It's one of those technologies we're prone to make fun of, if only because we're not entirely sure what it's all about, but the news that the world's first mobile WiMAX gaming device had been announced certainly got our attention.
Called the G100 and developed by Posbro, a subsidiary of Posdata (itself a subsidary of huge Korea steel maker Posco), it's just been revealed at the WiMAX World USA 2007 exhibition in Chicago.
In terms of hardware specs, the G100 features a widescreen four-inch touchscreen that slides up to reveal four buttons which act as a D-pad, four face buttons and a mobile-style nub. There are also two shoulder buttons.
As for network technology, the G100 supports mobile WiMAX – itself a cell phone-style high-speed technology equivalent to 3G and 4G mobile networks – as well as old fashioned Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This, Posbro says, will enable users to select the most appropriate network to make an internet connection.
So that's hardware side of the technology covered, but quite how the gaming part of the picture is to be fulfilled remains unclear. It seems unlikely anyone will develop specific content for the device, so we'd suggest the only games available will be downloadable PC games, flash titles and the like.
With regards to availability, Posbro says the official release of the product (under its Flyvo brand) is expected by the end of 2007, but we'd be surprised if this means the G100 will be available anywhere other than Korea. In fact, if we're being really cynical, we'd suggest the G100 looks a lot like those reference technology prototypes that integration companies shout about in the hope that someone like Apple or Sony will license the design and then slap their brand on it before it gets released into the real-world.
Still, if nothing else, it does demonstrate there's enthusiasm in the hardware business for relatively cheap gaming devices that offer the intuitive control of the DS but are much more powerful in terms of 3D performance, as well as being more open in terms mobile connectivity. And in the long run that can't be a bad thing.