Japanese electronics firm Panasonic Corporation revealed that it has cancelled development for the Jungle, its online- and MMO-focused handheld, citing changes in the market and its strategic direction.
Announced last October, the Jungle featured a full QWERTY keyboard, a high resolution display, a touchpad, and more. The portable was meant to emphasize online gaming, and Panasonic intended to make games like Bigpoint's Battlestar Galactica Online
and Jagex's popular RuneScape
MMORPG available on the Jungle.
Some analysts were skeptical of the system considering Panasonic's last attempt to market a dedicated game console, the ill-fated and expensive 3DO. There were also doubts that the Jungle would be able to compete against the three already entrenched gaming handhelds -- Nintendo DS, PSP, and iPhone/iPod Touch -- or their successors.
Nevertheless, Panasonic established a new U.S. subsidiary, Panasonic Cloud Entertainment, to handle "products, services and content for online gaming, social networking, and other forms of emerging, web-based entertainment" for the device. The company also began public testing for the Jungle last Noveber.
"Panasonic decided to suspend further development due to changes in the market and in our own strategic direction," the company said in a statement
sent to Reuters. Panasonic did not reveal its future plans for the U.S. subsidiary.