Panasonic Jungle enters closed beta

December 1, 2010 // 5:24 p.m.

Tags: #3do #hand-held #hand-held-gaming #jungle #mmo #panasonic-3do #panasonic-jungle #portable-gaming

Panasonic's first entry into the console market since the ill-fated 3DO, the MMO-themed Jungle, looks set to launch imminently, with US users invited to take part in a beta test process.

The console, which was hinted at back in October with a low-resolution video on a teaser site, is said to offer on-the-go access to popular MMOs in a hand-held form factor - including, the company announced, the sci-fi themed MMORPG Battlestar Galactica Online.

Although the company is still keeping its cards very tightly to its chest, an e-mail was recently sent to US customers inviting them to take part in a closed beta process to test the device and see how well it copes with the unique requirements of MMO games - a genre which has never translated particularly well to consoles.

Bloomberg, which has seen a copy of the e-mail, reports that Panasonic has claimed to be "doing something very different" in the hand-held market, stating that it knows "other companies out there have traditional hand-held gaming covered."

Sadly, the e-mail did not include any hints as to when the device is likely to fully launch, or how much Panasonic - which last entered the gaming market with the supremely expensive 3DO back in 1993 - will be looking to charge for the device.

Do you think that the promise of on-the-go access to MMO gaming will be enough for Panasonic to break into a market ruled by Nintendo and Sony, or is the Jungle destined to be as big a flop as the 3DO? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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