With all of the news surrounding the new Jungle MMORPG handheld from Panasonic, after stepping back and looking at the product for what it is, we can only conclude that it faces a difficult road, at best. It seems that we at Fudzilla are not the only ones who think that Panasonic is going to have a difficult time gaining traction; a number of industry analysts are also coming out with the same opinion.
The Jungle is a device for a new market space that actually does not even exist yet and, of course, as with any product that is trying to create a new space in the gaming market, it will face a difficult time. Currently, if MMO players want to go portable, they have been using laptops and perhaps even netbooks, depending on which title they might be playing.
The reason so many are skeptical of the potential of success for the Jungle actually comes down to the same old thing that all gaming platforms face, which is software support. Perhaps if you could play Warcraft on it, then we would give it a much higher potential for success; but right now we think despite the news that a number of software developers are looking at or developing for the platform, the lack of specifics has to worry anyone who would even consider the purchase of the Jungle at this point.
While the flack that Panasonic is receiving about the Jungle does not equal failure just yet. It remains to be seen what, if anything, Panasonic might have up their sleeves to get the device on firm footing and get the buying public excited about the product. With so many questions yet to be answered, we have to ask: why would Panasonic risk announcing the unit with so little information surrounding it? We can only hope that Panasonic has enough software support to give the device a chance, but at this point the non-excitement about the unit seems to already be a buzz kill.
We will have to see what Panasonic will announce in the weeks ahead, but given the fact that Panasonic is building new relationships with developers and publishers, we could not expect too much. But the good news might be that it is powered by NVIDIA’s Tegra and runs Linux, which could present some interesting possibilities even if the unit doesn’t make it as an MMO portable gaming platform.