Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Portables (Games) Games Linux

Panasonic Invites Gamers To the Jungle 74

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-all-fun-and-games dept.
donniebaseball23 writes "In a move that will instantly conjure up memories of the infamous 3DO failure, Panasonic has once again decided to throw its hat into the gaming ring, unveiling an online-focused handheld called the Jungle. It features a high-resolution display, a D-pad, a touch pad, and a full mini-keyboard in addition to standard gaming shoulder buttons. Wireless support is a given, as Panasonic is talking heavily about the console's online features, but whether that's Wi-Fi or 3G remains unclear. M2 Research analyst Billy Pidgeon said, 'The Jungle is a highly specialized dedicated portable for a non-existent market. This is an unprecedented hardware strategy, and probably for good reason. If MMO players want to go more portable than a laptop, I guess this would be the way to go. Frankly, this looks like a non-starter.'" An anonymous reader notes comments from NetDevil's Ryan Seabury, who thinks the decision to have the device run Linux is a mistake.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Panasonic Invites Gamers To the Jungle

Comments Filter:
  • by bertoelcon (1557907) * <berto.el.con@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @01:04AM (#33804534)
    If it runs Linux then they are going to be guaranteed a few sales from people just wanting to tinker with it.
    • by hedwards (940851) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @01:08AM (#33804548)
      True, but there's already a handheld like that. [openpandora.org]
      • Yea, but somehow i think Panasonic will be able to deliver more easily, the Pandora is a very nifty machine, too bad supply is so slow
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        True, but there's already a handheld like that.

        get back to me when I can actually buy one. I'm not participating in your pyramid scheme.

        I want an Open Pandora in the worst way, but since I can't order one, I predict I shall have one of these instead.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Microlith (54737)

      Or if they lock it down TiVo style, it running Linux is 100% irrelevant. I'm really bored with all this shit being hyped as running Linux, but in the end you're not allowed to actually do anything with it (can't replace it, can't load modules) or you're stuck with a platform that bears no resemblance to the APIs on your desktop, so you're stuck learning Yet Another API To Do The Same Damn Thing (YAATDTSDT).

      This is why I like MeeGo. The APIs come from the community. You can use them on your desktop, you can

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Same here. There's no point in a Linux system that the manufacturer has locked down even worse than a Windows or OS X system.
        So I'm avoiding Android, waiting for the funds to get an OpenPandora, or for Nokia to make something comparable. Maybe an N900, maybe not. I don't really want a cell phone.

    • by Nursie (632944) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @02:22AM (#33804928)

      The guy saying linux is a mistake seems to be confusing the linux desktop market with the embedded device market.

      The (x86/x64) linux desktop market is characterised by people who know what they're doing and may or may not buy many PC games. This in itself is something of circular/bootstrap problem, but even if game makers don't port PC games to the linux desktop because it's not significantly profitable, what on earth has that to do with a dedicated games handheld?

      Given that they aren't going to be running iOS or whatever Sony's PSP OS is, they had the choice of various systems (Linux, QNX, BSD, RiscOS ... ?) and none seems a better choice than the other from the perspective of 'stuff will have to be ported'.

      Unless this is has an atom chip inside, nvidia or ati graphics and is capable of running windows and windows games unaltered, his argument is basically crap. And if it does have those things the battery will probably only last five minutes.

      Now, that doesn't mean that I think this thing is going to make a dent on the market.

      But if it's open to hacking, running on a decent kirkwood (or newer) or cortex ARM chip then it might be interesting to me.

      • by cgenman (325138)

        I just got OnLive running on my netbook. While it will in no way compete visually or response time with a real system, using OnLive or a similar system for an inherently laggy MMORPG over WiFi would be about perfect.

      • This in itself is something of circular/bootstrap problem, but even if game makers don't port PC games to the linux desktop because it's not significantly profitable, what on earth has that to do with a dedicated games handheld?

        it can be used for homebrew, emulators, and other hacking activities + voip & media player.
        several devices have proved that it's possible to be an underdog and thrive on the homebrew market : the wole lineage that started with the GamePark.

        Unless this is has an atom chip inside, nvidia or ati graphics and is capable of running windows and windows games unaltered, his argument is basically crap.

        well, it's technically possible to emulate the x86 instruction set. And given the ginormous performance increase announced for the next generation of ARMs (A15), it might be viable to run non CPU-intensive games (where most of the effort is spent on rendering) on a co

    • by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @08:39AM (#33806724) Journal

      And since The Jungle will run Linux that could be a problem. Why?

      According to at least one massively mulitplayer online developer, Linux isn't exactly a great system to develop games for or port over Windows or Mac games to.

      "The Linux user base is too small for the financial risk, Linux users are generally savvy enough to make their OS run whatever games they want anyway, and since the Linux community is very DIY minded, they tend to not want to pay for much," said Ryan Seabury, creative director at NetDevil for LEGO Universe. "All of these make it a pretty bleak area to publish games into."

