GamePark GP2X Caanoo Open Source Handheld Debuts

GamePark GP2X Caanoo Open Source Handheld Debuts

When you think about portable gaming handhelds, you probably think first of Nintendo and Sony. Which is perfectly logical given just how important the Game Boy line was in the history of gaming and just how popular the PSP line is today. But the handheld gaming world is much, much bigger than just two giant companies. All sorts of smaller firms are also vying for your business, with GamePark being one of the underground leaders when it comes to producing emulator-ready handhelds.

The company is best known for their GP2X and Pandora efforts, but a new device is looking even better than the one's that have come before. The GP2X Caanoo is an open source monster, with a Sega Nomad-esque appearance and the flexibility to play far more games than a standard PSP or DSi ever will. Inside, there's a 533MHz ARM9 CPU, alongside 128MB of RAM, a 3D GPU, a 3.5" touch panel joystick controller, an accelerometer and even a vibration function.


If you aren't using it to play the latest open source titles or your favorite throwback emulator game, it can even handle a fair amount of multi-media; DivX, XviD and MPEG4 codecs are all supported, and an SDK and App Store are coming soon. The plans now are to ship the handheld on August 15 for $150 to select importers, and at that price, we figure these will be flying off of the digital shelves.

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This seems pretty cool. i havnt played much handheld games lately but kinda want to try this.

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Grammar: one's should be ones

Facts: Pandora is a seperate venture, made by Open Pandora Ltd, and only has an incidental relationship with the GP2X and co, through its creators, who are some of the larger vendors of Gamepark products in the UK and Germany.

Also, as an opinion, if that joystick is analogue, then the machine will be nearly useless for emulation.

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"Also, as an opinion, if that joystick is analogue, then the machine will be nearly useless for emulation."

Very good point, and I agree. Most emulated games use a D-Pad, and an analog stick isn't quite the same. So you are stuck with a device that can't emulate old games properly, and at the same time doesn't have a second directional control (in addition to the action buttons and analog stick) to play newer 3D games where you have to look around while walking. Epic fail.

What's that you say? It has an accelerometer? Oh, so you can control the view with that? To you I say: play COD Zombies on the iPad, then get back to me. I like the idea, but the implementation is flawed. The only way I see this working is if they use the 4 buttons for walking, the analog for looking, one shoulder button for shooting, and holding down the other shoulder button lets you access a second function to the other 5 buttons?

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As Captainhairy pointed out: GamePark does not make the Pandora. The Pandora's requirements came from members of the GP32X community that wanted to design a system better than the GP3 and GP2X.

I disagree with the idea that the analog stick makes it no good for emulation. It really just depends on how well the emulator is programmed. I've already seen some MAME demos on this, and it seemed to control fine.

At $120 or $150 for the fully-loaded version, it's tempting to pick up a Caanoo just for the heck of it. But, they're creeping ever closer to my position in the Pandora queue, and that system has better specs and controls. So, I think I'll pass for now.

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