesis/Amiga/Atari ST veterans, would run game logic on the IOP and use Tom only to render graphics. Other games would run on Tom and use the IOP only for a couple tasks such as reading the controllers. The real thing that made the Jag more of a pain than, say, the PS2 was that Tom had a lot of architectural defects, notably that functions run from main RAM had to be split into segments no bigger than 256 bytes.

    In any case, the N64 is clearly more powerful than the PS1. Just compare the 3D virtual world of Banjo-Kazooie versus one of the PS1 Spyro games.

    Banjo might beat Spyro, but Forsaken looked sharper and ran with more frames per second on a PlayStation than on an N64.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @02:33PM (#25222491)

    I will not be buying one of these until they provide full documentation for the PowerVR 3D core used in the device, which is proprietary and does NOT have an open source driver available.

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