Thursday, January 03, 2008

Pandora: Spiritual Successor to the GP2X

The "lead developers" behind the GP2X community have decided to create their own handheld device that answers all of the problems that the GP2X has (aside from having a very small userbase), and I'm quite jazzed about it:
Render of the Pandora
That's a 3d render, not an actual unit.

It includes Wi-Fi, a touch-screen, dual-analog controls, a Directional (D) Pad, four game buttons (top right), a clamshell design (which the NDS and cellular phones have proven to be wonderful), it supports powered USB devices, has dual SDHD slots (high density SD cards and regular SD cards), has a 3d graphics processor (GPU), 128MB of RAM, will run X-Windows and has a miniature keyboard!

All for 200 GBP (Great Britian Pounds) or, with import fees, $320. I'd much prefer to pay $200, but this is still a neat device. Here's the wiki.

Here is what I posted in the big "Will you buy it?" thread:
Well I'm buying this, easily. I got all hot & bothered over the fact that the Pandora answers my every complaint of my GP2X, which honestly doesn't get used much anymore.

The GP2X:

  • Has cheap construction / joystick
  • Has no Wi-Fi
  • Doesn't support powered USB devices
  • Sucks as soon as you need a keyboard
  • Doesn't have Touch Screen (MK1 & MK2)
  • Can brick itself
  • Doesn't have SDHD
  • Doesn't have an analog stick, never mind two of them
  • Volume control was always wonky
  • Dual-core implementation just makes developers go bat-guano insane.
  • Did I mention the joystick was bad?
The Pandora, in one fell swoop, handles every single one of these problems. The Touch-Screen GP2X, to my knowledge, still has all but one of these problems.

I am so jazzed about the Pandora that I would like to pre-order one now so that I can be sure to get one later.

Plus, the Pandora:
  • Can feasibly run X-Windows
  • Has a 3d processing GPU
  • Can run PSX games, with an appropriate emulator
  • Can support a nice handheld application (something less clunky than DSorganize please)
  • Can get on the Web and run Firefox!
  • Has a keyboard!
As for everyone whining, I will point out that researchers at Harvard (those with doctorates, not undergrads) have found that people are actually very bad at estimating what will make them happy, yet it appears to be human nature to take your own advice, based on no empirical data whatsoever, over the advice of others who have tried and used something. Granted, that's hard to do here, but like Nintendo before the Wii launched, you either have faith in the designers of the product or you don't.