      This wasn't a useful argument for the NES, SNES, Playstation 2, Nintendo64, Gamecube, Wii, or Playstation 3. Why would it be a worthy argument for a specialized device that happens to not run Windows? If anything, running Linux is an advantage because it's easy to program for and has lots of libraries for graphics, sound, networking, and compression.

  • Who would put up their hand in support of this idea?
  • From http://www.industrygamers.com/news/panasonics-jungle-a-non-starter-right-out-of-the-gate-say-analysts/ [industrygamers.com]
    "Seabury said that while porting a game from Windows or Mac to Linux isn't rocket science, "it's also usually not worth the cost and it's difficult to find talent with the right expertise.""
    Finding someone to spread code over a few limited PPC cores to push 620p 'HD" is?
    Artist, developers and coders will learn to write for this as they did any system and get really good at it too.
    • Re:Fun quote (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @01:31AM (#33804686)

      Artist, developers and coders will learn to write for this as they did any system and get really good at it too.

      unless it has massive marketing and investment (hundreds of millions, if not billions) then no they won't. artists, developers and coders need to make a living like everyone else. There is currently a glut of consoles and portables to the point that I doubt such a niche market focus has any hope of succeeding to the point where game devs want to spend time on it.

      • Re:Fun quote (Score:4, Insightful)

        by AHuxley (892839) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @01:44AM (#33804756) Homepage Journal
        We will see if and when it fails. If Panasonic can make the dev cycle fun and very low cost they could be onto something unique.
        Where Sony, MS, Apple ect lock out/make demands/rent/manage Panasonic could be very very inclusive.
        As for "marketing and investment" - marketing sure that will cost, investment Linux is done, ready to go.
        Panasonic can offer good tools, I am sure someone will give it a try.
      • Run Windows? That won't end well.

        Otherwise, it's pretty much exactly the same story for any other handheld out there.

        Seriously, the Kotaku article is a big steaming pile of FUD about why no one wants to port to Linux. Not a single reason given applies more to this handheld than it does to Android.

        • by bloodhawk (813939)
          The solution is don't do it, there is no problem or market gap where this thing is really needed.. This is a device looking to create a market out of nothing where it only barely differentiates itself from the current crop of portables.
          • There is an opportunity, I think. Sure, you wouldn't raid from this, but you might craft or do something casual. I can definitely see wanting to do that on a train ride to work, definitely instead of a single-player game.

            But you may be right -- I'm not sure this has anything that any Android device doesn't, other than raw power (maybe), but you don't need raw power in a portable anyway.

      • Panasonic is a Japanese company, it's quite possible that there is a market for this thing in Japan that's potentially big enough to justify the risk.
        • by tepples (727027)

          it's quite possible that there is a market for this thing in Japan that's potentially big enough to justify the risk

          On the other hand, all the games might end up region-coded to run only on units sold in Japan or on units whose last Wi-Fi connection was to a Japanese IPv4 address.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by XDirtypunkX (1290358)

      They may not need to learn that much if Panasonic uses OpenGL 2.0 ES for graphics and an ARM core, because there are a lot of people who already develop games for phones that have just that.

      • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

        by LingNoi (1066278)

        Exactly, it'd make more sense to make this thing simply run android OS.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Svartalf (2997)

          Which is Linux with a Dalvik runtime and VM to provide UI presentation...

          It's why I chuckle each and every time someone thinks that Android is magically all that much different. It's not.

          • by LingNoi (1066278)

            You seem to misunderstand my point..

            Android already has lots of 3D games. These guys are reinventing the wheel and trying the make their own game related android system.

  • Wi-Fi, 3G grrreat but if we're talking keeping up with the Jones' then this thing better be 4G/WiMax compatible in order to compete in a over-saturated handheld market. Just IMO from not RTFA...hope that's enough acronyms ./cringe
  • by abednegoyulo (1797602) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @02:06AM (#33804832)

    Welcome to the jungle
    We got fun 'n' games
    We got everything you want
    Honey we know the names

    • Let me FTFY (Score:3, Funny)

      by GameboyRMH (1153867)

      Welcome to the jungle
      We got hi-res displays
      We got a D-pad and HDMI
      Plus a keyboard for bitchin' games
      If you wanna raid on the go
      And a laptop don't fill the need
      If you got the money, honey
      We'll feed your disease

      In the jungle
      Welcome to the jungle
      Bring those newbies to their...shunanunanunanunanunanunaknees...knees
      Make all those monsters bleed!

  • by TD-Linux (1295697) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @02:27AM (#33804956)
    I mean, look at the most popular gaming handheld today... the nintendo DS! It does not run Linux, and so therefore requires no porting work on it at all! I can play portal and crysis on it no problem, as well as Minesweeper from Windows 95. And don't forget Chip's Challenge. Man, that game was awesome.

    Seriously, the whole games-are-bad-on-Linux thing is taken out of context. The argument makes sense for desktop systems, not for a portable gaming platform that's for custom designed games. If something like that ran Windows 7, it would be a disaster. And the fact that TFA mentions how OS X would have been a better choice for Panasonic makes it even more laughable. For something like this, a custom API, architecture, and software distribution is what they are after, and it hardly matters how they implement it. There is little chance this will run the X window system, and if it does, I would hardly enjoy using openoffice with a d-pad.
    • by Nursie (632944)

      If I hadn't already commented you'd be having one of my mod points.

