By Benedict Wee
Firstly, let me say that I don't buy Apple's statement about the iPod Touch being a gaming device. It's more a gadget that has the extra function of playing games like the old Nokia mobiles which came with the pre-installed Snake game. To call something a portable gaming console you've got to a) focus primarily on games, b) get big name publishers making aforementioned games and c) have more than one button and a physical D-pad. Oh, they also must come with a decent narrative as games are, after all, interactive stories.
Seeing as Android is a free mobile OS, it was bound to pop up on anything with a screen so it isn't surprising to see it appear on what is being marketed as a handheld console. The ODROID comes with an impressive spec sheet; a Samsung 833MHz Processor (what the iPhone 3GS runs), 512MB RAM, WiFi & Bluetooth connections, 3.5mm headphone jack and a HDMI connector for HD (720p) viewing, all incased in what looks like a WonderSwan housing.
The ODROID doesn't stand up as a gaming device unfortunately as most games currently on Android are of the iPod Touch/iPhone variety which -as I've previously mentioned- does not count as proper games but what it does do is provide a cheaper Personal Media Player alternative to Creative's Zii Egg, if you do not mind the lack of GPS and dual cameras and full HD output support.
The developer's version of the ODROID is now out for US$320/NZ$442.11 and it'll ship in November but I recommend you waiting for a month as the consumer version will only retail for US$250/NZ$345.40.