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The GP2X is an open-source, Linux-based handheld video game console and media player created and sold by GamePark Holdings of South Korea.
The GP2X was designed for homebrew developers as well as commercial developers. It is commonly used to run emulators for game consoles such as Neo Geo, Sega Genesis, Master System, Game Gear, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, NES, PC-Engine/TurboGrafx-16, MAME and others.
Released on November 10, 2005 in South Korea, the GP2X was designed to play video and music, view photos, and play games. It has an open architecture (Linux based), allowing anybody to develop and run software. Also, there is the possibility for additional features (such as support for new media formats) to be added in the future due to the upgradeable firmware.
A popular use of the GP2X is to run emulators, which allow one to use software from another system on the GP2X.
Shortly after the release of the GP32 in 2001, its maker GamePark began to design their next handheld. A disagreement within the company about the general direction of this system prompted many of the staff (including all but one GP32 engineer) (This is disputed by Gamepark-please cite reference) to leave and create their own company, GamePark Holdings, to produce a 2D-based handheld system which they saw as the sequel to the GP32.
GamePark Holdings spoke to previous GP32 distributors and developers to determine the specifications for the new machine and how it should be promoted. Meetings were held in Seoul, Korea, where the final design of the new console was agreed upon.
The first name of this console was the GPX2. However, it couldn't be used as a final name due to a possible trademark violation with the name of a Japanese printer, the GPX. Confusion with a potential second generation printer needed to be avoided, so a contest for a new name was announced on August 3, 2005. Around 1500 names were submitted in total. The winner of the competition was Matt Bakse who chose the winning title GP2X For this he was awarded a free GP2X console, although delivery of his prize was rather delayed.
The GP2X has seen several minor hardware updates, most notably the changes from the First Edition to Normal Edition and the Normal Edition to the MK2. The differences between editions are detailed on the GP2X wiki.
As of October 16th, 2006, the GP2X has sold 30000 units, and is expected that sales will reach to 50000 by Christmas. Due to the open nature of the console, several applications were made for it and has become a versatile device that may end up supplanting older game consoles which it emulates.