Everytime I see a product I want, but it's lacking features or design aspects I really wanted, I get the urge to come up with my own version. The Gamepark 2 or GPX2 was just announced recently, and while it looks great...don't get me wrong, there's still a few more features I'd like to see in perhaps the next version a couple years down the road from now.
The GPX2 that was just announced features dual ARM9 processors, 32MB of RAM and runs on embedded Linux.
It'll be a great little system for 2D gamers and indie developers, but I just wish it was a little more like the recently canned Tapwave Zodiac feature-wise :/
The GPX2, as it's currently code named, has almost everything I'd want in a handheld except for a couple things. First, I'm not an expert on handheld processors, so I have no idea what the best situation here is...but if the dual ARM9's aren't already, I'd like a CPU that's comparable to something in between the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP. Since we're upping this imaginary model up to the Gamepark 3, lets go ahead and double the RAM too. Next, I'd like to see an nVidia GoForce 3D 4500 graphics chip added in. I would love for it to have a touch screen and a stylus too. Not only for PDA like functionality, but also for DS like gameplay options. While I'm at it, I'd like to bump the screen up to a 640x480 OLED screen instead of the 320x240 backlit LCD the GPX2 has. As while this may not be feasable right now, in a year or two it should be.
The photos of the GPX2 shows what looks like it could be an analogue pad, but might not be. The flat analogue pad of the PSP is probably it's coolest feature in my opinion, so of course I'd want it on this dream machine as well. I'd also like to see the L & R triggers given a little bit of analogue sensitivity. While we're at it, I'd like to see them angled down a little more as all the current handheld triggers are awkward to use.
I'd also love to have a built in Lithium-Ion battery instead of just using 2XAA's like the GPX2 will. The GBA SP's Lithium-Ion battery lasts way longer than the average alkaline will get you and it's rechargable. There's really no excuse for any handheld device not to have this.
And I think that's it, everything else on the GPX2 is great. Here's an illustration of what I'd like to see this new version look like ;)
The only feature in this illustration I haven't gone over is the "home menu" button found right above the analogue pad. This of course would pause the game and goto a main menu where you can choose between PDA functionality, media player, and the games. Another feature not listed that seems to be lacking from most handhelds is a brightness control. It could just be a menu option within the PDA environment, and it would let you play your games on a dimmer mode to conserve battery if you're getting low ;)
PS. If you haven't already heard, there's a contest to come up with a new name for the GPX2 running till the 15th of August at the official site ;)
UPDATE: I just discovered another system by Gamepark called the XGP that should be being announced pretty soon. It's much closer to the specs I wished for in this article, but it's still lacking the touchscreen and a couple other things. There's a teaser site at gamepark.com and more detailed info here.