The Arduboy Mini Is a Matchbook-Sized Retro Handheld

The Arduboy Mini Is a Matchbook-Sized Retro Handheld

There have been a handful of handheld gaming devices that definitely drive the limits of how compact a console can get, but the creator of the unique, credit history card-sized Arduboy is back with an even smaller sized variation that even now seems to be pretty substantially playable. The system is intended to stimulate avid gamers to dabble in components hacking to broaden its abilities.

Back in 2014, Kevin Bates wowed us with a custom 1.6-millimeter thick digital company card, developed by stripping down an Arduino board, that could really be utilised to perform a uncomplicated Tetris clone. It was designed to cleverly clearly show off Bates’ hardware hacking skills and land him a task, but it as a substitute led Bates down a different path when he turned his customized development into the Arduboy: an open up resource, credit score-card slender, 8-bit handheld for aspiring game developers or retro gaming lovers. 

The authentic Arduboy was at some point followed up by a edition identified as the Arduboy Fx, that includes much more on-board storage capable of storing around 200 Arduboy game titles (with just a monochromatic pixelated display screen the game titles are quite small), but Bates is back again all over again with a total redesign of the Arduboy components that is now a lot more than 50 % the measurement of the first.

The new Arduboy Mini standing in front of the original Arduboy.

The new Arduboy Mini is absolutely backwards appropriate with the unique, but includes even additional storage than the Arduboy Fx, and out of the box it comes pre-installed with in excess of 300 Arduboy titles—or extra or fewer each individual recreation established for the program to date. Exactly where the Arduboy Mini differs from the primary is that it’s been boiled down to its bare requirements. It is a naked circuit board with a 128×64-pixel OLED display screen, 6 buttons, and a USB-C port hooked up.

If you are pondering in which the speaker and rechargeable battery are concealed on the Arduboy Mini, you won’t come across them, for the reason that out of the box, it doesn’t have either. You’ll want to plug the little handheld into a USB-C cable linked to a electricity supply to engage in it, and while that might seem to be like an inconvenience, it’s essentially aspect of the whole rationale the Arduboy Mini was designed.

The back of the Arduboy Mini's circuitboard, showing the contacts for attaching a speaker and rechargeable battery.

Besides being a gaming method, the unique Arduboy was a device that encouraged people to find out to plan by way of an abundance of means and a thriving developer neighborhood on the Arduboy web-site. The Arduboy Mini strives to be a gadget that also encourages consumers to dabble in components hacking, and when you flip it more than, you are going to obtain pre-present contacts for attaching speakers and a battery, with the circuitry necessary for recharging a battery through the USB-C port currently baked correct in.

The Arduboy Mini plugged into a USB-C cable sitting on an orange wallet.

Bates is positioning the Arduboy Mini as a discovering software for the classroom initial and foremost, but at launch it is remaining created available via a Kickstarter crowdfunding marketing campaign that’s open up to anyone who would like to pledge $29 for the regular edition, or $34 for the Graffiti Version, with shipping anticipated as early as June of up coming year. A 10-pack is also staying created accessible for faculties, with a a little bit discounted pledge of $240.

There is usually a danger with backing any crowdfunded product or service, specially electronics, specified the ongoing supply chain concerns close to many parts. But Bates correctly shipped the authentic Arduboy by Kickstarter, and is common with the issues of bringing these devices to individuals. So while there is not as a great deal possibility to backing the new Arduboy Mini, with crowdfunded products and solutions, it’s usually a ‘buyer beware’ circumstance.