You have not played any game recently!

Remove ?

You are removing the game from your account and My Games . Depending on the developer, your game progress may be permanently deleted.

Note: may still retain some data you shared with them directly or during game play. Please visit () privacy policy for details about having your data deleted.

Plugged In

Panasonic ‘Jungle’ to enter portable game war, analysts unimpressed

Plugged In

View photo


Welcome to the Jungle.

Remember the ill-fated 3DO console? While it boasted pretty
impressive tech when it was released in 1993, an exorbitant launch price
tag ($700, LOL) and lack of solid support from game makers
sent it out with a whimper, marking the last time electronics giant
Panasonic would dare set foot in the video game space.

Well, once bitten, twice...uh, bitten, it seems: despite a crowded
field dominated by Nintendo and Apple (and Sony, sort of), Panasonic is
dipping its toe back into the choppy waters of video game hardware with
their upcoming Jungle, a portable game system tailored specifically for online gamers.

The device looks like a hybrid between a Nintendo DS and a
smartphone, sporting a high-res display, clamshell design, a full QWERTY
keyboard, a D-pad, a touch pad and shoulder buttons. Panasonic sees it
as a way for fans of online games -- be it an MMO like Warcraft or a
Facebook game like Farmville -- to quickly and easily access their
addiction on the go.

But don't pre-order one just yet: like the doomed 3DO, analysts aren't expecting The Jungle to last very long.

"The Jungle is a highly specialized dedicated portable for a non-existent market," M2 Research's Billy Pidgeon told Industry Gamers.
"This is an unprecedented hardware strategy, and probably for good
reason. If MMO players want to go more portable than a laptop, I guess
this would be the way to go. Frankly, this looks like a non-starter."

He's not the only one with concerns. Three other analysts -- David
Cole of DFC Intelligence, Colin Sebastian of Lazard Capital Markets and
Jesse Divnich of EEDAR -- agreed with Pidgeon, each pointing to a lack
of support from other publishers and a particularly competitive portable
game landscape as reasons why the device will face an uphill battle.

Nintendo and Sony certainly aren't helping matters. The former recently announced
a release date and pricing for their hotly-anticipated 3DS, which
manages to pump out 3D graphics without requiring special glasses. Sony,
meanwhile, has the rumor mills buzzing over its long-awaited but still
unofficial PSP 2 handheld. Add the deluge of gaming apps for Apple's
various i-devices and you get a very small window for another portable
gaming system.

So far, the only announced game for The Jungle is the upcoming
browser-based MMO Battlestar Galactica Online. Great name, to be sure,
but it's a totally unproven title. Until we see some established
properties sign on, color us skeptical.

View Comments