Originally released on November 23, 2001, the GamePark 32 is a Korean handheld console developed by GamePark. The console was released mostly in Korea, although it can be found in other countries where official distributors are located, such as Spain, Italy, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and Sweden. The GamePark 32 never saw a release in North America.
The GamePark 32 is quite unlike other handheld consoles of the time. Instead of using a proprietary form of media to play games, the GamePark 32 uses SmartMedia cards, which makes the console very accessible from a development standpoint. Additionally, the console has a USB (Universal Serial Bus) port for external peripherals, such as a keyboard.
The GamePark 32, new out of the box, was capable of doing a few things already. It could launch applications either from a SmartMedia card of downloaded from an online store, it could play MP3 format music files, and it could connect to personal computers. Applications could be purchased or downloaded in several ways. Most commercial games were available boxed in retail stores, as well as the online "JoyGP" store. JoyGP was the international version of MegaGP, a Korean online store meant for downloading games. Games downloaded from the JoyGP online store were typically sold at a reduced price from their boxed counterparts (typically from $10USD to $30USD).
Homebrew software initially required the end user to download GamePark's "Free Launcher" to run, but later firmware rendered that not necessary. The GamePark's C-based code made it easy for application developers to create homebrew software for the GamePark 32, so many such applications were released. Some of these include various emulators (for a variety of consoles), a DivX player, file managers, homebrew games, and more.
Upon the GamePark's initial release, there were five titles also available. Over the GamePark's lifespan, around 30 commercial games were released for the console. The console's final game was Blue Angelo: Angels from the Shrine, released on December 16, 2004. It was only available in boxed form, and was one of two games sold solely in one format (the other being Gloop Deluxe, sold only on JoyGP).
Korea (November 23, 2001)
- CPU: Samsung S3C2400X01 (ARM920T core), 20 (and under) to 133 MHz
- RAM: 8MB SDRAM
- ROM: 512KB
- Sound: 44.1kHz 16-bit stereo sound, four channels, 16 part polyphonic software MIDI
- Storage: SmartMedia 2-128MB 3.3.v
- Dimensions: 147mm x 88m x 34mm
- Weight: 0.163kg
GP32 FLU and GP32 BLU
The original GamePark 32 console was the GP32 NLU, or the GamePark 32 "No Light Unit." Shortly thereafter, two other versions of the console were released. The GP32 FLU (Front Light Unit) had a slightly larger screen to accomodate the front light between the plastic and the LCD, and was released in 2002. The GP32 BLU (Back Light Unit) contained a backlight, and had a second version released in 2004. The BLU+ is the only variant of the GamePark 32 that is incompatible with some software, due to the fact that it has a different LCD screen.
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