updated 12:00 pm EDT, Fri September 28, 2007
POSDATA late Thursday unveiled the G100, a slider handheld it says is the world's first game console to support WiMAX. While the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP must reach a local Wi-Fi network to connect to the Internet, the G100 supports both this and Intel's soon-to-appear 4G wireless standard. This gives it Internet access on a citywide scale rather than just local hotspots, effectively providing an always-on connection and potentially remaking the industry, according to the company. Users could assume they always had the ability to start a multiplayer game or download new games online without waiting to get home.
The 4-inch widescreen system is based on a traditional four-way directional pad and button layout. In addition to its Wi-Fi and WiMAX connections, the device also has Bluetooth to make a very short range connection or use extra controllers and headsets. A release for the G100 is scheduled by the end of the year, POSDATA says; however, the company did not say which countries would be able to use the console on launch and may initially limit sales to Korea. Clearwire currently offers the 4G service in the US but primarily supports fixed installations, while Sprint is about to trial its WiMAX service in the US and does not expect commercial service to go live until spring 2008.
Also announced today was the U100, a USB WiMAX adapter that provides the new wireless connection to notebooks and other PCs without consuming a card slot. It has a 45-degree rotating hinge to improve reception and comes with connection manager software. No release information was provided for the device, though again shipments will most likely begin with Korea rather than the US.
U100 (left), G100 (right)