View Full Version : GamePark GP32


PortuguesePilot
03-13-2003, 06:24 PM
has anyone here heard of the fantastic handheld console GamePark GP32? it has only been released in South Korea and it's already a phenomenon in the underground gaming community, not only in Asia, but all over the World. being a retro-gamer myself, i view the GP32 as the main contender to fight Nintendo and ruin it's monopolized position on the handheld market.

here is picture of it:

http://www.second-unit.org/gp32/GP32-front.jpg

the console is mighty powerful hardware-wise:

-CPU: 32 Bit RISC CPU (ARM9) @ 133MHz (!)
-Display: Huge 3.5" Reflective TFT LCD (65,536 colours)
-ROM: 512 Kbytes
-Storage: SMC (Smart Media Card)
-Memory: 8MB SDRAM (!!!)
-PC Connection: USB Port connection cable
-Sound: 16Bit PCM Stereo Sound, MIDI support (over 32 poly), 4 Channel WAV Mixing (the console has two speakers and plays very loud)
-Screen Definition: 320 X 240 Pixels (on an handheld?! WOW!!!)
-Power: 2 AA Batteries (10 Hours use time between charges (?)) or Mains adapter
-MP3 MPEG (I,II,III) Audio Support
-Controls: 8-Way directional pad (joystick) + Durable 6 key buttons
-Wireless multi-player gaming
-Internet Connectivity (via mobile phone access)
-Online multiplayer game can be played by high-speed Internet connection
-Easy to use Windows-like GUI (see pictures of it here: http://www.f-labs.com/gp32/wind-ups/)

the console uses Smart Media Cards (SMC) as cartridges and, as some of you may know, they are write-enable and there are SMC's to up 128MB. the SMC's prices range from $13 for the 32MB, $22 for the 64MB and $40 for the 128MB and they're available almost everywere. the official games are sold on SMC's as well, but they're copy portected to avoid piracy. the average game price is around $30.

the GP32 has an impressive array of abilities, such as:

MP3 reading and playing
DivX reproduction @ full frame rate
possibility of porting PC games to it (some games have already been ported, such as Wolfenstein, Doom, Heretic, Lucas Arts SCUMM games and many more)
the ability to play up to 4 players with 4 consoles over the RF wireless connector.
USB - direct PC connectivity to exchange software
possibilty to browse the internet. the browser is already included in the console's BIOS ROM.

and now, the best part: the console is completely open source (much in the style of the mighty Linux itself) which provides almost endless possibilities to this amazing product, such as: emulators of every 8bit and 16bit consoles and computers (including NES, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Master System, Game Gear, PC Engine, Genesis and even SNES, etc...), homebrewed dedicated games (there already tens of them available), software applications (there are already some text-editors and image-editors floating around in the internet), etc... etc... etc...

it accepts VC++ and there are tools around that recompile the basic C++ programming, wich is the same as saying that programming for the GP32 is as easy as pie.

the possibilities seem endless! it's quite easily MUCH better than the Game Boy Advanced. but... as always, nothing is perfect. the success of the GP32 depends greatly of the big software houses. if they support this new hardware, then it will triumph, if not, it will only survive as an underground system appealing only to nostalgic retrogamers or to renegade programmers. we must never, EVER, underestimate the power of the Nintendo lobby. Nintendo is a very powerful company, and most likely, the big software houses will stick with it, making the GP32' path a very hard one.
in contrast with Nintendo's huge size and power, GamePark is a small budget company. they cannot afford a World Wide distribution of the console as of now. CapCom, Matsushita and Samsung are backing the company up to see if things improve. the console as already been released in South Korea, where it is experiencing a huge success. the next step is releasing it in Japan (were it has already a steady followers group) and the rest of the Asian territory (imagine the success of this versatile machine in Hong-Hong or in Taiwan). there aren't yet any concrete plans for releasing it on the western market, although the company may make a "study release" in the UK (Europe) and Canada (North America) to see how well the console sells. if it sells well, it may be released in the rest of the countries.
it's hard to predict it's future as a mainstream console. to be honest with you guys, i think that, sadly, it won't survive the immense popularity of the inferior Game Boy Advance system. official games will decide the fate of this machine, everyone knows that. in the end, the games are all that matter, they're the ones who make or brake a console. i hope to be wrong here, i truly identify with the GP32's philosophy and desire the best for it.

the console's price is set at $159. not much if you consider it's abilities.

direct import of the console, it's accessories and games is available here: http://www.lik-sang.com/list.php?category=126&

a very detailed review of the console, some games previews and even pictures can be found here: http://members.cox.net/kamranjabbari/gp32review.htm

see the list of the existing official games, the list of future official games, download demos and homebrew games here: http://www.gp32news.com/ (on the left menu)

a very useful support forum as been created here: http://pub61.ezboard.com/bgp32

the official site (in Korean only): www.gamepark.co.kr

and if you're as exited with the GP32 as i am, sign this petition here: http://www.petitiononline.com/gp32/ and help it come to the western market (Europe+North America+South America).

so? did you already knew this console? are you excited about it? or, on the other hand, are you suspicious of it? please, post your comments, reactions, thoughts, opinions and remarks about the GP32. i'm curious about them...

CodeRed
03-13-2003, 07:19 PM
Yes, I have heard about it. It is quite amazing hardware-wise but the games still suck. So what if it can play MP3's, my MP3 CD player can do it better. Divx reproduction is limited to 10 fps (at least going by what I saw). Those ported games have bugs. Also, the Game Boy Advance can emulate any other game system out there (8 and 16 bit ones). There is a flash-card-type accessory for the GBA that has built-in flash ROM. There is even a TV tuner made for the GBA!
I am quite happy with a GBA, although when I do get extra $$ I will consider getting a GP32 only for the programmability value....