Portable Gaming News. Razor Blade, Neo Geo and The Forgotten Handheld…

Portable gaming gadgets are one of the common passions for the members of the Highpants team. While most of us have moved on to our Smartphones for that gaming on the go feeling there are more options.

Portable Gaming news today brings us tales of the latest, the newest and the classic. The Razor Blade is the latest in gaming technology and sales that have surprised many. The latest new gaming handheld to be announced is the SNK Neo Geo Portable while the classic is our forgotten portable gaming manufacturer Game Park, producers of the GP2X Caanoo.

Portable gaming at times may seem to be ruled by the big three but there are still interesting options for those looking for something a little different.

Razor Blade. Initial sales impress the F*bomb out of Razor CEO Min-Liang Tan

The Razer Blade laptop

High powered portable gaming news first with the Razor Blade. Here at Highpants we loved the idea of the Razor Blade gaming laptop, it tried to do things just a little differently.

With gamer specific features such as the touch screen LCD that replaces the regular touch pad that has alsobeen moved off to the side of the keyboard. In effect turning the touch pad into an interactive display. Reprogrammable keys, high specification gaming hardware and screen drove home the fact that this was a proper gaming laptop, and an almost instant object of our desires. When Razor announced the $2,800 price tag the gaming industry took a collective sigh and awaited the final release. The old Technorati you see believed the price would be a deal killer, an incorrect belief it seems.

Last week the first batch of Razor laptops went on sale through Razors website – North America initially – and duly sold out in half an hour. Even if it was a very limited release the demand is obviously there. Now everyone must wait patiently for two weeks until the next batch of this spectacular gaming laptop arrives.

Tan posted on his Facebook wall “OMFG. Less than 30 minutes and we sold out of EVERY.SINGLE.ONE. of our first batch of Razer Blades. Our next batch will be in about 2 weeks and we’re making as many as we can. Hang in there. This is F’ing amazing.”

Yes sir that’s right, he even whipped out the f*bomb for the occasion. Touching, but still impressive sales.

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Rumour: Is SNK is about to release a new NeoGeo Handheld ?

SNK NeoGeo handheld

SNK, makers of the legendary real arcade console the Neo Geo are rumored to be releasing a new handheld gaming device. The original Neo Geo was sold in very limited numbers in the 90’s and quickly built a reputation for arcade quality graphics at home. The fact that the Neo Geo cartridges contained the complete arcade machines game board was a big help. Having a complete arcade machine motherboard was also an expensive proposition, with many games costing $150 USD.

Details are a little light on for the new Neo Geo Keitai – Portable -. The system is expected to cost $200 US and come pre-loaded with 20 classic games. Such classic titles as Metal Slug, Fatal Fury, Fatal Fury Special and The King of Fighters ’94 are built in. No hardware specifications or release date have been announced.

NeoGeo have had a handheld gaming console in the past, the Neo Geo Pocket Color, a small 16bit handheld released in 1999. Sales were poor and the manufacturing rights were eventually sold on. The lack of details and poor history probably suggest the Neo Geo portable rumors are more about testing the market than they are sign of any actual product, remembering all rumors should be taken with a grain of salt.

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The Forgotten Handheld Console Manufacturer: Game Park Holdings.

GamePark Caanoo

The current generation GP2X handheld gamer, the Caanoo was released in August 2010 by South Korean gaming hardware manufacturer Game Park Holdings. This is the stealth fighter of the console world that has flown under the radar in many parts of the world. In of this it has built a cult following by running a fully open version of the Linux operating system. Customizations and tweaking are accessible without having to hack your system or void your warranty making this a mod’ers dream.

The hardware inside is pretty close to the original PSP. A 533MHz ARM9 CPU, 128MB of RAM, a 3D GPU, a 3.5″ – 320 x 240 – touch screen, joystick controller, and an accelerometer are all crammed in. Storage is via the included SD memory slot.

There are only a limited number of full commercial quality – expensive – games, but fear not there is an abundance of high quality independent games that are usually free or very cheap. There are also many high quality conversions from the previous GP2X consoles, a back catalogue.

The gaming highlight though is the range of emulators available. Every emulator that has ever been banned from the PlayStation is available for the Caanoo; SNES, Sega MegaDrive, SNK NeoGeo, Amiga, Commodore 64 and MAME the arcade emulator are all available.

The emulator GRINGE allows previous generation games to work on the Caanoo while emulators for the Atari ST and Atari Jaguar have recently been announced. A large free software collection can be easily found on the web and the Caanoo Blog lists links to the latest updates and upcoming releases. Game Park have also made a fairly successful push into the education market so there is also a wealth of educational software available.

Media formats are well catered for with DivX, XviD and MPEG4 codecs all supported out of the box. Applications cover the usual Personal Information Managers and email.

At $150 USD – $137 USD online – the Caanoo is a value oriented handheld that actually holds its own. If you can live without the big name games or want something different the GP2X Caanoo may be a breath of fresh air.