Pandora tops 1000 boxes
Open-spec hardware goes professional
English-built, open source games console Pandora has shipped its thousandth unit - not bad considering every one is hand made by geeks in Newcastle.
The Pandora isn't just a games console: running a tweaked Ångström Linux it can manage Open Office and Firefox too, all using open source hardware and software in a box the size of a Nintendo DS. Even the fact that it costs twice as much as a DS hasn't stopped 1000 people buying one.
It costs a shade under £240, though the company is sold out right now. The Geordie geeks are busy putting another another 3000 together in time for the busy Christmas period.
Those who find a Pandora under the tree will be able to play open source games including Quake 3 and Wolfenstein, as well as more than fifty developed specially for the platform. But equally entertaining are the 35 emulators allowing the device to run games and applications stretching from the PET to the N64, including MAME of course, as well as the inevtible video and audio codecs.
The Pandora isn't the only open-source pocketable gadget. The more financially-challenged might like to take a look at the NanoNote, which comes in at £99 and is proportionally less functional - last we heard they'd shipped 500 of them, and were rather enjoying themselves.
But the Pandora is a real business rather than a hobby, as the company is keen to emphasise: "People building the Pandora are paid a real wage and live normal 9-5 lives. This is a very important step for us so we hope you will consider it when deciding to buy your next console, we hope you will tell your friends about it too."
Open source hardware, just like software, treads a fine line - become too popular and you'll attract the attention of patent holders who can often destroy such efforts. The Pandora has gone professional, which is impressive, but it doesn't want to attract too much attention too quickly. ®
...people don't mind paying a little bit more in order to support a cause/company they believe in?
If you think it's too much, don't buy it. No one is forcing you to. The only "fail" here seems to be yourself.
Well, it's horrifically ugly, but...
...are those analogs? DUAL ANALOGS??
Where the hell's my credit card...
Who said that people are buying it for games
I have looked at it a few times in the past for a completely different purpose. My wife needed something to automate a diagnostic lab to be shipped into subsaharan Africa. This was one of the cheapest candidates which could easily do the job. Unfortunately the projects never left the drawing board.
I suspect other people are also looking at this as an automation platform, not a console. It is rugged (for the price). It is also trivial to build a simple UI.
Great news to hear them doing well
Haven't got one myself and not really my thing but nice to hear it catch on.
Good on El Reg for putting it out there too.
That's as silly as building an HPC cluster out of PS3s. Oh, wait...