Just in time for the Holidays! - After vanishing from online retailiers for months, we are seeing the Caanoo for sale again. It is now showing up at Play Asia. We don't know where they managed to obtain these units, or how many they have left (or even if the defunct manufacturer is still making small batches??) - but if you're itching to get your hands on one of these do not wait too long! It looks like the lead time is 1-2 weeks from Korea.
I have received several requests for the SD Card structure which I implemented in my Pandora system. Subsequently, I have decided to offer it for download from this site, much like I did for my Wiz SD card content. Please remember that it only contains the emulators and subdirectory structure, so you will need to provide your own ROM and BIOS files (and ensure that you have the legal right to do so). At any rate, Click Here for the details...
GP2X Caanoo Released
There has been much news floating around lately about the Wiz successor having made its way to the public from Gamepark Holdings. There are reportedly a number of improvements to the system's design over the Wiz, not to mention a few new capabilities. I have complied some details about this new system. Read more details on my page for the GP2X Caanoo.
HELPFUL: My Wiz SD Card Contents For You! Due to popular demand I have compiled a .zip archive of the emulators, config files, and shortcuts which I have implemented on my Wiz SD card. For more details see the discussion thread HERE.
This site represents a hobby turned into a passion. It is a work in progress fueled by childhood fantasies come true. I never could have imagined that all of my favorite arcade games which I used to spend buckets of quarters on would some day be playable in the palm of my hand! I remember feelings of disappointment as a child when my mother would say "no more quarters for now", or "you've spent enough time on the Nintendo for today." Not to mention the countless consoles which I wished I could have!
Well ... no more of that ! Today (thanks to the Wiz) I'm able to tote games from a ton of different systems including Arcade (MAME, Capcom systems CPS-1 and CPS-2), Nintendo (NES, SNES), Sega (Master System, Game Gear, Genesis, Mega-CD), Gameboy (Classic, Color, Advance), Neo Geo (which was totally unaffordable for my family back in the day), Atari, Amiga, Turbografx-16 (PC Engine), and more... all in one handheld device!
The Wiz at a Glance
Here are some quick facts about the GP2X Wiz: (PLEASE NOTE that the Wiz does a bunch of things in addition to game emulation. The focus of this site will be on emulation for the time being since that was my reason for purchasing the Wiz).
The Wiz is a handheld Linux-based open-source device (try saying that 10 times fast). Because it is open-source, individuals or independent developers are able to create games and other applications to run on it (such as emulators). Most of the applications are free. Actually, all of the ones I've seen are free but I say "most" because there could be more payware apps emerging in the future. It has more powerful hardware than the Sony PSP (you can compare the hardware specs for the GP2X Wiz vs the PSP on Wikipedia), which includes a 533 MHz processor with a 3D accelerator which can be overclocked to 800 MHz. It also features a vibrant touch screen and a standard SD (SDHC) card slot so that you can expand the memory beyond the 1 GB already built in.
Side Note: But seriously, I got a 4 GB SD Card for less than $10 and have not even used 3/4ths of the space yet; And that's after loading hundreds of games onto it. You'd be amazed at how little space certain retro games take. For example, did you know that the ENTIRE game cartrige for Super Mario Bros + Duck Hunt takes up a measly 48 KB? And higher-end arcade hits such as Super Street Fighter 2 are between 5 - 15 MB. Pretty measly by today's standards LOL.
What is Emulation?
If you're new to the concept of game emulation, allow me to briefly explain what it is and how it works. I apologize if my explanation is not 100% accurate, as I have never developed/coded emulation software. I am simply speaking from my own personal understanding...
Anyways, "emulation" simply means to have one computer system emulate (a.k.a behave like) a different computer system. This concept offers a number of useful applications ... such as being able to run one operating system from within a different one, or being able to run games/software which were developed for a platform other than your PC (or a gaming device such as this one).
One added benefit of emulation is being able to run programs from MULTIPLE platforms all within a single device. If you ask me, that's where the true power of the Wiz exists ... and the fact that I can consolidate games from all my old favorite systems into one portable device has blown my mind.
Update: The Wikipedia definition states "An emulator in computer sciences duplicates (provides an emulation of) the functions of one system using a different system, so that the second system behaves like (and appears to be) the first system.", so I think that my original description is pretty close.
How does Emulation Work?
While I cannot get too technical with how emulation is actually executed within a system, I can try to explain things from a high level. In the case of game emulation, it is handled by various software programs which instruct the computer on how to interpret the programs being run. This allows programs "written" for another machine to be decoded by the current machine.
In most cases, a different piece software is required to emulate each device. For example, you would need one program to emulate Nintendo games, and a separate program to emulate Sega Genesis games. I will be outlining which titles I've tried for the various systems and where they can be obtained. A very popular emulator called MAME (stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) is able to handle more types of arcade systems than I have seen in other programs. Complexity arises, however, in the case of MAME ... since it has to be able to recognize so many different ways to interpret the software it may not handle a Neo Geo game as well as a native Neo Geo emulator. For that reason I tend to prefer running a larger number of emulators for my favorite arcade games than just MAME (although I do use it for a bunch of titles).
Emulation challenges: The most common challenge in the area of emulation has to do with the hardware itself. Rendering many of the retro systems appears to be handled flawlessly ... but because the physical memory chips of the original device don't exist, the results are sometimes unpredictable. This tends to be more common with "newer" systems such as the Atari Jaguar, Sega Saturn, Sega Dreamcast, Sega Model 3 (an amazing arcade platform), where the complexity and optimization of the hardware make it very difficult to run the games on a different machine. However, if you already watched the demo video for the Wiz at the top of the site, then you can already see that it runs a TON of games perfectly. In fact, the next page will detail which systems I've run on the Wiz and which emulators handled them well.
Is the Wiz Easy to Set Up?
In my opinion, yes. Although I do recommend that you have some experience downloading programs from the internet and unzipping them into certain locations. I will explain this in more detail on the tutorials page, but all you basically have to do is (1) download the emulator of choice (2) unzip it into your directory of choice on the SD card (or Wiz internal memory) and (3) launch it from within the Wiz.
What happened to Gamepark Holdings?
Has anybody else noticed that the manufacturer's web site appears to be down / nonexistent? I'm wondering if they closed up shop or somethin...
Started by Nck. Last updated Thursday 6/27/2013 8:39:40 PM.
spare parts for Wiz
Hi All! I'm trying to find a spare part, or a broken old Wiz I can dismantle for parts. I need the rubber gasket that goes inside the device...
Started by DCC. Last updated Thursday 5/2/2013 3:57:51 PM.
Gp2x WiZ Spare Battery/Charging Cable?
I've recently been trying to find spare batteries and/or charging cables for the WiZ, but can't seem to come up with anything. Can anyone g...
Started by crazyfooinc. Last updated Thursday 5/2/2013 8:31:09 AM.
D Pad for GP2X
I've had my gp2x for about 2 years now, and I've played the hell out of it. Big retro gamer, and this handy little device has given me more ...
Started by RustyVenture. Last updated Thursday 5/2/2013 8:29:04 AM.
i'm new to the open hand helds and am looking to get the Caanoo GP2x which is the newer version from the model shown in the demo. Will the...
Started by brutepower. Last updated Saturday 3/9/2013 7:37:38 PM.