OpenPandora gaming handheld nears final design

A forthcoming handheld gaming console, Pandora will run Linux on an 800x480 display: perfect for the retrogaming it's intended for. Getting the control layout just right, however, is a big deal--just try retrogaming on a standard UMPC or MID. Here's the latest design (big), spotted at Technabob.

About Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Try your luck at  
This entry was posted in pandora. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to OpenPandora gaming handheld nears final design

  1. TJ S says:

    Worst spacebar placement ever.

  2. strider_mt2k says:

    I think it’s pretty cool and am hoping for the best.

  3. dculberson says:

    TJ S, holy crap you’re right.

  4. caldrax says:

    That whole design is just terrible.

  5. Halloween Jack says:

    This looks like the sort of thing that I admire more in the abstract than as it actually turns out. If you want a keyboard on the thing, make it a clip-on. Otherwise, it’s a bit brickish.

  6. technogeek says:

    Given that retrogames are the primary mode of operation, I’d suggest putting the game controls below the keyboard (closer to user, more easily operated with thumbs) rather than above.

  7. styrofoam says:

    This is seriously a perfect example of design by committee.

    Other companies noted for design get it right by mercilessly chopping ‘required features’ and finding out that they were really only wants.
    This box is trying to do waaay to much, and it’s going to do just about everything poorly as a result.

    This looks horrid. If you were to ditch the keyboard, or better yet- put in a BT module and include one of the credit-card sized keyboards we saw the other day- you’d be talking. Make the keyboard slip into a slot, or clip on, or just make it loseable. But having all that crap right in the middle of your interface (which is the SOUL of the gaming experience) is just a recipe for disaster.

  8. muteboy says:

    #6, If you think of how your hands would hold it, I think the current placement would work. There are shoulder buttons as well, so your index fingers would wrap around it. There may be a problem with the base of your thumbs hitting the keyboard.

    #2, it’s not great is it?

    #5, It’s not pretty, I agree, but really? The whole thing? Wow.

  9. FRaNz! says:

    #12: oh!! So your laptop is handheld device with analog game control???!! read!! before posting some stupid sentences about a device you don’t even know about it.

  10. pelrun says:

    If you don’t want the keyboard, buy a DS or a PSP for crying out loud, don’t criticise the Pandora for it.

    And the gaming controls are exactly where your thumbs normally rest – it’s going to be much more comfortable for me than any other portable system I’ve ever played.

    I’m actually looking forward to this; there hasn’t been *anything* that comes close to replacing my Zaurus until now. Pity about some of the keyboard layout, but I can probably live with that. But the spacebar position is not a problem – remember this is for thumbtyping, not touchtyping.

  11. claud9999 says:

    Yeah, looks like a bunch of Linux devs designed it. If I want a gaming device with a keyboard, I use my laptop. (Or on-screen keyboard of a DS or iPhone.)

    Oh, and love the shift key placement too, nothing like having it surrounded on 3 sides by regular (non-modifier) keys.

  12. DSMVWL THS says:

    From the name, I’d assume this was some kind of internet radio device. Trademark lawsuit, anyone?

  13. The Lizardman says:

    How about DS like button and control layout with a slider keyboard under it – Get the keyboad out of the way and personally I like a little extra thickness for grip, my DS lite is nearly too thin

  14. stratosfyr says:

    I know it’s probably not meant for PC games… but that’s not a very good WASD.

  15. caldrax says:

    #7 – Yes, all of it. Maybe it’s a cool platform, but the counter-intuition of the layout destroys any desire to even go near it. There are so many comfortable game controllers out there, and so many ways to play games, I see nothing about this that beckons me to try it. This thing is going to go the way of the Atari Jaguar. If you’ve never heard of that, look up a picture of the controller on google images and you’ll know why.

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