updated 10:20 pm EDT, Mon October 4, 2010
Panasonic Jungle leaked with MMO support
A leak this evening has revealed that Panasonic is about to return to gaming with a device that would try to compete with Nintendo, Sony and possibly Apple. The Jungle (link ready soon) would focus on Panasonic Cloud Entertainment (PCENT), a service that would revolve around online gaming and online video creation and playback. Sources for CrunchGear expect that it would launch with at least a Battlestar Galactica massively multiplayer game and a Machinima.com weekly video series.
The design would head in the opposite direction of slimming efforts and would more closely resemble a mini notebook, with a touchpad, a keyboard and expansion such as a mini HDMI output and an SD card slot. Panasonic would run a custom form of Linux but might support Flash-based gaming. It's unknown how fast the device would be or what special features it might have built into hardware.
Most launch details aren't known, but the Jungle could be ready as soon as later tonight or Tuesday.
The launch is an unusual decision for Panasonic, which hasn't been in the market since the ill-fated 3DO console in the 1990s. However, the market has been heating up with a focus on higher-end devices. Nintendo is due to launch the 3DS early next year for about $300, while Apple's fourth generation iPod touch starts at $230. The Jungle as described would in some ways compete more closely with Apple by focusing on Internet features first instead of the dependence on physical media at Nintendo and Sony.