Linux Gaming News

A gaming iPod? UK’s Blaze to launch new handheld GameGadget early 2012

GameGadget, a new handheld gaming device from the UK aims at retro-gamers and aspiring developers.

A company from the UK named Blaze has announced a handheld Linux-based device called GameGadget. The new device will be retailing for £99.99 (about $160) and will be making its debut in January of 2012. The creator says GameGadget will be to games what the iPod was for music.

Retro-gaming Blaze Interactive is known best for reviving SEGA video games as dedicated handheld versions. The new GameGadget mobile gaming console, retailing for slightly less than the price of a 3DS, will support 32-bit games according to T3, but will be optimized for 16-bit. It will have 2GB of on-board memory, but will also allow use of SD cards.

Creator Jason Cooper has created a service he compares to the Apple App Store, saying: “GameGadget has been designed with the ultimate goal of playing every game on a single device, just as the ‘iPod’ was for music.”

Coopers’ GameGadgetGames service is looking to gain access to the “hundreds of thousands of games” that are currently archived. Owners of those games would upload their back catalog, in the games’ original format, and gain a revenue stream without any further work. The services’ proprietary DRM system would ensure that the games would not be messed with.

Besides older games from forgotten consoles, GameGadget hopes to attract new developers even if they have no real experience creating games. The product doubles as an Open Source development platform and provides start-up guides, documentation and lists of libraries for aspiring developers.

An interesting retro-gaming novelty, but the new device aims to break into an already crowded gaming market. The big mobile players include Nintendos DS and 3DS and Sony’s PSP, with the PS Vita on its way. Then there’s the Android and iOS platforms which have mobile games sales that generate close to $500 million more in revenue than Nintendo and Sony’s handheld games.

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