Mark today in your diaries gamers because today is the day you met GameGadget. GameGadget is an open source handheld console that could do for gaming what the iPod did for music. Complete with its own answer to the App Store, GameGadget will give developers a chance to dust off their back catalogues and give old and previously infeasible games a new lease on life.

GameGadgetGames (the consoles marketplace) will allow developers and publishers to determine prices and deliver games securely using GameGadgets digital rights management facility. This could see a huge surge in the number of handheld titles available and break the iPhone’s stranglehold on the casual gaming market. A reasonably priced handheld will surely lure casual gamers into the market without the hassle of high price phones and service contracts.

While the likelihood of Mario and Zelda making appearances is razor-thin, PopCultureMonster hopes to see the return of some Megadrive classics alongside new titles from the likes of PopCap Games. Although, given that we’ll be given access to GameGadgets inner workings, the homebrew possibilities are endless.

Being open source, budding designers will be able to muck in and get their hands dirty with its Linux interface and extensive development documentation, which will be made readily available.

All in all it looks like we might have a new heavyweight on the handheld market and considering it’s set to retail at £99.99, Nintendo and Sony execs are probably huddled under a conference table as we speak.

It’s a pity that the console won’t be available before Christmas, as we can’t think of anything we’d rather find in our stocking, but we shall soldier on and stay strong. GameGadget is scheduled to launch January 2012.

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