Possibly, the coolest thing we saw at E3 this year was in a tiny booth manned by single person, tucked away in the corner of the South Hall at the Los Angeles Convention center. In that booth, we saw the latest iteration of the (now defunct) Game Park hand-held console, the GP32…named updated and renamed GP32X Wiz by the company Game Park Holdings, who are directly related to the original company.
The GP32 and it successors have never been widely available in the USA. In most of the rest of the world the systems are used primarily to play emulated games. This new version has a beefy ARM 9 Processor running at 533 MHz, and it runs a on Linux Kernal. The most interesting thing for Flash developers though, is the Flash support built-in GP32X Wiz. At release it supports Flash 8, AS2, with plans for AS3 support.
Games can be played directly off an SD Card.
In reality though, while this is a cool way to play games, it is probably not any way to generate revenue. since, people who own GP32s have many games to play for free, it would be difficult to get enough to “pay” for a game to make it worth while. As well, since games will be played offline, there is little chance for in-game ad revenue.
Still though, if you have game that you have a Flash you would like see being played on hand held system, or you want to take 100’s of Flash 8, AS2 games any where you go, this could be a fairly cool system to own.
That is, if it really works. However, this review highlights some problems with the Flash Support in the GP32X Wiz:
“Flash support in general as I visited around twenty Flash game
sites that allow you to download the SWF and tested over two hundred of them and not a single one worked. The
WiZ has some major Flash support issues that need to be cleared up or they need to publish a list of working
Flash games as like I said, over two hundred of them didn’t work which clearly just sucks.” (Read Full Review)
So it looks like this hand held console is still really only good for emulators and Linux home-brew games. That still cool, but not what we were hoping for. We’ll keep you posted if there are any further developments.