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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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  • by lecithin (745575) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @05:38AM (#25215821)

    It boasts a processor capable of up to 900 MHZ,

    It is 'possibly' the world's fastest console.

    It "boasts" an amazing amount of ready-for-release software such as Ubuntu and many full-speed emulators

    The console is as powerful as the original Xbox and on a par with the Nintendo Wii.

    All this, and we are lucky to pre-order???

    Lisa: They can't seriously expect us to swallow that tripe.
    Skinner: Now as a special treat courtesy of our friends at the Meat
    Council, please help yourself to this tripe.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It sounds like an advertizement, but it really is news. This handheld console has been developed in an insane short amount of time.

      It totally blows away the alternative open source handheld, the GP2x. The people that made this looked at all the problems people had with the GP2x and improved on that, all this for a very reasonable price.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by aliquis (678370)

        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 :)

        • 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.

          • Surprisingly of all these devices it's the PSP that has the largest library of emulators

            Only because it's been out longer (March 2005 in North America vs. November 2008).

            This list is limited to devices with actual useable gaming controls.

            Was there a reason that you left off the DS?

            Nintendo DS with CycloDS Evolution accessory

            • ARM9 CPU 67 MHz + ARM7 IOP 33.5 MHz
            • 4 MB RAM
            • 3D acceleration: GX, heavily inspired by OpenGL
            • Two 256x192 LCD screens, one a touch screen
            • Wi-Fi (WEP-128)
            • microSD expansion
            • Internal battery and available USB charger

            North American price: 180 USD

          • IMO the biggest difference between Pandora and PSP is its open source nature, and the receptive attitude OpenPandora has shown towards homebrew development.

            this is the same reason GP32/GP2X/WIZ were popular amongst geeks/developers, but the Pandora has finally matched that open and pro-consumer attitude with an exceptional hardware design/specs.

            built in Wi-Fi and QWERTY keyboard are a must. having to carry a separate keyboard attachment is a major shortcoming for a handheld console. i like being able to gra

        • by electrictroy (912290) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @07:17AM (#25216357)

          A "console" is something you put under or next-to your TV, along with your VCR, DVR, and Stereo.

          A handheld device is more properly termed a "portable", not a console.

          Also this news story reads like an advertisement. Remember the Atari Lynx? It was the most-powerful portable of its time (late 80s), and was supposed to kill-off the boring black-and-white Gameboy, because the Lynx had full-color with stereo sound and an ultra-fast processor. Doesn't that just want to make you go "oooo"?

          The Lynx flopped.

          Don't be surprised if Pandora does too. It takes more than being "the most powerful" to succeed in gaming. In fact, the #1 consoles of the past were actually NOT the most powerful. Atari 2600 was woefully slow; NES was inferior to Sega Master System. PS1 was only 32-bit but still trumped the faster N64. PS2 was weaker than Xbox or Cube, but still came out #1.

          I'm sure the Nintendo DS portable will still be #1 for several more years.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Perky_Goth (594327)

            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 h

            • The DS isn't particularly good with emus thanks to a small screen, can't really emu anything more then a Genesis

              NeoGeo works, and so do the majority of Super NES games. But whether those platforms are "more than a Genesis" is in the eye of the beholder.

              has a damn slow browser which also suffers from the screen

              Are you talking about Nintendo DS Browser or DSOrganize Web Browser?

              is hard to code for

              In what way?

              doesn't work as a Portable Media Player

              MoonShell works for me. Sure, you have to convert video to DPG for the DS, but you also have to convert video to the PSP's obscure flavor of MPEG-4.

              • by Trifthen (40989)

                I think he meant without scaling or scrolling the screen. I use it all the time to play NES and GBC games, but gave up on SNES, Genesis, or anything requiring more than 256x192 pixels.

                About the only thing the Pandora can't emulate is the DS thanks to its dual screens... I've got my CycloDS to keep me from cartridge-swapping and save-file backup, and while I was able to emulate most of the old consoles, the games were pretty much unplayable beyond NES/GBC/SMS/Atari.

          • by Goaway (82658) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @07:57AM (#25216585) Homepage

            PS1 was only 32-bit but still trumped the faster N64.

            "32-bit" is a completely meaningless term in this context, just so you know.

            • >>>>>PS1 was only 32-bit but still trumped the faster N64.

              >>"32-bit" is a completely meaningless term.

              But not the term "slower" or "faster" when measuring relative performance. The PS1 is clearly slower than the N64's processor, and yet despite that handicap, came-out on top. Read the WHOLE sentence, not just the first half. Thank you. :-) (Also I disagree that "bitness" is completely meaningless.) (Even if you designed an 8-bit processor using modern technology, no way is it goin

              • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

                by MikeBabcock (65886)

                Parentheses also have meaning, but not the way in which you used them. Points or commas, or just good sentence structure might be good starting points next time.

                • Wow. You remind me of my dead English teacher. She was anal too. (Point: Who cares how I structured my message? This is just a chat forum. Loosen up, drop out, chill out.)

