While Nintendo preps for their 2011 3DS launch and the PSP 2 remains something that doesn't officially exist but that developers are using, a new challenger has entered the handheld platform competition from Panasonic. The Jungle crept out into the public eye yesterday, "Battlestar Galactica" MMO in tow, and it's going to try to revive Panasonic's gaming hardware reputation that withered years ago with the failure of the 3DO.
"All we can say for now is that this mean little machine features a kick ass display, touch pad, keyboard, and other gaming controls that we'll be saying more about soon," a post on the official Jungle website explains.
The device will be targeting online gamers and what its site lacks in concrete info, it more than makes up for in a marketing language clearly targeted toward the RPG and MMO crowd. With a fully QWERTY keyboard, the Jungle resembles a tiny netbook more than it does a PSP or DS. If it's going to specialize in online games, though, that makes a lot of sense. MMO's exist on the iPhone and Android phones, but the Jungle looks like it will be trying to own a niche somewhere between them and Sony and Nintendo's machines.
At first glance, it looks like a netbook with two thumb pads and almost as big as some of the smaller models out there. I think it's speaking to a real audience, though price, processor and overall strategy are all going to determine whether this newbie sinks or swims.
What are your first impressions of the Panasonic Jungle? Does it sound like the type of handheld you'd want to own? Share your impressions with us in the comment section below.