15 March 2019

Here comes a new challenger!

Sometimes, I like to go hunting around for Pandora's Box on Google or Youtube. You just never know what stuff you might discover and this is definitely one of those moments.

The Return of a Familiar Face

Here is a video that I ended up stumbling across about two months ago:

So after watching that, we can see that this appears to be a new board in the Heroes of the Storm 5 series as it features the same blue interface style but with a new name on the menu screen: 3D Pandora Games.

A month ago, this video pops up with much more detail on everything.

  • 2200 games present in the menu, split up as 2100 2D games and 100 3D games.
  • 3D games are shown in yellow text in the menu, 2D games are shown in blue text.
  • Of the 100 3D games, 20 appear to be a mix of PS1 and PSP games and the rest are N64 ROMs.
  • Pressing Start brings up a Pandora's Box 6 style indexing mode allowing players to sort games alphabetically or by game type. It appears to support the same game types as the PB6 but also includes a Racing game category... which has 0 games inside of it for... whatever reason.
  • No annoying musical jingle or "get ready!" while you wait for games to load.
  • Android-based, settings button merely switches to the settings app instead of rebooting the entire unit.
  • Image optimization setting has OFF, HD and scanlines.
  • Ability to turn on rapid fire and choose rapid fire speed.
  • Has WiFi settings menu indicating it will support wifi when needed.
  • Settings menu has "CORE 20181221 HEROES OF THE STORM5 DEBUG" written at the bottome of the settings menu.
  • Supports up to 4 players via USB ports on back of the unit.
  • Supports Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean languages.
  • Supports adding more PSP games but nothing else.
  • Supports CGA/VGA/HDMI output.
  • Supports being used as a joystick for PC and PS3 games.

So let's take a look at the board itself and see what information we can glean from it.

HOTS5 GB3000 PCB

  • There's a sticker on the board that appears to be the manufacturing date. All of the boards that we've seen so far have had varying dates in December 2018, just like this one dated December 12th 2018.
  • On the board itself is an indentifying line of text: "GJ.GME.GB3000.REV1.2", the GB3000 denotes that the board is this newer updated version of Heroes of the Storm 5. Older HOTS5 boards were denoted as GB2000, not GB3000.
  • Unsure of actual hardware but likely on same level as Pandora Key 7. Some believe they see better 3D output here than the PK7. It will be hard to tell without owning it.

Conclusion

This board does appear to have some unique features such as scanlines, Pandora's Box 6 indexing mode, selectable rapid fire. Unfortunately, it is hampered by the fact that it appears only PSP games can be added to the system which is a shame after the Pandora's Key 7 had so many possibilities beyond just PSP for adding games.

I'm hoping to review this board in the near future.

EDIT: We've found an English version of the manual that comes with the 3D Pandora Games.

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