preparing a really new open-source portable gaming console

In the last post I have made an interview to Michael Mrozek ( EvilDragon)  , owner of OpenPandora GmbH, he is who in 2008 , with some others guys, made a great and powerful open-source gaming console called Pandora.

I have made to EvilDragon  some others questions about the future of Pandora and I have asked him some suggestion about my light dream of a new powerful powerpc notebook.

OpenPandora GamesCom 2013

Pandora Open Source console at GamesCom 2013

Me:  You have answered that the next device that you build will be , like OpenPandora, a Mini PC. I want to know if it will have similar
dimension of OpenPandora or more like a 10/11 inch netbook/smartbook?

EvilDragon:  One of the main advantages of the Pandora is that it’s pocketable. If we’d make it 10/11 inch big, it would just be another Netbook.
As a small company, we could never compete with prices of other Netbooks, so the key to success is to have a device that no one else
offers.
So yeah, it will keep the size

Me: You suggest me to see some particular thread on the pandora forum where there is some real hypothesis of the new device?

EvilDragon: There is nothing yet. I post some ideas and facts in the Pandora Successor-Forum area, but there’s no real thread with all facts summarized. ( There is some new updates after this interview ,look at the end of this post – note of editor)

Me: I want to make a group of buying to commission the production of a powerpc notebook, so uncommon nowadays,  could you suggest me some more successful path to make it happen?

EvilDragon: Well, you need a proper hardware designer, both for the device and the case.
It’s best having a company do that, as they need to provide you with proper quality and you could get money back in case they don’t manage to fulfill their promises.
Good contracts are important here!
Of course, you also need to have a huge amount of money. So you’d probably need some investors, which means you need to make a
business plan upfront.

You need to get rough quotations, need to make sure you get all parts, licenses and datasheets you need for the production, have a proper market analysis to find out how many sales you would probably have with what retail price and check if that’s possible and what quantity would be needed.
Be sure to calculate some safety money in as well, there’s always something that will cost more than planned!

When that is done, and you find some investors… let the companies do their stuff.

Few days after I have made these last questions to EvilDragon I see firstly a post on pandoralife.info then I have read the EvilDagron post on Pandora Forum dated 19th November 2013, where he talk about the future version of Pandora.

So from Pandorailfe.info I have take this synthetic information:

FIXED

  • Size: Similar (maybe 1-2mm more on each side). Won’t be less thick for sure.
  • Clamshell design
  • Full sized SD Card slots
  • USB Ports (1 or more?)
  • Gaming Controls: nubs (no firmware, output i2c directly), Dpad, face buttons. 4 shoulder buttons have been announced.
  • Replaceable battery (same one as before)
  • Microphone: will be kept.
  • Internal Memory: will use eMMC, single size prefered for production.
  • Sound System: will keep same design as current Pandora.
  • Compatibility with P1: yes, as much as possible.

BEING CONSIDERED

  • New Nubs: new ones (samples being tested are working much better than current ones).
  • LCD-Cable: with MIPI displays, no need for LCD Cables anymore.
  • New Case: completely redesigned and produced by one company in Europe, for higher quality. There will more rounded edges. Color may be rendered through carbon plastic material.
  • New LCD: Better refresh rate, higher resolution (ideally 720p, but that’s hard to get), size increased to 5″. Apparently unlikely to be resistive. Still not decided.
  • Revised Keyboard: Slightly improved layout, better feel with potential backlight. Still needs lots of work, apparently.
  • Wireless Connectivity: Improved Wifi, and potentially 3G/4G too. If 3G/4G happens the SIM slot will be below the battery.
  • New Speakers: expected to be much better.
  • New SoC: already confirmed apparently, but the model/specs are not disclosed. Note that this was, as far as I know, an important hurdle in the past few months.
  • TV-out: currently thinking about microHDMI
  • New Hinge: potentially with multiple steps, but still far from being done.
  • Ordering System: not sure yet. For full production, preorders may be required, or ED may decide to use a loan or go through Kickstarter.

– See more at: http://pandoralive.info/?p=2342#sthash.sj0MtXcU.dpuf

FIXED

  • Size: Similar (maybe 1-2mm more on each side). Won’t be less thick for sure.
  • Clamshell design
  • Full sized SD Card slots
  • USB Ports (1 or more?)
  • Gaming Controls: nubs (no firmware, output i2c directly), Dpad, face buttons. 4 shoulder buttons have been announced.
  • Replaceable battery (same one as before)
  • Microphone: will be kept.
  • Internal Memory: will use eMMC, single size prefered for production.
  • Sound System: will keep same design as current Pandora.
  • Compatibility with P1: yes, as much as possible.

BEING CONSIDERED

  • New Nubs: new ones (samples being tested are working much better than current ones).
  • LCD-Cable: with MIPI displays, no need for LCD Cables anymore.
  • New Case: completely redesigned and produced by one company in Europe, for higher quality. There will more rounded edges. Color may be rendered through carbon plastic material.
  • New LCD: Better refresh rate, higher resolution (ideally 720p, but that’s hard to get), size increased to 5″. Apparently unlikely to be resistive. Still not decided.
  • Revised Keyboard: Slightly improved layout, better feel with potential backlight. Still needs lots of work, apparently.
  • Wireless Connectivity: Improved Wifi, and potentially 3G/4G too. If 3G/4G happens the SIM slot will be below the battery.
  • New Speakers: expected to be much better.
  • New SoC: already confirmed apparently, but the model/specs are not disclosed. Note that this was, as far as I know, an important hurdle in the past few months.
  • TV-out: currently thinking about microHDMI
  • New Hinge: potentially with multiple steps, but still far from being done.
  • Ordering System: not sure yet. For full production, preorders may be required, or ED may decide to use a loan or go through Kickstarter.

– See more at: http://pandoralive.info/?p=2342#sthash.sj0MtXcU.dpuf

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4 comments on “preparing a really new open-source portable gaming console

    • That’s fine!
      In fact I must make a new post updating about the awesome progress of Pyra!
      Thanks for the link.
      If you want to continue to update us you are welcome!

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