Open Pandora handheld gaming available for pre-order

Open Pandora, the powerful portable gaming platform with dual analog thumbsticks and a full QWERTY keyboard is now available for pre-order for $330. We've spent a fair amount of time debating whether I should get one or not, but while it scratches every itch I might have for a portable emulation platform, my resistance is sticking on one point: I don't actually play all that many retro games these days. Above, a video comparing the size of the Open Pandora to a Nintendo DS Lite. Pre-order a Pandora [] PreviouslyPandora portable gaming system flashes one huge QWERTY
This entry was posted in emulator, videogames and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Open Pandora handheld gaming available for pre-order

  1. strider_mt2k says:

    Or run some emulators on a netbook with a USB controller.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yes it runs Quake. As the VIDEO itself SHOWS!

    You did hang around for that part, didn’t you? Gee, Why not?

  3. kaiza says:

    Site is down.
    @#8 – only if you can plug in a USB mouse and WASD are big enough to use ;)

  4. David Bruce Murray says:

    Nothing screams cutting edge like a repetitive 16-bit MIDI soundtrack.

  5. w000t says:

    “sticking on one point: I don’t actually play all that many retro games these days.”

    I’ve been XBoxing
    I don’t do much retro gaming these days
    These days
    These days I seem to think a lot
    About high def and the polygons
    And I wonder what a pixel’s worth

  6. dculberson says:

    The pricing is an issue, but of course they can’t count on future revenue from games and licensing. But does that matter to the average consumer? Probably not, but they’re clearly not aiming for the average consumer.

    I bet it would be a ton of fun to hack on. And it’s a lot prettier than something I could make myself, that’s for sure.

  7. Bugs says:

    I have a GP2X, the console this is designed to replace. It’s a different compay (The GP2X was Gamepark Holdings), but the Pandora was designed and built by members of the GP2X community. If you have the time to trawl through the boards at, you can read pretty much the whole evolution of the device from discussions of the initial concept, through hardware and interface design to final renders and, soon, homebrew releases. It was fascinating to follow.

    It’ll be good for a lot more than SNES, which was reported weeks ago to be running at much more than full speed. Plans are afoot for Gameboy Advance (almost complete IIRC), Dreamcast, even more MAME systems, improved DOSBox, Playstation 1 (some games were playabe even on the GP2X), PSP, etc. Doom and Quake are certain (both ran on the GP2X), maybe Quake II is next?

    Moving away from ports and emulation, there were some great homebrew games on the GP2X. Most of my faourites look likely to be ported to the Pandora and I’m sure we’ll get some fantastic original stuff too.

    Between that, internet over wifi and promised lightweight office apps I’m turning into a fanboy. Just not enough of a fanboy that I’m going to buy the first batch. I want to see reviews and what software comes out in the next few months… then decide whether to treat myself to one of these or a Sony Reader.

  8. Bugs says:

    I found some more videos of the pandora.

    This one shows the devboard (so, the same hardware but no case yet) running a few emulators and Quake II:

    Pandora playing playstation 1 games:
    Final Fantasy VII:


    Pandora devboard running Xubuntu and firefox:

    For some reason, all of these videos are shot really badly. You can see what’s going on pretty clearly, but they’re terrible adverts for the system.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Dude, it’s not only a gaming machine; it can run full Linux distros (there’s an Ubuntu demo vid). You can do /anything/ you could do on any other actual computer, like browsing the web or w/e.

  10. A New Challenger says:

    You should totally play Mega Man 9 though. Do it.

  11. CommanderCool says:

    haha wow thats reto lol.

  12. shMerker says:

    Do you really need something that powerful to emulate a SNES? You can get a new DS Lite and a homebrew kit for under $200, and you’ll be able to play DS games on it too. So unless you really want the bluetooth, keyboard, or analog nubs for something (certainly not playing Chrono Trigger) that probably still makes more sense from a money standpoint.

    It does look like a pretty cool system though. I just don’t understand who they think is going to buy $300 handheld when it was nearly impossible to sell the PSP for $169.

  13. shMerker says:

    It just occurred to me that with a machine that powerful and that controller setup you could potentially run something like Quake. I have to admit that would be pretty awesome.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Obviously the platform doesn’t have video editing software, or about two and a half minutes of total waste of time could have been taken out.

    I hope that is some fan or beta tester and not the developer that did the youtube video.

    Show DS, show Open Pandora similarity, Cut. Closeup on Open Pandora, show what it can do. Play musical loop about fifty fewer times.

  15. Anonymous says:

    How about all of you who seem to think this is extravagant go read: and see what it is capable of before knocking it.

    And yes, it has been stated elsewhere on that forum that it CAN run Quake.


  16. shMerker says:

    If you read the anonymous post above and thought you should go watch the video, save yourself the trouble. In the middle somewhere there are 2 screenshots of an FPS I honestly can’t identify. The video showcases the Pandora’s ability to sit next to a DS Lite and play a slide show. The video posted by #16 however shows the Pandora doing a number of interesting and enticing things and is actually worth seeing.

  17. Anonymous says:


    Now Pandora has 256mb ram and 512mb Flash! Now is more UMPC than other devices considered UMPC ;)


  18. Anonymous says:

    “It just occurred to me that with a machine that powerful and that controller setup you could potentially run something like Quake. I have to admit that would be pretty awesome.”

    It already runs Quake 2

  19. musicalwoods says:

    The “looping track” was Muscle Cars by MYLO.

    I agree, the video was way too long for what it was.

  20. shMerker says:

    All I said was that it’s overkill if all you want to do is play SNES games. DS emulation is also going to be pointless for games that rely heavily on the DS screen orientation or that rely on the touch screen at all.

    I do love the idea of a powerful handheld that’s made for doing homebrew stuff, and I can totally see playing Icy Tower or Cave Story on the bus. The list of freeware games that would probably live comfortably on this thing is staggering.

  21. salasq says:


    Searh YT for pandora+quake, pandora+ubuntu.

    It’s emu capabilities go far beyond SNES (handheld DOSBox did it for me), and you get a linux-capable MID included.

    …and most likely you’ll be able to play DS games on it, too, when an emu gets ported for side-by-side screen play.

  22. Chad says:

    “you could potentially run something like Quake”

    There’s no potential about it, it is already running Quake 2, In software mode unoptimized!
    In fact you could say it could potentially run something like Doom3!

    “Do you really need something that powerful to emulate a SNES?”

    This is more than just a gaming device, it’s a pocket computer, capable of running Ubuntu + Firefox 3…But on the emulation side of things, it’s not just snes, Amiga, playstation and dosbox just to name a few…

    Plus on top of all of that, it was made not through the motivation of money, but rather to make a unique device which has the user in mind first and profits second. Indeed it was made by a handful of devs, and the input from the pandora community..It’s worth the money for this alone..

    I have attached some video links for thos who are interested…


    Arcade Compilation


    you can find more on

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


More BB

Boing Boing Video

Flickr Pool




Displays ads via FM Tech

RSS and Email

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution. Boing Boing is a trademark of Happy Mutants LLC in the United States and other countries.

FM Tech