Korea based GamePark announced at ECTS 2002 that their handheld GP32 system would be getting a European launch later this year.

GamePark GP32 stand at ECTS 2002 [Photo copyright GamesPaper]

The tiny hand-held device, is expected to come to the UK just before Christmas, and a provisional price of around 100 has been set, although not fully confirmed as yet.

GP32 runs on a 32-bit ARM processor, and has 8mb of ram, meaning there's a fair amount of power available for it to make games move about at a decent rate on it's bright and clear 3.5inch LCD screen - and unlike the Game Boy Advance this screen is backlit, and very easy to see.

One of the most impressive features of GP32 is that you can take part in multiplayer wireless games, due to the built in RF module which allows up to 4 machines to play games within 10 meters of each other. The device can also be connected to a PC via a USB cable, and then exchange MP3's, images and videos between the PC and GP32.

After you've transfered the data from PC to GP32 you can watch MPEG and AVI videos, listen to MP3's with it's built in MP3 player, or experience some of the games that are available for the machine.

Currently there's not much choice of English language games, with most of the titles only being in Korean - however GamePark hope that the situation will improve before the European launch, and the release schedule includes three Capcom titles, but unfortunately says that they are only licensed for release in Korea.

The biggest test for GP32 will be to see if the games can put up a fight against the Game Boy Advance, and for that to happen it'll have to get some well known titles and brands licensed for it, or a strong home-grown developer following, much as is the case with Pocket PC's currently.

We'll have further details of the GP32's European launch when further details are confirmed, and if you want to find out more about the system you can visit the official website at www.gp32.com or on the GamePark developers site.