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A Credit Card-Sized, Arduino-Based Game Device (Video)

Roblimo posted about 4 months ago | from the not-quite-nanotech-but-moving-in-that-direction dept.

Hardware 33

Slashdot's Tim Lord was cruising the halls at OSCON, where he spotted Kevin Bates and his tiny Arduino-based device, called the Arduboy. On Kevin's Tindie.com sales page, he says the games it can run include, "Space Rocks, Snake, Flappy Ball, Chess, Breakout, and many more...The most exciting one could be made by you!" || His work with Arduboy got Kevin invited to the recent White House Maker Faire, where he rubbed shoulders (and shot selfies with) Bill Nye the Science Guy, Will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas, and Arduino creator Massimo Banzi. || Does Kevin have a Kickstarter in the works? There's nothing about Arduboy on Kickstarter.com, and given the Arduboy's simplicity and low price (currently $50), plus stories about it everywhere from Time.com to engadget to Slashdot, he may not need any financing or capital to make his idea succeed. (Alternate Video Link)

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Credit Card-Sized Game Device = "Old Phone"? (2, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 4 months ago | (#47552597)

Hmmm...a small-factor gaming device. My kids call that "one of dad's old phones." They no longer have cell service, but they pretty much all run Android or iOS and can still play a lot of games, including games that need the Internet. Plus, you can buy an entry-level Android phone new (from a pay-as-you-go service) for around $50. So...what's the market for this thing?

Re:Credit Card-Sized Game Device = "Old Phone"? (1)

Travis Mansbridge (830557) | about 4 months ago | (#47552669)

Well, none of those can fit inside your wallet. However, the buttons are capacitive.. and given that you'd generally need to hold something this size between your thumb and forefinger at all times, leaving your thumb off the button and moving it between buttons may prove to be a bit of a challenge.

Re:Credit Card-Sized Game Device = "Old Phone"? (1)

MooseTick (895855) | about 4 months ago | (#47552713)

"Well, none of those can fit inside your wallet"

Perhaps so, but if I put something like this in my wallet, it will be broken in a day or 2. See, I put my wallet in my back pocket. And any electronic device thin enough to put in my wallet, will likely snap they first time I sit down too fast. And.... I'm only 165 lbs. I can't even imagine something like this being able to survive in the wallet of a comic book guy/neckbeard's wallet.

Re:Credit Card-Sized Game Device = "Old Phone"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47556549)

Pro Tip: You can get a good feel for the intelligence level of anyone who uses terms such as "neckbeard".

Re:Credit Card-Sized Game Device = "Old Phone"? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47552683)

To learn how to program, To learn how to soldier. To learn electronics.

Re:Credit Card-Sized Game Device = "Old Phone"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47553715)

Well, soldier on, young man!

Re: Credit Card-Sized Game Device = "Old Phone"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47552697)

These things are made for fun and fame, not for a "market". Blah.

Re:Credit Card-Sized Game Device = "Old Phone"? (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 4 months ago | (#47553295)

Android phones have lots of baggage. When hardware is cheap, dedicated hardware is best.

Made by you. (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 4 months ago | (#47552745)

... the games it can run include, ... The most exciting one could be made by you!"

Except in Soviet Russia ...

[ Ya, I hate myself for this, but it's been a really slow day. ]

For the love of VIDEO... (2)

MindPrison (864299) | about 4 months ago | (#47552757)

...please, PLEASE edit this video down to 1-2 minutes.

Re:For the love of VIDEO... (0)

houghi (78078) | about 4 months ago | (#47553059)

At least you see a movie. I have not been able to see one on /. because of Module Error each time.
As I can see videos on any other site, I don't even bother to find out why.

Re:For the love of VIDEO... (1)

MindPrison (864299) | about 4 months ago | (#47553131)

At least you see a movie. I have not been able to see one on /. because of Module Error each time. As I can see videos on any other site, I don't even bother to find out why.

Really, are you using Lynx on a *nix box?

