Open source gaming just got a touch better.
If you don’t read the site regularly, or haven’t yet cottoned on, I’m a huge fan of Linux and open source in general – I use Fedora and OpenOffice for my work PC and have a large collection of homebrew games for my PSP. So when I first heard about the GP2X portable gaming device it took me a lot of effort to stop me rushing out and buying one. Those urges have now returned because console has now been updated with some swanky new features and a new name, the GP2X-F200.
Foremost among them is a new screen that’s now touch sensitive, with an updated firmware which should soon lead to some DS-style free game offerings from the GP2X community. The d-pad is now a 16-way digital affair, DS style as opposed to the PSP-esque stick on the previous model.
Internally, the main hardware is the same, so everything and anything developed for the previous incarnation will work on the F200 including the vast array of alternate firmwares, media players (including xVid and DivX playback support) and emulators. The card reader has been updated to accept SDHC cards, which enables you up to use 32GB of portable films and games.
Since the initial launch in 2005, 30,000 GP2Xs have been sold, making it around 1,700 times less prolific than the DS. Although that does mean that 30,000 people have been convinced that the idea of not having to pay for your games is a good one – which it assuredly is.
You can get your hands on the F200 from next month and, shelling out £125 for the privileged, about the same price as the new PSP Lite. If you consider that for your money you’re getting a portable games console, media player and just about anything else you can code in Linux it’s hard to deny the attraction.
GP2X UK site.