Arduboy – The Credit Card Sized Gameboy
How many of you lusted over your best friend’s Gameboy as a kid? While I was not totally deprived of electronic gaming as a child, I didn’t have a portable gaming device to call my own until much later in life. While the Arduboy is not strictly a Gameboy, it looks close enough to the Nintendo classic portable gaming console to make me lust for one all over again.
The coolest thing about the Arduboy is no doubt the fact that it is the size of a credit card. Unlike the blurry screen on the original Gameboy, this device has a crystal clear 1.3″ OLED display that works brilliantly under bright sunlight. This makes it a true portable gaming machine you can bring with you and play just about anywhere and not just indoors.
It has a simple button layout that is similar to the original Gameboy with a directional pad on the left and two red tactile buttons on the right. It also comes equipped with 2 piezo electric speakers which emits really tiny sounds but it brings back memories of the 8-bit music and sound effects of the Gameboy. The see-thru clear housing is also a nice touch.
The Arduboy is built on the Arduino platform which means it is an open platform. Besides playing games, the device can be programmed to be other things as well such as a digital business card that contains a QR code, old-school 8-bit synthesizer or even a controller for your drone.
Games for the Arduboy can be downloaded for free from the Arduboy store or if nothing strikes your fancy, you can program your own. Kids can learn to program their own games on the Arduboy using the open-source Arduino platform. A programming starter guide is provided.
Arduboy was successfully funded via a Kickstarter project and can now be purchased on the Arduboy website for just $39. Yes, I do realize that your smartphone is a million times better than the Arduboy as a gaming machine but there is a certain charm about this credit card gaming device and the Gameboy it is based on that makes it simply irresistible.
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