New open-source portable videogame - PANDORAThis looks to be a PSP/DS/GP2X killer! Just when you thought it was safe to pocket your wallet!
The Pandora will be a fully open-source system running a complete Linux distribution as firmware. As a device, it will share the same goals as its spiritual predecessor, the GP2X. The GP32X community have had a major influence on the device's design, which as of 2007 has not yet been finalized.
The exact date at which development of the Pandora began is not publicly known, however there has been clear evidence of activity since at least February 2007. In addition, concept renders and near complete specifications have been released on the official website.
The development team consists of Craig Rothwell (CraigIX), Michael Weston (MWeston), and Michael Mrozek (EvilDragon). The team were heavily involved with both the GP32 and GP2x communities. Development of the Pandora began when they teamed up and planned a portable system that would excel in the areas where the GP32 and GP2X systems (from Gamepark and Gamepark Holdings respectively) were severely flawed. They used feedback from the community which then heavily influenced the entire Pandora design process. As a result of this community feedback the Pandora is designed to be a device directly marketed at the consumers requirements, while still attempting to retail at an affordable price for a device of its kind.
As with the GP32 and the GP2X, of the main uses of the Pandora will be emulation of older computer systems and video game consoles, which will be possible through efficient use of the resources made available by its modern and powerful Texas Instruments OMAP 3430 SoC. The Pandora has the potential to emulate the Sony Playstation and all older machines with ease. Other systems that the Pandora will have the resources to emulate at satisfactory speed include, but are not limited to the Super Nintendo, the Nintendo Entertainment System, and the 3DO. The Pandora's keyboard and touchscreen will allow accurate and simple user interaction with Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum and other early home computer emulators.
In addition, the powerful processor and GPU may provide the potential to enable development of emulators for the Nintendo 64 and the Nintendo DS at playable speeds, making it the first hand-held device to achieve this task. It is important to note that achieving these difficult goals will require efficient use of the hardware and a large amount of development time.
Furthermore, with the Pandora there will be standard libraries (OpenGL ES, SDL and similar) freely available allowing anyone who wishes to the ability to develop for the system. Many developers from the GP2x community have publicly and openly stated that they will be developing applications for the new system.
Finally, the Pandora will have an existing software base due to having a package manager that will accept Debian ARM packages.
Ultra portability without sacrificing capability.
ARM® Cortex™-A8 CPU running Linux
800x480 4.3" 16.7 million colours touchscreen LCD
OpenGL 2.0 compliant 3D hardware
Dual SDHC card slots
Dual Analogue and Digital gaming controls
43 button QWERTY and numeric keypad
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