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(Pocket-lint) - As we suspected back in October last year, Panasonic has ditched plans to launch its own MMO handheld gaming console, the Jungle.

"Panasonic decided to suspend further development due to changes in the market and in our own strategic direction," the company said in a statement published on Reuters, not eleborating any further on the reasons why it has yet again decided to withdraw from the videogames market. Maybe Sony Computer Entertainment's grandstanding announcement of the NGP could have had some impact.

If it had gone ahead, the Jungle would have been the first project for the Panasonic Cloud Entertainment division (PCENT), the corporation's online media and gaming portal. It is not known whether that offshoot will now continue with other projects.

It's all a far cry from the bold statements coming out of Japan only five months ago: "All we can say for now is that this mean little machine features a kick ass display, touch pad, keyboard, and other gaming controls that we'll be saying more about soon," said Panasonic.

"Stay very closely tuned unless you’re tone deaf. And then you should keep your eyes open."

Presumably, we can now close them again.

Is there space for a new company to enter the games console market? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below...

Welcome to the Panasonic Jungle

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Writing by Rik Henderson.