Panasonic unveils new MMORPG-focused handheld

Jungle will feature full keyboard, be able to run browser-based massively multiplayer games; rumored to run Linux OS.

Since 2003, several devices unsuccessfully tried to break into the Nintendo- and Sony-dominated handheld market, including the Tapwave Zodiac, the Gizmondo, and the N-Gage. Now, another device will attempt to crack the space dominated by the various iterations of the DS, DSi, and, to a lesser extent, the PSP.

Panasonic's Jungle aims to put MMORPGs into the palm of a gamer's hand.

Last night, Panasonic unveiled the Jungle, a new, clam-shaped "mobile device concept designed specifically for online gamers," according to the company. Tech blog Gizmodo reports the device resembles a small laptop, with a full QWERTY keyboard and touch pad in addition to more standard gaming controls such as a D pad and shoulder buttons. Given the Jungle's focus on online gaming, Wi-Fi is a given and some sort of 3G mobile support likely.

Though the only official image is a fuzzy flash video on the device's official Web site (also see below), the Jungle also appears to have a headphone jack and a micro-USB port. In an attitude-driven statement on the device's official Web site, Panasonic hinted at a high-definition screen and future features. "All we can say for now is that this mean little machine features a kick-a** display, touch pad, keyboard, and other gaming controls that we'll be saying more about soon," the company said.

Gizmodo also heard an unconfirmed report that the device will run a Linux-based operating system, meaning ports of massively multiplayer games will be necessary. However, the device will be able to run browser-based games and is being cross-promoted with the browser-based Battlestar Galactica massively multiplayer online role-playing game that was first unveiled in March.

As for other games for the device, Panasonic only said that its mission with the Jungle was to "create an ecosystem around online gaming," and that it is "working with leading online game developers to create some exciting new content." The device will also receive some cross-promotion in the form of a new Machinma show, Online Underground, which will also be viewable on the device.

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Discussion

154 comments
StArDr1fTeR
StArDr1fTeR

I don't know how I feel about this. I guess I'll let everyone else buy it and see how it does. Within time I might try it out if it actually does good. I have patience... I'll wait.

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

It's not even out yet and it's already a terrible idea. Save your bottom line and scrap it now Panasonic.

Falmar
Falmar

:B they should have invested in a cheap netbook that could be capable of runing starcraft 2 smoothly...

KingPhionex
KingPhionex

Preety sure everyone would be better with buying a Pandora

NoremaC-_-
NoremaC-_-

"another device will attempt to crack the space dominated by the various iterations of the DS, DSi, and, to a lesser extent, the PSP." i feel agrivated by the last part of this and i feel sick of myself for feeling that

tenaus
tenaus

sound interesting actually.

shooters125
shooters125

OMG! I CAN PLAY WHILE IM MOVING- oh wait that's why I got a laptop!

Gooper_Blooper
Gooper_Blooper

LOOK OUT NINTENDO. YOUR DS DOMINANCE IS OVER. I mean, the Jungle will clearly sell two, three times as many units as previous fabled handheld challengers like the Gizmondo and the Game.Com! How can Nintendo possibly hope to compete? Surely the 480th idiot handheld that thinks it can tangle with the Game Boy/DS family will do better than the last 479!

Gliave
Gliave

This is an rpg geek's dream come true.....And the casual crowd's 27 seconds wasted.

leeko_link
leeko_link

This thing looks cool and all but I can only see failure coming from this just like what they (Panasonic) did when they invent the 3DO with Goldstar and Samsung. Well at least they did invent the DVD video compatible GameCube (with legs), it's too bad they never release the thing outside of Japan though.

feliscele
feliscele

For a moment, I was all like :). But then I saw "Linux" and "Browser-based" and I was all like :(. FAIL! Get a laptop!

Adidam
Adidam

The Jungle will get lost in the Jungle!!!

Bgrngod
Bgrngod

But you can sidetalk with it?!?!

Gamingclone
Gamingclone

Next big headline here on GS: "The Jungle flops before it even hits stores!"

max_1111
max_1111

what's the point of this? why wouldn't you just get a laptop so you could do more than just play MMO's on the go?

psx_warrior
psx_warrior

@Hvac0120 That's a good point. This might as well be a dumbed down version of a netbook. One should just get a netbook over this as you can do more with that than this thing, though I still prefer my iPod Touch over a netbook.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

A lot of ARM-based netbooks can play MMO's as well as do all others things PC. What demographic is this really going to attract?

cameio
cameio

Ok i like Panasonic and i would love to c more about this!

