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Panasonic Reveals Handheld System: Jungle
Panasonic Reveals Handheld System: Jungle
October 5, 2010 | By Simon Parkin

October 5, 2010 | By Simon Parkin
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    18 comments
More: Console/PC



Japanese electronics giant Panasonic, first manufacturer of the ill-fated 3DO console, is set to return to the video game hardware business with a new handheld system, the Jungle.

The company has created an offshoot arm of the business, Panasonic Cloud Entertainment, to handle the Jungle's launch and today unveiled a website featuring a promotional video of the machine.

The Jungle is a clam-shell portable system boasting a QWERTY keyboard, a touchpad, dual d-pad controls, shoulder buttons and a high-resolution display. The system features a mini HDMI port, a micro USB port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

According to some reports, the device will run Linux OS and, thanks to Panasonic's emphasis on online multiplayer gaming, it seems likely will have, at very least, Wi-Fi capability.

The site states: "We began this journey by asking gamers what they wanted. Almost unanimously, we heard calls for online gaming products. Some gamers wanted a handheld, some wanted new content, others new experiences (one dude wanted a tattoo of the Kalphite Queen). In response, the Jungle was born."

In the promotional video, the company indicates that forthcoming Bigpoint MMOG Battlestar Galactica will be released for the device, as well as a web show, Online Underground. There is also mention of support for Runescape.

The system was also shown today on MTV show, Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory, in which the titular skateboarder attempted to create a piece of music using the unreleased device.



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Comments


Jasper W
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Wow, they take quite some risk here! I like the idea, but the design... ouch!

Randy D
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My gut feeling is that this'll crash and burn. Or at least, not do so well.

Nicholas Burress
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I agree. Not a lot of hype for handhelds right now. They may have come a little too late. I'm not going to count them out just yet, but, like you, I have a bad feeling on this one.

Jamie Mann
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Interesting. A clamshell gameplaying device with a keyboard, analog sticks and wifi, running linux: where have I heard that one before?



Oh yeah: the Pandora project!

http://www.openpandora.org/



It'll be interesting to see how the specs and price match up with the Pandora (which has at least one key advantage: it has a touch-screen, rather than a touch-pad) - the Pandora has suffered from being a "homebrew" project ran by a small team: they've pulled off a fine job on the technical front, but without the economies of scale, the machine took ages to arrive and they're still trickle-feeding the original 4000 pre-orders.



Anyway: it seems unlikely that this will be commercially successful - but on the other hand, if it runs linux, then there's at least the chance that it will be hackable and become a handy toy for the homebrew/emulation communities...

Gabriel May
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It sounds alright but I wanna know more about the software

Eric Geer
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Looks kinda like a clamshell NGAGE.

Marcus Miller
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Microsoft if anyone should come out with a handheld gaming system.

Soren Nowak
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Since the Battlestar Galactica MMO runs on the Unity engine it should be able to run loads of games straight out of the box.

Todd Boyd
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Don't forget about the Ben NanoNote!

Bryan OHara
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Very interesting, I didn't see this one coming. But Unity's new browser capabilities certainly makes this viable.

Christopher Braithwaite
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"We began this journey by asking gamers what they wanted."



That is a recipe for failure. I expect this to end in tears.

Brad Borne
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That's by far the worst promotional video I've seen in awhile...



@Nicholas Burress: *cough* 3DS? *cough*

Diego Leao
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The design is horrible... It could be a great system, I woldn't carry it arround...



@Brad Borne: I agree!



EDIT: On the other hand, I just watched their show and it is quite funny! In http://welcometo.thejungle.com, click on "Online Underground" and press play!

Ian Uniacke
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Portable...online...fail.



Wireless internet is about 10 years off being able to be used for proper online gaming which is what this device appears to be attempting. Even wifi is still at a "just acceptable" level, even for mmos. I personally wouldn't attempt to do a raid over wifi for instance. (well actually I would, as I have, and it failed bad)



Why do these companies keep banging their heads against a brick wall. I accept that this just might be my opinion but I believe this device is guaranteed 100% to fail.

Jamie Mann
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Well, for starters, there's always the chance that their machine will be the one to strike it lucky. Also, there may be some politics involved - for instance, if the machine contains patented systems, Panasonic may be able to use it as evidence when other companies attempt to produce similar systems.



However, generally it comes down to someone putting together a wildly optimistic business case with completely unfeasible or optimistic numbers...



Personally, I'm intrigued - mostly because of the size and keyboard. I've been looking for something like this for years: small enough to be pocketable and with a big enough keyboard for comfortable thumb-typing - i.e. a proper successor to the old Psion 3c/5 machines. To date, I've been waiting for the Pandora to become through, now this is offering a potential alternative - and it may also trigger off a wave of clones from China.



Still, it must be said that the Jungle is looking like it'll be stretching the definition of "pocketable", and I'm not particularly interested in it's gaming capabilities, so I'm far from Panasonic's ideal customer!

Ujn Hunter
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Ouch. Good luck with that! I suspect many people to be out of a job in the near future though. :

Leon T
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I guess they were going for a kind of gaming laptop device type of thing with this.......

David Fisk
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Who is going to want to play an MMO on a tiny screen? If it doesn't do WoW, then forget about it. You need games that can take a serious market share away from Blizzard, and many have attempted, and many have failed.


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