Three Years Late, The Badass Pandora Handheld Hits The Market

The Pandora is a handheld gaming console that went on "sale" in 2007. It's only now arriving in the hands of customers, eager to get their hands on something that looks like a DS, but is actually so much more.

Long written off as vapourware, the Pandora is an open source handheld. What this means is that it's not locked in any way, like a DS or a PSP is. Instead, running on a form of Linux, you can install pretty much anything that the Pandora's hardware can run, with ports currently underway on everything from Homeworld to Quake to Lemmings.

Being open source, it's also a perfect platform for emulation, with the Pandora capable of running games originally intended for the NES, SNES, Neo Geo, N64, Dreamcast, PlayStation, Amiga, Game Boy Advance and more.

As you'll see in the above vid, it's got a touch screen, d-pad, dual analogue sticks (take note, Sony!) and even a full keyboard. You'll also see that, courtesy of its onboard storage and reliance on emulation, it's soon to be very unpopular with companies like Nintendo.

[thanks Antony!]


    n64 and dreamcast emulation?
    chalk up a sale on the board there pandora!

      N64 does run reasonably well with some frameskip, but Dreamcast emulation is way too slow on this device for most games to be playable.

        Currently! It's _currently_ too slow. I demand positive thinking! After all, there's never been real demand for a dreamcast emulator that runs on ARM before.

        But you're right, it may never be full speed for all games.

    Explain to me why it took roughly 2 yrs from ordering it, for it to get to your hands.

      Main reason it took so long is that the people behind the project, it was there first real effort of doing something on this scale. They had to build up all the industry contacts in the manufacturing world from scratch. Previously these guys main business was just in retail of selling the GPX units and similar. They also had to get a bunch of stuff made in china (cases) to keep the price of the thing reasonable and their efforts to get a Chinese factory to do what was agreed to on a very small scale relative to the number of units sold was very difficult.


    A handheld dreamcast? I want one of these so bad now.

    Awesome, so basically like a handheld but for pirates?

      No, that's the DS.

    Do. Want. NOW!!!

    How much were they going for? I'd be pretty interested in picking one up

    anyone realize the logo on the cover?

    Wow I doubted this hardware like any other weird one such as Wonderswan and GPX2 but I really want one now with those emulation options. Can it run Windows? What are the hardware specs?

      It's an ARM processor, not x86. Pro: very low energy consumption per clock cycle, very little heat, and significant amount of overclock safety (if you clock it too high, it just crashes and you have to restart, contrasting to an x86 where clocking too high can actually fry the chip)
      Con: can't run Windows. Some people may actually consider that a pro, though :P
      There was a proof of concept to get Windows games running in an x86 emulator, but a lot of work needs to be done to make it usable for anything more than minesweeper.

      Regarding the original article, it's only been on "sale" since October 2008, not 2007. It was 18.5 months from original pre-order to release.

    Well, it isn't in our hands yet, they have only shipped about a hundred so far, and my order is down in the 3000s in the queue.

    Here's some specs:

    ARM® Cortex™-A8 600Mhz+ CPU running Linux

    430-MHz TMS320C64x+™ DSP Core

    PowerVR SGX OpenGL 2.0 ES compliant 3D hardware

    800x480 4.3" 16.7 million colours touchscreen LCD

    Wifi 802.11b/g, Bluetooth & High Speed USB 2.0 Host

    Dual SDHC card slots & SVideo TV output

    Dual Analogue and Digital gaming controls

    43 button QWERTY and numeric keypad

    Around 10+ Hours battery life

    I don't want to nit-pick this too much but your article greatly exaggerates the delay time and I was hoping you could correct it.

    Pandora did not go on sale in 2007. It was offered for preorder at the end of September 2008, with a slated release of mid-November. It was released late May 2010, so it was 18 months late. Or 1.5 years, not 3 years.

    LOL @ 3 years late, nice exageration kotaku. As has been said pre-orders started in the last days of September 2008. The team has been vocal about delays all along and refunds have been available to anyone at any time.

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