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by poot_rootbeer (188613)

                (Also I disagree that "bitness" is completely meaningless.)

                I disagree with your disagreement.

                Depending on what point the Marketing department wants to make, "bitness" could refer to any of the following:
                - word size in CPU instruction decoder
                - word size in CPU registers
                - word size in co-processors, such as graphics chips
                - address bus width
                - data bus width
                - color depth of graphics hardware
                - DAC resolution of audio hardware
                - sum of "bitness" of multiple processors
                - other meanings as convenient

                None of these val

          • by Shikaku (1129753)

            This CAN be a console.

            USB Hub + USB controllers + TV-Out = Multiplayer/Singleplayer on TV. If you have something like this: http://www.play-asia.com/paOS-13-71-6m-49-en-70-qc4.html [play-asia.com] the hub may be unnecessary.

            USB hard/flash drives would work too.

            • USB Hub + USB controllers + TV-Out = Multiplayer/Singleplayer on TV.

              That'd be good for single-screen multiplayer games such as fighting games and minigame collections and Bomberman and the like. But there's one problem: the most popular 4-player games are all proprietary software. You can make hardware capable of PS2-class graphics and plug up all the hubs you want, but you're not going to see professional games unless the professionals can make a business case for porting their proprietary works to Pandora, and that depends on the number of potential customers. Is there an

          • by wisty (1335733)
            You forgot the Wii, which is vastly inferior to the Xbox 360, and PS3, but sells like hotcakes. Man I wish they made a Wii portable, with headphones, LCD sunglasses, and wristwatch sized accelerometers. Then nobody could see you were wearing it as you thrashed around on a bus. It would be so Neal Stephenson.
            • It would be so Neal Stephenson

              I can't remember the exact quote but
              "He heard so many people call book 'Kafkaesque' and wondered what exactly that meant, until he read Kafka and realised that it simply meant 'boring.'"

              Neal Stephenson wrote some good books, but after _Quicksilver_ I think "So Neal Stephenson" is a term with mixed meaning.

              • by HardCase (14757)

                Continuing on this tangent, "So Neal Stephenson" means (to me) that the author has a torrid love affair with his thesaurus. And gets paid by the word.

                His first few books were very, very good. Something went wrong when the page count exploded.

          • GamePark... (Score:3, Interesting)

            by DrYak (748999)

            The Lynx flopped.

            The power was that killed it. All super-powerful colour handhelds back then ate batteries like candy.
            The GameBoy didn't survive *despite* being balck'n'white, it survived *because* it was black'n'white and could actually be carried everywhere (and not kept tied to a power cord).
            Currently with the advance in power consumption and battery technology, this point isn't relevant any more.

            The second main point is game library. That's something that several concurrent of the Lynx did understand : Nintendo quickly

      • i couldn't load the linked article, but for some reason, this image of the Pandora handheld does seem to be accessible. [dcemu.co.uk]

        and, yes, this is news to a lot of people. personally i'm pretty psyched about a new powerful (and open source) handheld being brought to market. this will be another platform that homebrew developers will be able to explore--and one that they are actually welcomed on. if nothing else, Pandora will finally give consumers a viable alternative to the PSP for a robust portable entertainment sy

    • by aliquis (678370)

      The "ready for pre-orders"-part.

    • by pongo000 (97357)

      And the price for luck? Only a measly USD329!

      Preach on, my antioxidant friend, preach on!

      (Not a day goes by that I rue for the /. days of old...I might be a 5-digit denizen, but I seem to remember actually looking forward to reading /....)

    • something i carry in my fluke bag.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mdwh2 (535323)

      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.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Warhawke (1312723)
      Due to a shipping error, they sent me mine early. I opened the box, only to find that it just contained all the evils of mankind.
  • Broken Link (Score:2, Informative)

    by mikesum (840054)
    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.
  • It's neat, but it doesn't seem to be very ergonomically designed.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Racemaniac (1099281)

      do remember it's only a bit larger than a DS, so i think it should be okay.

    • by aliquis (678370)

      The DS isn't either, I hate the boxy and sharp design, it just feels bad in your hands. The DS should have been molded over the gamecube controller :D

  • by torpor (458) <(ten.htnys) (ta) (vyaj)> on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @06:10AM (#25215959) Homepage Journal

    Battery life is said to be between 10 to 12 hours of normal usage ..

    I ordered one. Can't wait to get it, as its got a lot of power and will make a superlative machine for developing music/synthesis/effects application .. plus the odd game or two, of course, lol ..

    For those saying "It will Never Take Off", so? As long as Craig&Co. can make a tidy profit selling it as a niche item, it will be awesome anyway - the hardware itself is superlative, and the development scene for this console is like nothing else - even if they only sell a few thousand, thats at least going to give a few thousand people an awesome system to play with.

