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Handheld Linux gaming gadget goes stateside

Apr 17, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

[Updated Apr. 18] — A Linux-based handheld gaming platform that runs native and emulated games is shipping in the US. Gamepark's GP2X is powered by a pair of ARM processors, has an “open-source” API and development tools, and can run thousands of classic console video games, online retailer Dynamism says.

The GP2X was originally known as the GPX2. It is powered by dual ARM9/ARM7 cores, and has 64MB of RAM, and 64MB of NAND Flash, expandable via an SD-card slot. It has a 3.5-inch QVGA (320×240) TFT LCD that supports 170K colors, a four-way controller on the right of the screen, and a small thumb joystick on the left. I/O ports include a stereo headphone jack, USB 2.0 client, and TV out (special cable required).

Dynamism claims the device can run more than a thousand classic arcade games, through open-source console game emulators such as MAME, SNES, Genesis, and PC Engine. Additionally, the GP2X has an open-source API, and an active native game developer community, according to the company. Gamepark sponsors native coding contests for the device, and Dynamism earlier sponsored a free toolset aimed at allowing Windows PCs to be used as development hosts.

The GP2X additionally includes a media player supporting MPEG, JPEG, and MP3 formats. The device runs from a pair of AA batteries, for up to 14 hours when listening to music, or 5-8 hours when gaming or watching video.

Dynamism Founder Douglas Krone stated, “The Gamepark GP2X is a great introduction to the world of Linux, since there is a whole community dedicated to making the most out of the GP2X for novice users and hardcore programmers alike.”


The GP2X appears to be available from a variety of online retailers, priced between $170 and $200.

Dynamism charges $200, and $10 for an optional TV-out cable. It claims to offer “premium customer service, including lifetime toll-free tech support and 1-year FedEx rescue service.” It says it specializes in distributing “the most advanced consumer electronics technology from Japan and around the world” to US markets. Its products include ultralight performance notebooks, subnotebooks, slimtops, PDAs, phones, and other gadgets.

GP2X user/developer forums can be found here, here, and here.

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