      Spot on.

    • Every major console, including handhelds, runs a custom OS anyway. Even the Xbox isn't really running Windows. The fact that they're running Linux means they probably wanted to avoid reinventing the wheel since it already has a mature kernel and useful userland tools. The GUI will probably still be 90%+ custom-built.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        The Xbox really is running Windows, but it's running a lot less of it, and it has a shiny new GUI that does a lot less.

        Windows in a walled garden is still windows just as surely as OSX in a walled garden is still OSX. They can re-add as much of it as they are willing to put effort into.

        The GUI will probably still be 90%+ custom-built.

        I'd guess closer to 100%, and based on OpenGL ES, which a lot of the fancy ARM hardware that Linux will run on conveniently seems to support. Although it would be cool to not reinvent the wheel and just use clutter or somethi

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          Every major console, including handhelds, runs a custom OS anyway. Even the Xbox isn't really running Windows. The fact that they're running Linux means they probably wanted to avoid reinventing the wheel since it already has a mature kernel and useful userland tools. The GUI will probably still be 90%+ custom-built.

          Actually, Nintendo is probably the last company to go with anyhting more sophisticated than a BIOS architecture. DS, DSi, Wii - they have a boot BIOS that does the system initializations, and a

    • I mean, look at the most popular gaming handheld today... the nintendo DS! It does not run Linux, ...

      I just have to say this is untrue, The Nintendo DS does in fact run linux, and there's even a project for this
      namely DSLinux [wikipedia.org]

    • by chrb (1083577)

      I mean, look at the most popular gaming handheld today... the nintendo DS!

      Don't forget one of the most popular smart phone platforms - Android. Games on Linux could never work.

    • The DS *does* run Linux, although the overhead of the kernel on such a low specced device means that it's only really useful for cli stuff: www.dslinux.org
  • by mwvdlee (775178) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @03:15AM (#33805136) Homepage

    The Kotaku article essentially states that people who don't care about the OS or have never even heard of Linux are NOT going to buy it because it runs Linux.
    A lot of embedded hardware uses Linux, and most of the users of such hardware neither know nor care what OS it runs and they're certainly not going to reject it because of the OS.
    Some people (like Slashdot users) might buy it BECAUSE it has Linux, but that does not mean other people WON'T buy it.

  • by thatkid_2002 (1529917) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @03:47AM (#33805292)

    I have copy pasted my comment I left on Kotaku here to where it may actually be read by some intelligent souls.

    This console is obviously *not* x86 (aka "Intel") based and therefore any "but Windows this, OSX that" is irrelevant as they do not run on the architecture. The fact is that Linux is a sound choice for the platform because it is actually well suited to running on an ARM based platform. Windows CE is just laughable in general and there is no way that Apple would license iOS to anybody else.

    In my opinion Android (a Linux derivative) is a better choice than because it has a development framework and tools available, stable ABI and also does not use X11 display server. Games developed for Android will also be playable on many more devices than just the Jungle and therefore it will be easy to attract developers.

    The NetDevil guy is obviously a freaking idiot because a) he thinks that this device would somehow magically make its consumers part of the Linux community and b) that the Linux community are unwilling to pay for things. This is not true because there is a lot of commercial open source products and several indy games have been extremely successful due largely to Linux releases. Take for example The Humble Indy Bundle and World of Goo "pay what you want" sales in which Linux users were proven by statistics *willing* to pay *more* than Windows or Mac users. I find that in general Windows users are the most resistant to paying for software. Funny how market share doesn't matter.

    I have doubts about the design of this device. Even disregarding the power of embedded hardware (Nvidia's Tegra platform *almost* could pull this off) there is no way you could play current generation 3D MMOs reminiscent of WoW and EVE Online (I play both of these on Linux BTW) as the screen is just too small and the touchpad and D-Pad are not suitable. Browser based MMOs are much more likely. I would imagine this to be like a Nintendo Gameboy but on a more open and accessible platform.

    Also what is with the random "Linux OS will be an obstacle as well in this regard." just thrown into the middle of the third last paragraph? I can't believe this crap made it onto a major news site. This belongs on somebody's blog.

  • This is Linux in the same way Android is Linux - transparently to the user. The user doesn't give a damn. As to the whole 'porting games' part - most games for handheld devices are written for that specific device anyway - you are not going to run windows on it and play full windows games. The device will be too limited. The comments they make simply don't apply.
  • Some marketing people over at panasonic where really fanatic about using that Guns 'n Roses license they picked up on a bargain...

    I dont mind though, i can't think of any commercial which wouldnt benefit from "Welcome to the jungle" playing...

    As for the device itself, i dont really see that working, apparently some netbooks already run WOW well enough..

  • I think the jungle is not targeted to having their own games, if I understand the idea, they aim to get to work on this all the free and freemium games already out there, plug-in dependant browser games that only need the plug-in ported. And that is something very easy to do, if not done yet, for the browser engine this thing will run.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.

Working...