    Don't forget: its totally open. So it won't "die" as long as there are people willing to get one and code for it, for their own purposes. Gizmondo and all that: dead coz Joe Blow Hacker can't code for it, easily. Pandora: Very, very easy to write code for it, so even if there are no commercial entities getting behind it as a mainstream console, it will still be highly useful to those who bought it ..

  • by Z80a (971949)
    do these guys have the official nintendo devkit or something to affirm that one?
    because you know, you cant compare diferent cpus just by the clock or cache size, that to not mention the video chips that are probably radically diferent.
    • by aliquis (678370)

      But we all know the Wii is pretty low end, and I wouldn't be surprised if the general specs of the GPU in the Wii is well known either. Sure GeForce 3-era graphics was good back then, that don't mean a small chip can deliver similar performance today.

  • by ledow (319597) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @06:24AM (#25216029) Homepage

    I always thought that a modern slashdot'ting was a myth due to a poor, database-heavy configuration with insufficient oomph behind the servers. Then some git links to gp32x.com which had one of my GP2X ports as the second item on the front page (outside of the top visible screen). So my two-links-deep, petty news item on something vaguely related to the story (a quick recompile for GP2X) makes my traffic for the month of October (i.e. one day) pass my total traffic for the month of September (30 days) within a matter of hours.

    God knows what temperature gp32x.com is hitting right now. Strangely, though, my adsense hits/clicks read normal. I *knew* I should have released my other port so that I was in the No.1 spot on that site when Slashdot hit...

  • by evilviper (135110) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @06:43AM (#25216143) Journal

    It boasts a processor capable of up to 900 MHZ,

    I have a radio... It's capable of more than 10 GHz.

  • by Shag (3737) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @06:43AM (#25216145) Homepage

    Joking, but it actually did take me an embarrassingly long time to figure out why on earth someone would want a handheld console of all things... I think we Unix geeks had dibs on that word before gamers. :)

  • It's 10:45 GMT, still earlier enough and the site is Slash Dotted! Thanks guys.

  • by Fallen Andy (795676) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @07:02AM (#25216265)
    rather than a low end netbook? At most you save about 50 euros.

    With the netbook you're getting something that will run most older emulators well, and a machine which is more usable for casual net use. I run a big stack of emulators for older consoles on an ancient Toshiba laptop (with a mere Celeron 500) with no problems. With a 1.6GHz Atom, I'd guess Project64 (N64) and ePSXe (Playstation) work well... Anyone out there tried yet?

    Andy

  • by consonant (896763) <shrikant,n&gmail,com> on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @07:02AM (#25216267) Homepage

    Could not connect to the database: Too many connections

    If you can make the "world's fastest console", shouldn't you host on at least a "world's somewhat resilient server"?

  • New toy (Score:2, Informative)

    by nitrowing (887519)
    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?
  • Saw UK, but no US. Is that a feature, a flaw, or something to work around?

  • Who looks at that and thinks Sinclair variant? (or Timex/Sinclair for the US)

    And no, for their time, those little computers were def not a joke.

  • The console is as powerful as the original Xbox and on a par with the Nintendo Wii.

    On a par with the Nintendo Wii? Yeah, right. The Wii is at least twice as powerful as the original XBox. It also has a specialised CPU that came from the same project that gave birth to XBox 360's CPU and the PS3's Cell CPU.

    People seriously underestimate the Wii because it's not HD and the large slew of shovelware.

  • "[unrev-II] The DKR hardware I'd like to make..."
    http://www.bootstrap.org/dkr/discussion/0754.html [bootstrap.org]

    "Consider a couple of these souped up devices given to each village in
    Africa. Anyone with $1 billion for true development aid to 500,000
    African villages? (This is just the cost of one unfinished dam or one
    shut down nuclear plant.)
    Consider millions of these devices airdropped into Iraq and Yugoslavia
    -- instead of more expensive cruise missiles! Anybody got $1 billion to
    spend on ensuring democracy with a true def

    • OLPC is on the ropes, and it took a couple more years than I predicted, but here are the toymakers coming through for us with Pandora!

      Compared to the OLPC XO-1, the Pandora:
      - costs twice as much
      - is available in even fewer quantities
      - has no education-oriented software available
      - has no education-oriented infrastructure in place

      In what way is it a suitable alternate for an educational mission?

  • I went through to the order page, and the shipping country selector doesn't include the U.S. / North America.

    Has anyone from the U.S. ordered one, or do we just have to wait?

    • If you order here [gbax.com] you should have no problems at all. I used this link. Some tips:
      • Enter "000" in the postal code section (assuming that you're shipping to the USA)
      • They've turned their credit processing security to the max so,
      • They'll only ship to your billing address,
      • Valid credit cards may decline (Amex seems to be a problem, no issues with Mastercard)
  • The box (Score:4, Funny)

    by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @10:42AM (#25218603) Homepage Journal

    With a name like that I am just wondering whether I should be opening the box. ;)

  • Thank god I got in early this morning; I knew this would make Slashdot eventually. Bad luck to those who missed out on one, you'll have to wait until next year.

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang

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