Q&a With Gamepark


shinneri

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About a week ago, I e-mailed Gamepark with some several questions about their XGP line of console. Apparently, Nathan (I think that's his name) was out, but he finally got back to me. The wait was well worth it!

I have the questions and his response to them below.

1. Do you see any of your platforms as competitor to the Nintendo DS or PSP or do you consider them in an entirely different market? I'm talking mostly about the XGP here.
Well, we feel that there is no real competitor for GPKiDS. For XGPmini and XGP, Nintendo and Sony could be our competitors but our approach to the game market is somewhat different from theirs. Although we are going to create/license commercial games for our systems, we will be providing technical information for developers unlike the two giant in the game market. Also we are willing to sacrifice some of our profit in order to bring affordable s/w and h/w to our customers. I personally believe that these approaches make GAMEPARK differ from Sony and Nintendo and give us a little bit of a “push” when we are competing against Sony and Nintendo with our XGP and XGPmini.

2. How important will commercial games be on each platform?
Commercial games are very important to us as well as homebrew and our open source policy. We believe that any gaming device is not a gaming device without commercial games. Commercial games are one of the critical factors of a game system to be successful. Since we are well aware of this fact, we will focus on the creation or licensing the commercial games for our platforms. However this doesn’t mean that GAMEPARK will go against developers. Amateur developers, homebrew users, and many other fans of GP32 made us what we are now and where we stand in the game market. We had provided technical information to developers with our GP32 and we intend to keep this policy until we stop developing H/W. In addition, if I may give some correct feedback on the issue of GAMEPARK and GamePark Holdings split off, GamePark Holdings went their way to be a game aggregator not to create PMP or portable game device. And GAMEPARK has never given up or changed its policy of being openness to developers. GAMEPARK and GamePark Holdings didn’t split off because GamePark Holdings wanted to create open system and GAMEPARK wanted to create closed system. GAMEPARK and GamePark Holdings split off because GamePark Holdings got greedy and thought they could develop an H/W which can match with GP32. Also it seems to me that people think that all but one developer went with GamePark Holdings to create their system. However this is not true. Only one developer who merely participated in developing GP32 went with GamePark Holdings. The brains of GP32 project still remains with GAMEPARK and are working on the development of XGP and XGPmini.

3. Are commercial games in production now? You don't have to give specifics (though you can if you like :).
As mentioned several times previously, we are working with several game developers and aggregators right now. I can not say for sure how many games will be available when we launch GPKiDS but I believe there will be at least 3 commercial games. We plan to increase the number of games available for GPKiDS later on.

4. Do you definitely intend to release all three systems?
Our initial plan was to develop 3 systems to penetrate into 3 different niche markets. As for now, we are going to stick with our initial plan.

5. Why have I seen images of gpCinema running on XGP mini and fSMS running on XGP Kids? Neither are backwards compatible, correct?
Correct. GPCinema was the software used in GP32 to play movie files. GPCinema was used to in XGPmini to show the ability of XGPmini playing video clips. The software which will be ported to XGPmini is now being developed and the software will not be too different from GPCinema. You can think of it as the new version of GPCinema.

6. How important do you see homebrew (and emulation) being on your platforms?
I will skip this one since I have mentioned what we think of homebrew on previous questions.

7. I'm sure you're aware of Gamepark Holding's console, the GP2X. What makes your consoles better? :) Do you see them as competition? You don't have to answer, if you don't want to.
It is kind of hard to answer this question because we have not yet developed XGP.

8. What does the new pop-up notice on your Korean page say? There's a lot of speculation on the forums.
It just says that as of Sept 16th, we will no longer provide A/S for GP32 users in Korea. It does nothing to do with the launch of GPKiDS.
 

Epicenter

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That's very confidence-inspiring; it seems Gamepark have good heads on their shoulders. While I bring some of their design decisions into question, I'm reassured by the fact that they haven't finished developing the XGP/XGP Mini so our input is being considered. They don't seem to have the delusions people usually say they do, of meaning to compete directly with Sony/Nintendo with a closed-source proprietary machine .. that's clearly not the case.

I'm looking foward to their machines more every time I hear from GP .. I also got this message today:

Thank you for contacting GAMEPARK Inc. I must apologize for the late response to your mail of Sept 11th. I have been on a short vocation and wasn’t able to respond to your mail.

As mentioned, we closely monitor several developers’ community sites including gp32x.de. The developers and homebrew users are an important segment of our customers and we take the suggestions from them very seriously. It is unlikely that we will adapt all the suggestions from gp32x.de into GPKiDS. However, we will take the suggestions into our consideration when we redesign XGP and XGPmini.

Once again, thank you for your effort and time to organize the poll and letting us know the result. Please do keep in contact with us when you have any other suggestions or concerns.
Definitely excellent news, and it does seem to imply they are considering some of the changes for XGP KiDS. Whether they make those changes or not doesn't matter to me that much, since I probably would not get one in favor of XGP or XGP Mini. But still nice to hear. Hell, if they did change the spec to 320x240 I coudl see myself dropping $75 on one.
 
