Craig talks to PocketGamer

April 7, 2009
posted by: gruso

GP32x member Duddyroar, aka PocketGamer word man Damien McFerran, has pinned down Craig for a second Pandora interview. Read it here!




  1. no “highlights”?

  2. yes this is a double post, but I honestly liked that interview, yeah, most of the info we already know is in there, but of course, it is being consolidated by one of the sources, and I like that 🙂

  3. you gotta love that:

    “How has the community dealt with the delays?
    They have been very good about it”

    and how he blames the delays on the banks only………..

  4. Yup… no mention of ‘We completely screwed up and had no realistic idea of how long things would take – but we pulled a time-frame out of our rear ends and it ended up being absurdly unrealistic.’

  5. “If anyone reading this is interested in purchasing a machine, are there any pre-order slots available for the first batch? If not, when do you expect the second batch to roll of the production line?

    It is possible to order one from the first batch, we kept about 200 places free during the re-order period for people who were not sure if they wanted a unit – those untaken slots are now available to new customers, if they want a unit they can email openpandorasales@gmail.com.”

    Ha. So much for their last chance grab at sales a couple of weeks back. I’m finding myself increasingly annoyed at the Pandora developers lately; I surely wouldn’t have dropped the cash on this system if they hadn’t lied about a Christmas release for “marketing purposes”.

  6. That would make for a very professional interview, as I understand it, when interviewing about a product you are selling, you want to make yourself look as retarded as possible. Good point tt and moo!

  7. “It’s probably true that if we went back to the start we would not try something quite so ambitious, good thing we didn’t know then what we know now or the Pandora might not have happened.”

    Powerful words guys and it’s often the case with revolutionary products. The truth is that this project was far more complex than envisioned and it’s quite remarkable that they’ve actually pulled this off (or are near to it). In addition, the devs have been far more open about the delays than any large company would be. Sony or Nintendo would just issue a release saying… “project xyz has been delayed 6 months”.

    We’re doing pretty well I would say, considering. But regular updates are appreciated as it’s certainly been hard to wait as new delays emerge.

  8. The one thing missing was an estimate of release!
    I know they don’t want to say an exact date but ballpark would be nice, you know like “Coming this June” or whatever.

  9. He didn’t really say when the second batch would get rolling out, in relative time to the first batch’s release. I’m considering buying one in a month. A bit perturbed by the £30 price increase due to the weak £ though.

  10. @Vegetable
    It’s called delays. Go make a powerful handheld like Pandora and see if you can get it in to the hands of customers Christmas ’09. It’s not an easy task.

  11. Well, it is an open console. I can use the freely available schematics, rent the Chinese assembly lines they are using and produce a clone that will sell for less than the current 330$. Right? That’s what open means.

  12. @Vegetable
    “Ha. So much for their last chance grab at sales a couple of weeks back.”

    Go back and re-read those posts. It was very clear that the deadline was for those who had asked tor product to be reserved but has still not paid. Purely to make sure that any unclaimed units could be made available again.

  13. oh no. a company represented themselves in a positive light in an interview. shock and awe.

  14. @TT: The majority of the community HAVE been good. Admittedly Craig forgot to do a shout out to the three or four cranky children who only log in to fling faeces at the screen. Hope that didn’t make you feel alienated.

  15. @Coud
    There is no way in hell that they could have released the Pandora before Christmas, and the kind of people that even attempt to build a handheld like this would know that. Seems like a lie to boost sales to me.

  16. @Vegetable
    You seem to forget that it’s not like they’ve done this for years. Openpandora LTD is a brand new company and this is their first product and a lot of the devs first time producing a mass market device. So yes their expectations were a little high in the beginning (Craig even admitted to this in the interview) but I think their original goal was only marginally optimistic. No one could have predicated what happened with the part delays and not to mention the bank bending them over and screwing’em sideways. Also if you think about it they’ve had about a little less then a year in delays total (calculating from the first deadline they ever set back in August 08). Considering that even most main stream consoles get delayed about 6-8 months, if not a year, Pandora is right about where everyone else usually might be. The larger companies just have more experience with this so they know that the first problem is probably not their last. Think about exactly what Pandora is, where it came from, and then look at everything else and I thing your start to appreciate what they’ve done.

