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Gaming Hacks by Simon Carless

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Explore the GP32 Handheld Gaming System

This underpublicized, open-access portable is a hidden treasure.

Many people suggest that there’s not much room in the gaming handheld market, considering Nintendo’s 15-year Game Boy monopoly. Obviously, Sony is challenging this with the PSP, but the Korean company Gamepark has an entirely different approach to proprietary storage and development methods for gaming handhelds. They decided to allow much more open access by including a USB port on their GP32 handheld and compatibility with normal SMC (smart media memory cards). Unfortunately, the GP32 has had limited distribution so far.

GP32 Hardware Details

The dimensions of Gamepark’s GP32 resemble those of the first Game Boy Advance, although the GP32 is slightly wider and taller. From there, however, you can see a major difference in screen resolution for its built-in LCD: 320 240 pixels compared to the Game Boy Advance’s 240 160 pixels. This leads to significantly sharper-looking games, emulators, and utilities on the GP32. Other than that, the GP32’s specifications (a 32-bit ARM9 RISC CPU, 8-MB SDRAM, and up to 128 MB on the aforementioned SMC) make it fairly powerful, at least compared to the GBA. However, please note that you’ll need to buy a Smart Media Card separately.

As for availability, that’s the tricky part. As we’ll lament later, the GP32 has very little commercial software support, so it’s not really worth stocking for many brick-and-mortar retail stores within North America. ...

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