Here is my look at the Caanoo handheld the latest offerings from Gamepark Holdings.
OK first of all where did this come form all of a sudden?
Secondly, I cannot afford yet another open source handheld already!
GamePark's GP2X Caanoo handheld hits this August, picks up where the Wiz left off.
While this is hardly breaking news, it's been interesting to follow some of the drama around the "Atari 2600 Plug 'N Play Keychain" series from "Basic Fun". The first part of the drama involves the company's falling out with engineer Curt Vendel, most famous for being the lead on the "Atari Flashback" and "Atari Flashback 2.0" products, and launching "Awesome Arcades". The second and more relevant part of the drama involves the simple fact that these products, amazing form factor and low price aside ($15 each), are awful simulations, seemingly ignoring all the progress made over the past few years in TV Game quality (in fact, reverting back to the NES-on-a-chip of the first Flashback, which has been proven unable to properly simulate Atari 2600 games!). Perhaps "Basic Fun" should have just went with the quality product that Curt had originally delivered for them, rather than scrapping it and doing the products on the super cheap!
While the "Atari Flashback" was a weak simulation of both the Atari 7800 and 2600 systems using the readily available NES-on-a-chip as the platform, the "Atari Flashback 2.0" rectified this by incorporating a clever Atari 2600-on-a-chip, almost perfectly emulating the original hardware. After that and the prior "Commodore 64 30-in-1" (which essentially featured a C-64-on-a-chip), it's hard to go back to the kind of innaccuracies that are present in these keychain devices. Bottom line, the bar has been raised and we truly have the right to expect more, based simply on precedent and the countless other TV Games devices out there that do offer more authentic experiences, even of latter day systems like the Sega Genesis or arcade machines.
For $20, Electronic Arts plans to release the following games on one UMD disc for the PSP: B.O.B., Road Rash II, Budokan, Road Rash III, Desert Strike, Syndicate, Jungle Strike, Ultima: The Black Gate, Haunting Starring Polterguy, Virtual Pinball, Mutant League Football, Wing Commander, Road Rash, and Wing Commander: Secret Missions.
The well-reviewed modern homebrew for the Atari L y n x, Apline Games, as well as L y n x Reloaded are now available in a limited manner from Carl Forhan and Songbird Productions. Many of you will remember my interview and feature on Carl and Songbird Productions in a past issue of Armchair Arcade.
I've been speculating for some time that the next logical entry into the portable gaming market would be from Apple (particularly in an editorial response to Gamasutra about six months back) and it looks like other industry analysts are starting to catch wind of the idea as well, for instance in this piece from GameDaily BIZ Newsletter, here.