  17. “Marginally optimistic”?

    Their original estimate was forty days! Would anyone be surprised if there were STILL more than forty days until ship-out?

  18. Look at the front page for the official minimum estimate.

  19. “Considering that even most main stream consoles get delayed about 6-8 months, if not a year, Pandora is right about where everyone else usually might be.”

    No big company could afford taking preorders then sitting on the money for a year. Their reputation would be ruined. They would have to refund. OpenPandora gets a (somewhat) free pass because it’s a small operation and really, people should have known what they were getting into. You’re explicitly funding development for a completely new console from a completely unknown development team.

  20. @andyl : i wouldnt be suprised, in fact if my pandora (i ordered on day one, re-ordered on day one of that farce) turns up within 40 days i will be astounded.

    what i find amusing is the delay is now almost touching the amount of time we were told the thing would take to make in the first place. So something that was supposed to be in our hands within (let’s be generous and say 3 months) has now been delayed by 100% of that time. That, apologists very rarely happens in console land.

    Of course, the banking capers were beyond the reasonable control of the company. But then that should have been discussed with the bank when the business account was setup.

    i’m afraid that even though this is a “community device” i still expect some sort of standards (though i shouldnt after the issues with the distribution over the gp2x) from a company who has taken the best part of £250 * 5000 from their customers 6 or so months ago.

    I of course will continue to wait and if the thing never turns up i will consider the money well spent on an entertaining tech soap opera.
    Or to put it another way :
    I of course will continue to wait and when it turns up will consider the money well spent on an excellent device with 6 months worth of free tech/fanboy soap opera which has kept me entertained when i should have been working.

  21. gruso, thanks for the laugh!

  22. A lot of time was wasted with the banking issue. Back in September when they took preorders they were still basically done. Sure the OS wasn’t as mature as it is now, but other than that a lot has been on stand still because of the bank. So if OP LTD had received all their money from the preorders they could have went right to a CNC case and went down the process we’re now at now 6 months later. I still don’t think they would have made their October ship date but I think if everything would have went as expected they could have got it out before Holiday ’08. Realize how much time was spent during the bank fiasco being idle and taking care of refunds and getting some form of currency to get things done.

  23. There was no way to schedule around the entire loan crisis/credit freeze thing anyway. Within the scope of a few weeks, long after the whole Pandora project had been set in motion, the banking system fell prey to a bad case of paranoia. Even large, well established companies were forced to beg and plead to the banks, and many of them were turned away. OP is neither large nor well established, so it’s no small miracle that they’ve resolved enough of those issues to get back on track.

  24. Yes, I grant all that, but now that they’re “Back on track”, there is still more time left to go than the TOTAL original estimate.

  25. Man, we need a new blog entry.

  26. The team needs a competent PR guy so badly it’s not funny.

  27. /sound of a pin dropping……

  28. I’m so sick of people making unfounded accusations about the development team lying, misusing/profiting money, etc.
    If you really believe what you’re saying, why haven’t you gotten a refund? And if you have gotten a refund, why are you still trolling here, making slanderous remarks?
    Unless you have worked on a product development team, you simply don’t know what you are talking about.
    I’ve worked for almost 30 years for startups that actually started in a garage, and i’m currently working for a company with over 100,000 employees, so I have some idea what is involved in bringing a product to market from scratch.

    The main problem with the OpenPandora project was the unrealistic delivery date projected by the developers, and that can be chalked up to simple inexperience.

    So everyone relax, and be prepared to wait another 2-3 months(just an educated guess, I hope i’m wrong).

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