Pandora Open Source, Linux-based Handheld Game Console Now Shipping

Pandora, the Linux-based handheld game console that is aimed to take advantage of free and open source software is finally shipping. After two years of development, the OpenPandora developers are finally sending out the first completed batch of the game console to consumers.

Pandora may look like a slightly bigger Nintendo DS but its hardware and software architectures are not closed down and it is open for home-brew development or hacking. It can also serve as a subnotebook and run as a low-power but full-featured Linux desktop.

The user interface of Pandora is customized to fit its small form factor with available touchscreen, analogue joystick, and keyboard-based inputs. Since the device is very much hackable, users can run their own desktop environment or even install other Linux distributions.

Pandora is also designed for the emulation of older computer systems and video game consoles. It has working emulators for Dreamcast, PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Amiga, SNES, Atari Jaguar and Sega Mega Drive software.

Some of the known technical specifications of Pandora:

* Runs the Linux kernel (2.6.x)
* 800x480 resolution touchscreen LCD, 4.3-inch widescreen, 16.7 million colors (300 cd/m2 brightness, 450:1 contrast ratio)
* Texas Instruments OMAP3530 System-on-Chip with Cortex-A8 600 MHz Processor
* 256MB DDR-333 SDRAM
* 512MB NAND FLASH memory
* IVA2+ audio and video processor (based on the TMS320C64x+ DSP Core at 430 MHz) using Texas Instruments' DaVinci technology
* ARM Cortex-A8 superscalar microprocessor core
* PowerVR SGX 530 (110 MHz) OpenGL ES 2.0 compliant 3D hardware
* Integrated Wi-Fi 802.11b/g
* Integrated Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR (3Mbit/s) (Class 2, +4dBm)
* Full gamepad controls plus shoulder buttons
* Dual SDHC card slots (currently supporting up to 32GB of storage each, supports SDIO)
* Headphone output up to 150 mW/channel into 16 ohms, 99dB SNR
* TV output (composite and S-Video)
* Internal microphone plus ability to connect external microphone through headset
* 43 button QWERTY and numeric keypad
* USB 2.0 OTG port (480Mb/s) with capability to charge the Pandora
* Externally accessible UART for hardware hacking and debugging
* Brick prevention with integrated bootloader for safe code experimentation
* Estimated 8.5-10+ hour battery life for games, 10+ hour battery life for video and general applications, and theoretically 100+ hours for music playback (with backlight off and maximum power management)

Pandora is priced at around $330, and if you are interested in buying one, you can contact I hope they will set up a page soon where we can easily place our orders.

Will you buy a Pandora game console?


  1. AnonymousMay 27, 2010

    Already ordered one and its in the air right now.

  2. AnonymousMay 28, 2010

    Where to order?