In a landscape dominated by the likes of Sony?s PlayStation Portable and Nintendo?s DS and GameBoy devices, it?s hard for another player to emerge with enough momentum to gain any market share. One company trying to break through that wall is GamePark Holdings, who recently introduced the GP2X-F100 portable gaming device, an open source handheld electronics product which currently has limited worldwide distribution.
What makes the GamePark Holdings GP2X-F100 so interesting, you might ask? Well, for starters, the South Korean based maker of this portable video game console has made the device run off of the Linux operating system. By doing this, savvy tech users have been given the ability, through free, open source software, to be able to design games which can be shared with others. Several Web sites, such as the GP2X wiki , have sprung up with development tips and links to downloadable games.
Even without the wealth of free games available for download to the GP2X-F100, the device still has a lot of other features to offer. It sports an ARM dual core processing unit ? an ARM920T for host processing and an ARM940T for video co-processing. It has 64MB of internal memory, with additional expandable memory options available via the integrated SD card slot. The dimensions of the GP2X are 5.65? x 3.26? x 1.34? and it weighs 5.68 ounces without batteries.
Images Courtesy of GamePark
The screen of the GP2X-F100 is a 3.5? TFT QVGA (320 x 240) LCD. Through this screen, one is capable of watching video via a variety of codecs the handheld device can play. These codecs include MPEG-4, DviX 3.11, 4x, 5x and higher, XVID and, later on, WMV. Video playback is rated at a maximum frame rate of 30fps and resolution of 720 x 480. Besides being displayed on its screen, video can also be outputted to a monitor through a TV-out connection.
Also viewable through the GP2X-F100?s screen are JPG, BMP, PCX, GIF and PNG photos. Additionally, those wanting music can listen to MP3, OGG and, later on, WMA music files through the device?s headphone jack. Battery life for all of these multimedia functions ? the player uses two standard AA batteries ? has been rated by GamePark Holdings to be four hours for video and six hours for audio.
Other features of the GP2X-F100 include a text reader for e-books and other text files, upgradeable firmware, USB 2.0 support and four equalizer settings.