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Linux game console adds GPU, accelerometers

Jul 12, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 28 views

GamePark Holdings (GPH) is readying a new version of its GP2X handheld game console running open source Linux games. The “GP2X Caanoo” is equipped with a 533MHz ARM9 CPU and 3D-ready GPU, a 3.5-inch display, Wi-Fi, and an accelerometer with a vibration motor.

The heir to GPH's previous, Linux-based GP2X "Wiz" game console, which in turn replaced other models, starting with the original GP2X, the GP2X Caanoo will ship at the end of the month, says, which posted specs for the device.

The Caanoo will be available in three versions, ranging from a basic $120 model up to one equipped with a Wi-Fi-dongle version, games and accessories for $150, says the site. Engadget, citing the site, simply says the device will ship August 15 for $150, and will be available via importers such as Play-Asia.

GP2X Caanoo
(Source: Engadget) suggests that the device should "add further weight to the fight against the Pandora," referring to the Linux-based Pandora device, which shares a similar ancestry with the Caanoo (see farther below for more background on GPH and Pandora).

Two Caanoo views from GPH YouTube video

The Caanoo runs Linux on an unnamed ARM9 processor clocked to 533MHz, and includes a 3D-enabled graphics processing unit (GPU), says Equipped with 128MB RAM and a SD/SDHC slot, the console offers a 320 x 240-pixel, 3.5-inch display, says the site.

The Caanoo measures 5.75 x 2.76 x 0.73 inches (146 x 70 x 18.5mm) and weighs 4.8 ounces (136 grams), says As well as the available Wi-Fi dongle, the device is said to offer a Wi-Fi dongle, as well as a Fun Factors vibration motor and G-sensor.

The Caanoo supports MPEG4, Xvid, Divx, and AVI video formats, as well as OGG and WAV audio formats, says the site. Photo support is said to include JPG, BMP, GIF, PNG formats, and its TXT support enables GPH to tout the Caaanoo as offering ebook capabilities. 

According to Engadget,, the Canoo (pictured at right in another GPH shot) sports the same CPU as the earlier Wiz, but with double the memory. Also new is the unnamed GPU, which is said to greatly improve 3D graphics support. The accelerometer and vibration features are also said to be new.

Background: GPH and OpenPandora

GamePark Holdings shipped the GP2X-F100 as an open source gaming platform in 2005, and shipped the device in the U.S. the following year. In 2007, GPH followed up with the GP2X F-200, and that same year, "CraigIX" and "EvilDragon," both members of Gamepark Holdings' GP2X gaming community, launched

This splinter organization showed off its Pandora prototype in January 2008. The Pandora, which was made available for pre-orders in September 2008, only began shipping in volume in May of this year, according to Engadget.

The Pandora is equipped with the Cortex-A8-based Texas Instruments OMAP3530 clocked to 600MHz, which also includes an OpenGL ES 3D graphics core from Imagination Technologies. Presumably, this would enable a more powerful gaming device than the Caanoo's ARM9 processor, even when matched with a GPU, but the proof will be found in the playing.

The Pandora sports a clamshell format with a QWERTY keyboard instead of the Canoo's classic handheld game console design, which provides a joystick and other controls on either side of the display. The Pandora also offers a larger, 4.3-inch, 800 x 480 touchscreen, and supplies a USB port in addition to Wi-Fi.

GPH's GP2X Wiz debuted in January 2009, according to a YouTube video from GPH on the Caanoo, shown below. The video also mentions that an "open contents store" called FunGP will also be available, along with the company's portal site for networked games. Other Caanoo demo videos can also be found on YouTube.


GPH YouTube video of Caanoo
(Click to play)


The GP2X Caanoo will ship in late July at prices ranging from $120 to $150, says, while Engadget says August 15th is the ship date. GPH's Facebook page for the Caanoo may be found here, and information should eventually make it to GPH's main site, here.

The story may be found here, and the Engadget story should be here. may be found here.

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