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Panasonic to launch new gaming platform

Panasonic to launch new gaming platform

A low-res video offers a tantalising glimpse of Panasonic's new MMO-centric handheld, the Jungle.

Panasonic is looking to re-enter the world of console gaming, some fifteen years after its not-exactly-successful 3DO, and it's taking an interesting approach.

Panasonic is preparing to launch a new hand-held console it calls the Jungle, but don't expect a Nintendo-like offering: Panasonic is looking to tempt the MMO crowd away from their PCs.

Aside from a vague video on the company's official teaser site, there's not much information to go on about precisely what the device is - although there are hints that it's a Linux device at heart.

What is known, however, is that the Jungle will offer gamers the chance to keep playing their favourite massively multi-player on-line games even when they're not at their PCs. Panasonic has even managed to get at least one game on board at this early stage, with the company announcing that Battlestar Galactica Online will be a launch title for the console.

Looking at the video, it's clear to see that the Jungle will include a miniature QWERTY keyboard - a near-requirement in MMO games, which originated on the PC and often make a poor job of translating to joypad-based control - along with a pair of analogue joysticks.

Interestingly, it looks like the Jungle will include a mini-HDMI connector - although if you're near a big-screen display you're probably also near a PC, and thus wouldn't be playing your MMO of choice on the Jungle anyway.

One thing that isn't clear is precisely what connectivity the Jungle will offer. It's an on-line console, so Wi-Fi is a given - but will Panasonic be adding 3G broadband to the mix and creating a play-anywhere MMO device?

With no official specifications, pricing, or launch date, it's hard to say whether Panasonic has a winner on its hands or just another 3DO - or, more accurately, N-Gage.

Does the Panasonic Jungle look like the sort of gadget you'd be interested in, or will it take more than the vague promise that you can take your World of Warcraft addiction to the next level for you to sit up and take notice? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

24 Comments

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outlawaol 5th October 2010, 04:40 Quote
These systems are like dominoes, if all the dominoes are in place the system will undoubtedly do well. If they are trying to use rosebuds as dominoes it would be a disaster. Morale of story; pretty things look pretty but roses don't power games, studios, developers, and highly dedicated people power games.

More power to them if they produce great games that are fun to play.
VipersGratitude 5th October 2010, 05:11 Quote
And I thought the Wii was badly named...

"The other night I stayed up late and quietly played with my jungle beneath the sheets, it was really satisfying"
docodine 5th October 2010, 05:13 Quote
This actually looks pretty great, good for Panasonic.
GravitySmacked 5th October 2010, 14:24 Quote
I used to have a 3D0, t'was OK but outclassed by the PS1 which I eventually replaced it with.

This new one looks interesting though.
pimonserry 5th October 2010, 19:42 Quote
Looks a bit fatter than a PSP, doesn't it?

I don't actually game on the go (apart from.. sudoku) but it still looks pretty weird.
perplekks45 6th October 2010, 11:22 Quote
Might get some WoW addicts out of their flats... for the first time in YEARS! Can't be a bad thing then, eh?
Unknownsock 6th October 2010, 11:34 Quote
Don't see the point.
sub routine 6th October 2010, 11:45 Quote
MMO`s on a handheld, thats lunacy. Don`t like the idea at all, its bad enough trying to pull yourself away from the grind without being able to carry it about in your back pocket, Koreans are gona love it i expect. Be ready for a glut of cell shaded jrpgmmo`s.
Kiytan 6th October 2010, 12:34 Quote
even if it was awesome, until theres proper 3g coverage around the place it's going to be useless. Theres none at my house, theres none at college, and theres none anywhere inbetween, so would be entirely pointless for me to get it.

Also, would it not lag like hell playing an MMO over 3g?
shigllgetcha 6th October 2010, 12:50 Quote
i play on 3g every now and again with my 360, doesnt lag too much, cod is very smooth, gtiv works very well too (it didnt work once on my wired connection at home). i think BF BC worked well too

and i only get 3out of 5 bars, and im with a vodafone and three are far better in my area from what i hear.

i thought it would lag like crazy but doesnt seem to in my experience
reflux 6th October 2010, 13:03 Quote
I can't see this going anywhere other than the skip. Well done to them for giving it a go, but the form factor is horrible and I can't see them geting any major publishers onboard.

Also, can the rest of the world have some BSG action please? Why are PC/Xbox/Playstation games still without a single decent BSG game?
loftie 6th October 2010, 13:25 Quote
Looks pretty chunky, I can't see myself carry that around. Looks like it has a keyboard and touchpad too. Must admit, was a bit of a surprise to hear Panasonic want to go into the console market.
Lance 6th October 2010, 15:20 Quote
Why not just get a netbook and play wow over 3g on that?

I'd like to see wow for the Ipad. I know there are loads of reasons for it not to work, but it would be great if it did. Wow on a touch screen?
Evolutionsic 6th October 2010, 15:24 Quote
looks like a heap of crap
Andy Mc 6th October 2010, 16:04 Quote
If they could get 3g and a aaa mmo, like WoW, then this would be likely to succeed.
[- pio -] 6th October 2010, 16:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by VipersGratitude
And I thought the Wii was badly named...

"The other night I stayed up late and quietly played with my jungle beneath the sheets, it was really satisfying"
Yeah, you're right; that sentence does work better with "Wii"!
mpr 6th October 2010, 16:44 Quote
The game this would be perfect for? EVE for early level skill training and maybe mining in safe zones.

For every other game, MAYBE for farming up mats/currency from MOBs. And depending on the game crafting and socializing.

I really like the idea if it's capable of farming or other low danger activities, but it's going to need support and a lot of MMO companies are very strict on 3rd party support.
DrTiCool 6th October 2010, 22:47 Quote
Great, after 13 years of wait we finally got M2 upgrade originally designed for 3DO
Sanzy 6th October 2010, 23:08 Quote
not the best looking console.
Sanzy 6th October 2010, 23:11 Quote
infact i think its to niche and will get raped.
woody_294 6th October 2010, 23:26 Quote
Unless it's very low cost, which isn't likely I'd not even consider it. Not to say others won't though.
Flexible_Lorry 7th October 2010, 00:51 Quote
Don't really think it will succeed - MMOs depend largely on social interaction by means of easy typing and voice chatting. Can't see this thing delivering that. However, since I don't play MMOs I might be wrong.
DXR_13KE 7th October 2010, 19:09 Quote
I want a Pandora.
fev 7th October 2010, 19:42 Quote
Well well well..... it's back!

Not available in stores this xmas ;)
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