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rei_yano

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I am curious as to when the xgp or xgp mini will be released. do you have an estimated date? are you planning on redesigning it before releasing it or are the specs on gamepark.com the final specs? thank you.
Thank you for contacting GAMEPARK Inc.

XGP and XGPmini will not be launched until the end of this year or early next year. I can not say for sure when it will be available in the market. We will be posting the exact release date when we finalize the development of XGP and XGPmini.
The specification of the two device maybe changed. The development of the two devices are taking more time than first anticipated. so in order to keep our system updated we feel that we need to change the spec. But we haven't firmly decided how we should go about changing the specs.

If you have any other questions regarding our products, please contact me at any time.

Many thanks,
got me a response as well. :p exciting!!
 

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Good news. I might have to overthink my plans of not getting a XGP. Well let`s wait until it`s out.
 

Epicenter

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I really hope they go with S3C2460 then, if they want to stay 'up to date'.. VRender-3D would be more of an incremental update to the GP2X than a real leap forward. Though if they did stick with the old plan of the VRender3D, it sonds like it'll at least have a lot of fast MobileDDR memory to play with, and I can never complain about a non-horrible control scheme (no '2x stick!) onboard USB ports and what is probably a good Samsung display..
 

OMars

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I had a similar email:

Thank you for contacting GAMEPARK Inc.

I must apologize for the late response to your mail of Sept 12th. I have been on a short vocation and wasn’t able to respond to your mail.

It is unlikely that we will apply all the suggestions from gp32x.de to GPKiDS. We have gone too far to make H/W changes. However, we will take the suggestions into our consideration when we redesign XGP and XGPmini.

Once again, thank you for your effort and time to organize the poll and letting us know the result. Please do keep in contact with us when you have any other suggestions or concerns.



Sincerely,
It looks like they won't change the screen at all, count me out I guess. :(
 
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shinneri

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Yeah, it seems that they won't budge regarding the GPKiDS. It's too bad, really. I think they could have had an irresistable console had the just increased the resolution.

But oh well, I'm probably most excited about the XGP mini, and it seems like they're even considering making that console better. :)
 

Epicenter

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One thing I forgot to ask them about, if they'd replace that awful-looking segmented D-Pad with a solid circular one ... I think most people who play anything besides fighting games would prefer it too.
 

JaqMs

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IMO circular dpad is a no-no. My *Logitech* Gamepad's dpad is almost unusable. I doubt GP could make one that would function better.
 

Epicenter

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I have one circular D-Pad I don't like, and it's on a blue USB Logitech controller of mine. It feels sloppy and unresponsive. But every other round D-pad I've used has worked great. (Sega Genesis controller especially...) Honestly so long as it's not segmented I'll be happy, but I'd prefer a true 8 direction pad over a cross for easier use of diagnols.
 

shinneri

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I'm not too worried about the divided pad in this case. Unlike the PSP's, which is far too large and makes diagonals almost impossible, this one should be pretty small and buttons will be closer together (hence diagonals will be less annoying).
 

rei_yano

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Epicenter posted on Sep 16 2006 at 06:34 AM said:
I would worry if it was the same kind on a larger scale for the XGP, though. Especially for shooters, I'd prefer a single pad really.
:( that would be terrible on a bigger system. a single pad would be great. however please to god choose a pad that works well with fighting games. I gotta play my kof 99
 
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Epicenter

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If it's a pretty snappy and responsive pad I don't see any reason a fighter would be hard to play with that. Anything is better than the GP2X's awful stick or an analog stick for such games. ;)
 

Rayek

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I am very excited about this system now. GPH made it out like GP was going commercial, and it really made me happy to see that Linux is on their OS roster. That means that ports can be made readily.

One thing that bugs me about the releasing of three consoles at the same time is the Sega syndrome. Perhaps that's not the best idea, as the average consumer gets 'confused' when there are more options than one on what to get. I don't understand why a GPKids is even necessary, someone please explain.

Since they seem to have more cash to spend on their systems, I would also like to know if anyone's asked about SDIO yet. I'm sorry, but the idea of taking pictures with the same system I game on sounds sweet.
 

rei_yano

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Thank you for contacting GAMEPARK Inc.

The Lithium-Polymer battery we plan to use in our XGP and XGPmini has a life cycle of 2~3 years (600~1000 recharges). And the battery will be very easy change just like you change the standard Alkaline AA batteries. Also we will be using standardized Lithium-Polymer battery so you dont have to worry about where and how to purchase new battery since most of the electronic device stores will carrr one.



Thank you

yay! sounds good!
 

Epicenter

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Meh, if you can buy a new one pretty easily without having to do hacking to get it into the machine, that's fine by me. I figure by the time the cell is useless anyway, there'll be a superior machine available. And beyond that point, plugging it in for a bit of nostalgia isn't a big deal. I'm glad the programs I'm writing for these machines will run on any platform that supports SDL though. :)
 

Vimacs

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The thing is that you can just swap the aa batterys when they are empty, i allways carry a extra charged pair.
I would hate it to have to wait till i get home to recharge the unit.
 
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