Panasonic has dropped development of the Jungle; the handheld video game console designed for MMORPGs is no more. "Panasonic decided to suspend further development due to changes in the market and in our own strategic direction," the company said in a statement to Reuters.
The electronics giant had set up a new US subsidiary, Panasonic Cloud Entertainment, to handle the project. The device was supposed to allegedly sport a high-resolution display, a full QWERTY keyboard along with dual touch-sensitive D-pads, possibly run atop a custom Linux build (not Android), and also feature a mini HDMI port, a micro USB port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Alongside the system itself, Panasonic was launching a Battlestar Galactica title (made by Bigpoint), a weekly web show called Online Underground (thanks to a partnership with Machinima.com), and of course support for third party developers.
The project was officially announced five months ago, although it wasn't meant with too much excitement. Panasonic still had many details to share, though it was obvious the focus was online gaming and the cloud. We were waiting on more specifications, game titles, and a price tag before giving our final verdict on the product's chance of success.
Panasonic withdrew from the games industry more than a decade ago and most thought it stood little chance against the likes of Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony. Did the company do the right thing in quitting so early in the game (no pun in intended)?