Article published on Sunday, March 27th, 2011
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Late last year, the electronics company Panasonic created a buzz among online gamers when they announced their latest gadget, The Jungle mobile online gaming device. The first MMO being developed for the device was BattleStar Galactica Online (from the leading developer of free-to-play browser games Bigpoint). An action-packed space game that is free to play directly in your browser is your dream? Battlestar Galactica Online will give you everything that you are looking for. You can create your own character, build, command and upgrade your own space ship. This browser-based MMO makes you a part of the war between Humans and Cylons. On which side will you stand? Help the Humans to find the Thirteenth Tribe of Men or be a Cylon and destroy what is known as planet Earth. Panasonic claimed that the handheld device was being developed by leading online developers.


This month, Panasonic has dropped research and development for The Jungle and their official website went offline. Panasonic’s decision to axe the device may have been partially due to analysts who identified very early that the device would fail because there is no market for the device.

"The Jungle is a highly specialized dedicated portable for a non-existent market. This is an unprecedented hardware strategy, and probably for good reason. If MMO players want to go more portable than a laptop, I guess this would be the way to go. Frankly, this looks like a non-starter." said M2 Research analyst Billy Pidegon.

On the contrary, game reports from a leading games industry business portal shows a different view. According to gamesindustry.com, this "non-existent market" had revenues reaching over $2 billion USD with over 47 million gamers in the USA alone in 2009. Still, more analysts have came up with reasons why the device would not be a success.

"Sony meanwhile remains a leader in movies, music and games. So given that history my inclination would be to say a system like the Jungle is a non-starter right out of the gate. Until they can show me otherwise I just don’t think Panasonic has the right pieces to compete in this space."

"... [It] would seem like an uphill challenge to launch a new portable gaming device unless there is some meaningful differentiation or access to proprietary content." said Sebastian.