When the rumor broke this afternoon that a “major electronics company” would have a secret gaming announcement on MTV tonight at 9:30 Eastern folks got excited. Major as in Sony major? Nope. Panasonic.
Entering both the handheld and MMORPG market at the same time takes a huge business plan, but that appears to be what Panasonic is attempting with their new hardware called “The Jungle” alongside is their would-be system seller Battlestar Galactica Online.
Sporting a less than elegant “large eyeglass case” form factor, the clam-shell device features a large-ish screen on the top and a full keyboard on the bottom. The Jungle will also apparently sport a mini HDMI port, a micro USB port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. With shoulder buttons it’s clear that the device is designed for gaming. But will MMORPG fans leave their couches and coffee shops and embrace mobile gaming or are we looking at the next Nokia N-Gage? Hard to tell at this point.
Panasonic is no stranger to gaming, having been one of two hardware manufacturers for the ill fated 3DO platform some 17 years ago. It seems strange that they are re-entering the gaming market after so long and with a hand-held to boot!
Pricing, availablity and launch titles are all unknown at this time.