Gp2X Linux console aims high for Xmas

GP2X, the Linux-based handheld gaming and entertainment console, has sold 30,000 units in less than nine months and has already surpassed its cult-hit predecessor the GP32 and the less successful, big budget Gizmondo console.

Furthermore the company expects to reach 50,000 units by Christmas 2006 and launch a 275mhz GP2X model offering maximum performance for minimal cost.

The open source system of console gaming has proven incredibly popular among retro gamers and homebrew designers alike. The entertainment device not only plays games, but is also a media player, mp3, e-book and photo editor.

Its functionality is further enhanced by a break out board allowing the unit to be used as a mini Linux computer. Another massive contributory factor to the popularity of the GP2X is the availability of over 500 games, ports and applications available for download over the Internet.

“'This really shows the power of the open source model, with a budget of orange peel and sticky tape we have managed to sell just over 30,000 units almost entirely on word of mouth alone.” explained Craig Rothwell, Director, GP32/2x Distribution Ltd.

“The GP and Linux community have really got behind this console as the underdog and have been porting games and apps so fast smoke must be rising from their keyboards. With over 500 releases so far, it's an awesome achievement and we are looking to crack the 50,000 unit sales mark by Christmas.“

The first big budget commercial game to be released for the GP2X will be crime caper Payback designed in the vein of Grand Theft Auto. The game will go on release in October 2006.