by Anton Shilov
03/01/2011 | 10:53 PM
Panasonic, a leading consumer electronics company, said this week that it had cancelled development of its Jungle game console. The device was supposed to be Panasonic's first gaming device since 1993, but it did not fit into the company's overall strategy and would also fit competition from smartphones.
"Panasonic decided to suspend further development [of Jungle game console] due to changes in the market and in our own strategic direction," the company said in a statement, reports Reuters news-agency.
Panasonic Jungle game console was announced in October, 2010, and was supposed to be Panasonic's first video game system since the unsuccessful 3DO that was launched bask in 1993, but discontinued already in 1996 being unable to compete against Nintendo N64, Sony PlayStation and others. The Jungle was designed for various MMOs [massively online multiplier games] and featured appropriate form-factor.
Unfortunately for Panasonic, only three games were announced for the Jungle: Stellar Dawn, RuneScape, Battlestar Galactica Online. Moreover, the market of casual video games designed for smartphones began to explode in Q4 2010 and Q1 2011 and those titles can easily rival dedicated portable consoles. To make the matters worse, both established players of the market - Nintendo and Sony - are rolling out their new-generation portables this year, the 3DS and the NGP.
Despite of the fact that Panasonic is indisputably a very innovative company, the firm has been gradually withdrawing from any businesses that tend to become commodities. The company has proven for a number of times that it is incapable of developing high-quality affordable products and is more experienced in creating premium devices. Given the fact that video game systems should be affordable or even cheap and should be sold at a loss (which should later be compensated by sales of software), the game console project simply did not fit into Panasonic's strategy.