OpenPandora to soon bring gaming to your palm

Open-source gaming is about to become reality with OpenPandora's soon-to-be-released Pandora mobile-gaming system. Among others, it'd compete with Nintendo's DS, Sony's PSP.


Ars Technica is reporting that Pandora, a long-anticipated open-source gaming handheld designed to compete with Nintendo's DS, Sony's PlayStation Portable, and other mobile-gaming devices (and not to be confused with the popular Internet music service), will be released in 2009. No firm date has been released.

The project, however, still needs some work:

Judging by the video, there's still quite a bit of work to be done on the case itself. But the team has had working hardware for the innards for some time now, so some final fabrication, polish, and (quality assurance) work seem to be the only things that stand in the way of the release, which once seemed to be a mere fantasy.

And how. To me, the device looks a bit Soviet. While it certainly has an appeal to the hard-core open-source geek, as demonstrated by selling out its first 3,000-device run in September 2008, I wonder if it will manage to find much of a market beyond that crowd. It is mostly intended to run "home brew" games and older console games, which is fun but unlikely to draw in new gaming consumers.

Even so, it's an interesting experiment worth watching.

Follow me on Twitter at mjasay.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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