Vambran
Vambran

So its a mini laptop with a limited game selection (MMORPG's) They might have better luck marketing this thing in korea or china.

Jaga_Telesin
Jaga_Telesin

MMOs on a handheld? Definitely won't succeed.. Display/keyboard size is a major factor, due to text size for chat and easy typing. Gamers that attempt to play even on ergonomically-challenged laptops tend to suffer more than the average player. Someone using Jungle to play a MMO for 4+ hours would get carpel tunnel and go cross-eyed in the very first evening. It *might* get away with an hour playing a shooter or an online web-based game. More than that and you're seriously pushing the limit of something with close to no ergonomics at all.

fetusfart18
fetusfart18

Just take a cue from the N-Gage. That thing failed miserable. Twice.

psx_warrior
psx_warrior

A person would be better off gaming on the iPod Touch than this. I know. I have one, as well as a gaming PC.

Megamanx266
Megamanx266

A couple of things come to mind.... 1) This COULD force Blizzard to make a Linux client for WoW 2) If they're trying to appeal to gamers... they should know that a touchpad is a BIG NONO! Heck, I bet even an analog stick would work better if done correctly. Or even a ball. 3) Related to #2, there better be regular mouse support. Which kindof limits the usability of the "handheld" but would be worth it depending on the circumstances 4) Whats the resolution and screen size going to be like? Cause there is NO WAY IN HELL that I'm going to be playing on some tiny-ass screen where I have to take a microscope to see chat.

MischiefmAker
MischiefmAker

Hmm, interesting tactic... I wonder if it will work. All I know is, there better be some mouse you can buy for it. Playing an mmo on a touchpad, ew...

Ex-DarkBlade
Ex-DarkBlade

Panasonic vs. Nintendo vs. Sony vs. Apple in 2011? Let's watch who will win, and who will lose.

Slagar
Slagar

"Take your addiction with you everywhere you go!"

glhx1rush
glhx1rush

RE: Bread_or_Decide "MMO on the go? Mmmm. Imagine playing WOW anywhere you want without a laptop" Ding Ding Ding, we have a winner! This is the target group, and target app. Make a small, but functional/streamlined system that is set up to run MMO's/RPG's on the go, without having to lug around a laptop, or barely cutting it netbook ( I managed to shovel in Guild Wars on my MSI Netbook, but it is pretty rough), and price it decently, and there may be a pretty decent number of people, like me, who would be willing to try one on for size.

TheArcade
TheArcade

Damn I completely forgot about those two games, Return Fire was the it game for the 3DO and I actually own Road Rash 3D, that game was addictive as hell! I'd love to see Return Fire make a comeback. An HD version of Road Rash 3D wouldn't be bad either.

Jah_Glow
Jah_Glow

Might make some money and last a little while -- maybe even beat out N-Gage -- but, eventually, it will flop. Fanboyism always wins.

InExcelsis
InExcelsis

I want to see more before I pass my final judgement but based on this information is sounds like a future epic fail.

JohnF111
JohnF111

They wouldn't release it if they knew it was gonna fail... If it's MMO based then it could do well as thats not even touching 3DS and PSP territory... its a whole new market if they can pull it off.

bonereaper69
bonereaper69

Unless it runs WOW i dout it will be a hit

iano-87
iano-87

lol they can't be serious.

BasilVZero
BasilVZero

Can anyone sense this is gonna end up like N-Gage.

Oozyrat
Oozyrat

LOL! after the video ended, Welcome to the Jungle was on the bottom of the screen.

Oozyrat
Oozyrat

Beware the Ides of March...

inaka_rob
inaka_rob

Panasonic tried to enter the gaming market once before. I think it was called the "3D Oh I almost forgot that existed" It retailed at the low low price of 1000 bucks and was the size of 3 VCRs stacked on top of each other.

kweeni
kweeni

I don't think this will end well..

kaijukrash
kaijukrash

Most folks are honestly too skittish about plunking down their hard earned on a new dedicated console. With such aggressive competition among the longtime established Big 3 and rampant brand fanboyism who wouldn't be reticent to buy in to a console untested in this volatile marketplace? Nope. I don't see this one flying, Orville

UnknownElement4
UnknownElement4

Not sure if this is a good idea or a bad one. Will definitely pay attention to this when it releases.