Summer of Digital Love: The South Korean handheld that could!

Summer of Digital Love: GamePark 32

This post is part of our Summer of Digital Love series, where we chill by the pool while chatting about our favourite hardware, magazines, websites, creative assets and digital esoteria!

Welcome to 2001!

The GamePark 32 (or ‘GP32’ to its friends) is a handheld console released in 2001 by South Korean company GamePark Holdings. A small number of original games were released for it, but it found success through its ability to run emulators and play mp3 files natively.

We acquired ours from the excellent (and long-defunct) gaming import site We have this second generation ‘FLU’ version which incorporates a front-lit screen:

The curvaceous device is powered by two AA batteries and uses SmartMedia storage cards. Ours arrived with an official GP32 soft case (ooh!):

Powering it up for the first time since (we’re guessing) 2013, we’re greeted by a cheerful GamePark jingle and an animated menu offering a choice of ‘game’, ‘mp3’ or ‘connection’. We selected ‘game’ and opened the Snes9x emulator in order to test out the awesome pinball game ‘Pinball Fantasies’ … which plays OK though without sound 🙁

For 90 minutes of Snes Pinball Fantasies gameplay, check out this long play:

The GP32 console was superseded in 2004 by the GP2X, which itself saw an incremental, upgraded version (GP2X-F200) released in 2007:

The GP2X (press shot)

Here’s the full press release for the GP2X F200 (pictured above):



Sept 18th: For immediate release have today announced the release of a new updated version of the GP2X, the GP2X-F200

Updates include a touch screen, new digital Dpad, more robust new white case and all new touch screen firmware. It is fully backwards compatable with the previous model.

The Firmware contains a port of Mplayer, MP3/OGG player, Picture viewer and Ebook reader, as well as 5 bundled games.

The original GP2X, with its dual ARM9 CPUs, was released in 2005 has sold over 30,000 units, mostly in the UK and Europe. Being the only open source games console and running Linux is has developed a large following resulting in several thousand software ports including Emulators such as MAME, classic PC games and well known media players.

One of the main uses of the GP2X is emulators as it can emulate almost all classic systems, such as Amiga, Genesis/Megadrive, PC, C64 & various Arcade systems, you can also connect it up to a TV and play games on the big screen.

The new version is set to ship mid October, priced at £119.99 inc VAT and preorders are being taken now at – includes a special £5 discount.

Photos and spec sheet:

File archive (Most up to date software is here)

GP2X forum:

Contact: 0191 2432253


To round off, here’s an interesting telling of the ‘full’ GP32 story!

This post is part of our Summer of Digital Love series. Watch for more as we raid our archives (and attics) to celebrate the best in digital creativity, past and present!

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