Portable gaming has been a field where numerous manufacturers have tried their hand. Most attempts to create an ultimate portable entertainment console were usually made by the "big" companies like Sony, Nintendo and in the past, SNK and other manufacturers. We could say that Nintendo holds the title of the most successful portable console manufacturer. With the era of the Internet, other manufacturers have tried to ship a different solution for portable gaming, armed with the power of open source firmware. GamePark Holdings, may not be a familiar name for many, but it has shipped a rather successful portable console titled "GP2X". In this review, we will see what the GP2X can do, but first, let's look at some background information on GamePark Holdings.
- GamePark Holdings
GamePark Holdings is a Korean company responsible for creating the GP2X that was founded by former employees of the game maker GamePark. Before the development of the GP2X, most GamePark Holdings founders/employees, where working for GamePark company. Their most well known product was the GP32, with similar specs/features as the GP2X. After a strong disagreement within the company about the general direction of the next generation system, many of the staff (including the majority of engineers) left and created a new company called GamePark Holdings.
The new company's goal was to create, produce and market a 2D handheld system that they saw as the evolution of the GP32. In contrast, GamePark developed the XGP, a 3D system similar to the PlayStation Portable. The name of GP2X was decided upon, after 1500 names were submitted from users to GamePark Holdings.
- GP2X Console
What exactly is the GP2X?
Wikipedia has a good explanation: "...The GP2X is an open-source, Linux-based handheld video game console and media player. Released on November 10, 2005 in South Korea, the GP2X is designed to play video and music, view photos, and play games. It has an open architecture, allowing anybody to develop and run software. Also, there is the possibility for additional features (such as support for new media formats) to be added in the future due to the upgradable firmware. A popular use of the GP2X is for running emulators, which allow one to use software from another system on the GP2X..."
The GP2X console is already one year old on the market, and should by now be mature enough either in games and/or firmware for end users. According to GamePark Holdings, the GP2X has sold 30,000 units and is expected to reach 50,000 by Christmas.