You may already be familiar with Blaze Europe, a Doncaster (England) based firm responsible for the handheld Mega Drive machines widely available on the net. I covered one of said machines on this blog about a year ago. It looks as though the team have been working on a new machine in a slightly different vein to their previous efforts.
On the surface the GameGadget looks like another generic handheld out of China, and reading through its specifications it’s probably using some very familiar hardware. The difference lies in 2 important areas. Firstly, the GameGadget has access to an app store allowing for download of some classic ROMs. The specifics of this aren’t clear, but for now we can assume that Blaze have struck up a licensing deal allowing them to re-sell classics from yesteryear and emulate them on the GameGadget. Secondly, the machine is being touted as Open Source. Blaze claim that the hardware has been developed to be freely programmable, and the O/S is based on Linux.
Specification wise, I pulled this off their website:
CPU: 433mhz dual core CPU
Internal Ram: 64MB RAM / 2GB Flash RAM
Input: D-Pad, 2 shoulder, 4 face, Start, Select & Reset buttons
Outputs: Stereo Speakers, Headphones Jack & TV-out
Display: 3.5” LCD
Screen Resolution: 320 x 240 pixels resolution (16 BIT colour)
Battery: Li-Ion (rechargeable)
Additional Storage: SD/SDHC
Connectivity: Micro USB
Dimensions: 140 W x 75 H x 16 D (mm)
Who knows exactly what that hardware is. Initially I guessed Ingenic because their SoCs are open, maybe an overclocked JZ4755 or an underclocked JZ4760 – but neither of these are truly dual core. Unless Blaze are counting the VPU as the second core, which would be a bit cheeky. I guess we’ll have to wait until someone gets one and opens it up.
Looking around their site, the device is said to be running an Ingenic JZ4750. It’s not really dual core, so they’re fibbing a bit. It’s a small step up from the Dingoo A320 which I believe runs the JZ4732.
I’m not sure if the spec bump is enough to encourage people to adopt this as a Dingoo A320 successor, but it’s an interesting concept, it’s developed in good ol’ England and as such I think I owe it to myself to pre-order one on payday.
If anyone has any more details on this thing, like what the hardware is, what systems it’ll emulate, whether or not the battery is user replaceable etc please chime in.