Arduboy Mini is a handheld device the size of a matchbook packed with over 300 games

Arduboy Mini is a handheld device the size of a matchbook packed with over 300 games

There have been a few handheld game machines that really Pushing the limits of how small You could get a console, but the originator, Arduboy credit card size he is Again in a smaller version That still looks playable. The device aims to encourage players to participate in hacking devices to expand their capabilities.

In 2014, Kevin Bates wowed us with a thickness of 1.6 mm Electronic business cardcreated by stripping the Arduino board, which can actually be used for simple play Tetris cloning. It was designed to show off Bates’ skills in cleverly hacking devices and getting a job, but instead led Bates down a different path when he turned his custom design into Arduboy: an open source, handheld 8-bit thin credit card reader For aspiring game developers or retro game enthusiasts.

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The Arduboy original It was eventually followed by a release called Arduboy FXfeaturing a larger on-board storage capable of storing over 200 Arduboy games (with only a monochrome display; the games are very small), but Bates is back again with a complete redesign of the Arduboy which is now over half the size of the original.

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

The new Arduboy Mini is completely identical to the original, but includes more storage space than Arduboy FX, and comes pre-installed with over 300 Arduboy titles – or more or less every game created for the system to date. Where the Arduboy Mini differs from the original is that it’s been boiled down to bare necessities. It’s a bare circuit board with a 128 x 64 pixel OLED display, six buttons, and an attached USB-C port.

If you’re wondering where the Arduboy Mini’s speaker and rechargeable battery are hidden, you won’t find them, because out of the box, there are none. You’ll need to plug the portable mini into a USB-C cable that’s connected to a power source to power it up, and while that may sound like an inconvenience, it’s actually part of the whole reason I built the Arduboy Mini.

The back of the Arduboy Mini circuit board shows the contacts for connecting an amplifier and rechargeable battery.

The back of the Arduboy Mini circuit board shows the contacts for connecting an amplifier and rechargeable battery.

Besides being a gaming system, the original Arduboy was a tool that encouraged users to learn to code through an abundance of resources and a thriving developer community on the web. Arduboy website. The Arduboy Mini strives to be a device that also encourages users to engage in hardware hacking, and when you flip it over, you’ll find pre-existing contacts for connecting speakers and a battery, with the circuitry needed to recharge the battery through a USB-C port already baked in.

The Arduboy Mini is connected to the USB-C cable found on an orange wallet.

The Arduboy Mini is connected to the USB-C cable found on an orange wallet.

Bates is positioning the Arduboy Mini as a classroom learning tool first and foremost, but at launch it’s made available through Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign This is open to anyone who wants to pledge $29 for the regular edition, or $34 for the Graffiti edition, with delivery expected as early as June next year. A 10-pack is also provided to schools, with a slightly discounted pledge of $240.

There is always a risk in backing any crowdfunded product, especially electronics, given the ongoing supply chain issues around the various components. But Bates successfully delivered the original Arduboy through Kickstarter, and he’s aware of the challenges of bringing these devices to consumers. So while there’s not much risk involved in supporting a new Arduboy Mini, with crowd-funded products, it’s always a “buyer beware” attitude.

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