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Panasonic To Unveil New Handheld Gaming Console?

Sure, Nintendo has their DS and Sony has the PSP, but that is about all the choice consumers have when it comes to selecting a handheld gaming console. But not for long: apparently Panasonic is keen to get its foot back into the lucrative gaming market, and the company even has a new machine to back its intentions. Anyone fancy a Panasonic Jungle?

Almost two decades ago, Panasonic attempted to make its presence felt in the gaming market with the 3DO video game console which hosted some of the most cutting-edge technology of its time. Unfortunately for Panasonic, cutting-edge technology did not translate to sales, and the 3DO ultimately failed due to its high costs.

Fast forward to the present, and Panasonic is now once again mounting another attempt to make its entry into the video game market. And this time, it will be a little handheld gaming console known as the Jungle which will be going up against Nintendo’s and Sony’s well-established offerings.

Unlike the consoles today which feature support for online gaming, the Jungle stands out from the competition by being created exclusively for nothing but online gaming such as MMORPGs. And to this end, Panasonic has designed the Jungle in such a way that it resembles more of an ultra-tiny, palm-sized PC complete with QWERTY keyboard, WiFi and a touchpad.

However, no other information or hardware specifications of the Jungle has been released. At this point, no one other than Panasonic themselves know what kind of hardware is being used to power the system, although Gizmodo claims that the Jungle will sport an extremely high-definition screen. Which, in turn, suggests that some serious hardware is providing the power needed to drive such hi-res graphics on the Jungle.

Gizmodo also claims that Linux will serve as the operating system for the Jungle, although the website was quick to inform readers that it was unable to confirm the validity of this particular piece of information. However, if the Jungle really does sport a Linux distro as its operating system, it could well serve as a show-stopper for the device due to the fact that most MMORPGs today are still written exclusively for Windows. And unless Panasonic has a way to get such games running natively on the Jungle with minimal performance penalties, the Jungle’s prospects does not appear good.

Still, Panasonic’s re-entry could be just the push that is needed to get the market moving again, considering that Nintendo is due to release the 3DS early next year while Sony proceeds with its plans to produce a PSP-phone. And with Apple also onboard the fight for a slice of the gaming pie, it seems that the gaming market is going to see some rather interesting developments within the next two quarters.

Source and image: Gizmodo

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