updated 07:35 am EST, Tue March 1, 2011
Panasonic Jungle already cancelled
Panasonic on Tuesday said it had already cancelled its Jungle gaming handheld before setting a launch date or price. The company phased out the project despite having set up a Cloud Entertainment group in the US and making deals for at least a Battlestar Galactica online RPG. An exit was prompted by "changes in the market and in our own strategic direction," the company said.
The departure may have more recently been prompted by the Sony NGP. Its future mobile PlayStation was poised to be both much more powerful than the Jungle and to beat Panasonic in areas that were supposed to be strong points, such as Internet gaming. Sony's reputation in gaming has also been much stronger, with Panasonic's last attempt being the 3DO roughly 15 years ago.
Apple is also expected to be a major factor. Its emphasis on Internet services, inexpensive games and consolidating many features into a single device has already had impact on Nintendo and Sony, making it doubtful that Panasonic could escape the effect as well.
Nintendo has only lately been recovering and just this weekend sold out of the 3DS on its first day on sale, creating another hurdle. Panasonic itself was swinging more back towards its core home theater business and kept its secondary businesses to features like green technology.