307: Pandora's Box

Pandora's Box

It takes a village to raise a child, and in the case of the Pandora, it takes a community - a friendly, supportive, and above all patient community - to create an ambitious handheld gaming device.

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I was once interested in this thing, but then the first Eee came out and I went for that because I knew that'd at least exist within the next year

Two years later, this thing still isn't in the hands of the majority of people who bought it. The iPhone and Android phones flatten it in most ways. The CPU is now old. The GPU is now old.

Would've set the world afire if they could have got it out while it was at least slightly relevant.

I'm somewhat interested in this, but I feel like my $500 purchase would burn me in the end. I see a small niche market for it and not much more. Also, there has been 0 marketing for obvious reasons which will ultimately lead to it's demise. My beloved Dreamcast has made me cautious.

Oh yeah, I forgot how expensive it is too. Again far more expensive than its smartphone competitors. I understand it's more expensive to make things in small runs, but it's just far too much.


Would've set the world afire if they could have got it out while it was at least slightly relevant.

I agree with you completely.

I've got a lot of affection for this device since it was first announced but it's gone from a competitor to commercial handhelds to a device for playing antiquated games. I'm a big fan of Linux and open source generally but the beauty of Linux is that it's software, you could write the firmware for a 3DS and release it free. That'd give you better hardware for less.

I've been wanting one of these ever since I first heard about them. I'm their target market.

I don't have a smartphone, because I can't afford a data plan, don't need one, and quite frankly don't want one. It's not necessary for me. I hardly ever play my DS, and when I do it's mostly a Genesis or Atari emulator. I want the ideal emulation system that I can carry anywhere, because that's what I play.

Maybe I'm a small target market, but I'm still getting one when I can scrounge up $500 of extra money. For me, I'd get more use out of this than an iPad, for the same money. No-brainer, as far as I'm concerned. Just wish I could afford one.

I want one, just because I need something a bit more reliable than my DS's homebrew text editor, but I can't justify the price to myself.

No emu, just writing, Colors!, and a decent browser.

I love the concept of this thing, at least now that I finally hear about it for the first time. Of course, I don't need one, so I'm not going to try to.

Whoa. I was interested until I heard about the price. Maybe when I do gather up the money though.


It's too expensive for me though, even if it is a fantastic device.

It looks awesome. Nearly caused me to salivate all over my keyboard when I first saw it.

But, alas, the demand is way too high for the supply. I think there could be a bigger market for this thing if they would only, you know, market the damn thing. Wouldn't it be possible for them to create a sort of menu you see when it first comes on, like a PS3's XMB, and have the option to go to Linux somewhere easy to find? Or, have the option to boot straight to Linux?

This could have been bigger a while ago. Right now it's too expensive and I've lost interest. I want an NGP and a gaming computer more than this.

I heard about Pandora and my oh my, does it deliver to a niche market.

Way better than I suppose an iPad.

really, the price is what makes it impossible, imho.

for that money, why not buy a good netbook, or even a decent laptop, put some Linux on it and go?

For less then a quarter of its price one could buy second hand PSP and enjoy emulation of old-school systems as well.

Wow it costs more than a HD tele. I'm interested, see if it keeps me interested until the NGP comes out.

It IS expensive... but I put in the overtime and bought it... worth every single penny.

I really wanted one, but..500 bucks? Seriously? I can buy a decent laptop for 400, twice the size but about the same weight, and play modern games on it too.

i would buy it in an instant if it wasnt for the price

I can remember laying in my bed as a little kid, wishing the portable CD player i had hidden from my sister i was listening to was a little computer so i could lay there at night and play games my parents had just made me get off. I think i just found my childhood dream.

Now to find $500

That really is an outstanding little device. I don't think its 500$ outstanding...... I mean I have a netbook for about that price and it can do some fairly awsome things. (May end up loading a different OS on it.) I think if they halfed the price it could atleast contend in the handheld market. Not as simple as the DS but will sell unlike some other handhelds.

$500? no thanks.

I considered picking one of these up instead of a PSP back when it was $300. Now that it's considerably more expensive and at the same time more outdated, I guess I have to pass. I still think it's a really interesting concept though.


Gogo open source! Hopefully this gets off the ground.

Damn. I was all set to buy one of these. Looks awesome. But $500? Pffffft.

"Douglas Heaven sometimes gets to play with his wife's Pandora."

Oh ye hairy flippin' gods, what a pun.. ^^

"Douglas Heaven sometimes gets to play with his wife's Pandora."

Oh ye hairy flippin' gods, what a pun.. ^^

I was wondering if someone else was gonna catch that. :) Very nice indeed...

Doctor Proctor:

"Douglas Heaven sometimes gets to play with his wife's Pandora."

Oh ye hairy flippin' gods, what a pun.. ^^

I was wondering if someone else was gonna catch that. :) Very nice indeed...

Caught and mottoed! And, of course, the first two people to catch it are doctors! ^^

Freedom is worth 500$. There are real people behind this with an ideology for perfection and not for money!

The cost, it's killing me! Otherwise I would seriously consider picking one up!

Why is this the only article in this week's magazine?

Its really a shame too. I had intentions on picking this up when it was still being touted as 350$, but since theyve stated 500$ its a deal breaker.

As others have said, you can get a decent laptop/netbook for 500$ and for less than 50$ you can get a wired 360 gamepad for the controls.

The problem here is that the development hell really took its toll on the specs of the machine. Nowadays smartphones are just as powerful if not more so, and typically cost the same or less.

Also its a matter of too much or too little. In some cases yes the processing power is behind the curve of smartphones. However you have to think about practical application and know that most software your going to run on it will not utilize that much system spec. Realistically the hardest thing on it would be trying to run full on flash/html5 for videos like hulu or youtube. On that end its not enough horsepower. However on the gaming end (which thats what this thing is at its core considering the gaming controls) its more than ample to handle N64/PSX era 3D and perhaps slightly better dependent on how well the home brew application is optimized.

It is truly sad because this machine had such potential but it is now basically squandered. 500$ is too high of a price tag compared to equivalently priced smart phones that can do the same sort of things better, And for the true home brew/open source crowd I think Gamepark Holdings (the company who "sucked" to the point to inspire the birth of the pandora)has still managed to beat Pandora with offerings such as the Caanoo which is only 150$ and can do roughly about 85-90% of the same things that the Pandora offers.

Such squandered potential.

Finally seems to be going into production, going by a forum post on the site:


So far, 180 PCBs have been produced, 80 have been assembled, fully tested and are ready to ship. While this sounds like a lot, the theoretical output of the machine is 250 per day (8 hour shift), but mass productions should start at a slower pace to be sure evrrything works.
Only 3 of those refused to bootup at all, while about 8 have a non-working left nub, so it seems there's some part that needs an optimized placement in the machine program as well.

Getting there. Slowly. Still looks appealing but its just so expensive. :(


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