What OS are you using?

Re:For the love of VIDEO... (2)

OakDragon (885217) | about 4 months ago | (#47553371)

What kinda chip you got in there, a Dorito?

Not to sound rude, but .... (1)

King_TJ (85913) | about 4 months ago | (#47552791)

What's really such a big deal about this?

I mean, sure -- it's cool that he shrunk a hand-held game system concept down into something this tiny. But practically speaking, I can't see much marketability for something that just allows replaying the same old, relatively simplistic arcade games of the 80's (and "standards" like chess)?

Strikes me as more of a novelty, especially for Arduino fans. But again, just how many pieces of electronics do we need to run this stuff? Sure, you can suggest that other programmers take on the challenge of making the "coolest game able to run" on it -- but WHY should they bother? They'd have better luck even if they were targeting old PalmPilot devices rescued from some electronics recycling dump.

Re:Not to sound rude, but .... (1)

Roblimo (357) | about 4 months ago | (#47553051)

Why bother? Because it's a challenge and it's fun. I'm working on a customized bike with stabilizer wheels instead of simply buying a trike like other Old People.

Why? It's a challenge and it's fun. :)

Re:Not to sound rude, but .... (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 4 months ago | (#47553221)

Those are called training wheels.

And reinventing something thats been done to death is neither a challenge or fun for most of us.

Why are you posting on your own story? Story can't stand on its merits so you have to swoop in and try to defend it?

Hint: You're just re-enforcing his point, this is a stupid story to post to slashdot. WTF is wrong with you guys?

You seem to be impressed because he's trying to sell something for $50 which most of us made in one form or another 5 years ago in the earlier days of Arduino while were were dicking around on the weekend, bored. Worse still is that its about $45 over priced.

Re:Not to sound rude, but .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47553143)

>What's really such a big deal about this?

It isn't that big of a deal. But, you know, arduino.

Re:Not to sound rude, but .... (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 4 months ago | (#47554667)

Its not even a novelty for arduino fans, couple resistors and you can plop out the same games on your TV

Ok so the guy made something cool, there's thousands of people doing the same thing, so it doesn't seem whether you make something cool or not, its all about the marketing, he could have been holding a dog turd up there, whoopditie do

Atmega328p an odd choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47552809)

The core of this thing is a microcontroller designed to run a fixed set of software in an embedded system. This is a very odd choice for a gaming platform, not least because its Harvard architecture prevents executing code from anywhere except its internal code flash, meaning that you either need to flash it each time you want to play a new game, or write all of the games in an bytecode in RAM and make the flash include an interpreter.

Something that supports external memory (so you can map in a ROM a la old cartridge-based systems) or executing code from its internal RAM (so you can load something from e.g. an SD card) would be a better choice, I feel.

This thing just seems like bad engineering... wrong tool for the job, when plenty of better tools are available for comparable cost. Although it's still a microcontroller, at least some of the ARM Cortex-M subtypes support executing code from RAM and come in a similar chip package.

old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47552875)

The Arduboy was news in March.

http://hackaday.com/2014/03/01/the-credit-card-sized-gameboy/

"Does Kevin have a Kickstarter in the works?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47552893)

I thought this was a news site? YOU do the research, and tell US.

If you had bothered to google it, you would have found : https://www.tindie.com/products/bateske/arduboy/

mod Edown (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47552949)

or c4aiR, return [goat.cx]

Something does not see correct here... (1)

cjjjer (530715) | about 4 months ago | (#47553067)

9+ hours of playtime on standard batteries and 1 hour on rechargables.

Coin-sized batteries are that poor when it comes to recharging? What's the point then?

Re:Something does not see correct here... (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 4 months ago | (#47553257)

Coin sized rechargeable batteries are not designed for high capacity. They're designed for backup batteries that get recharged when power is available. Usually also means high impedance, which translates to lots of wasted power when discharged quickly.

A typical CR2016 is rated at 90mah with a 0.1mah load.

Not sure where to buy rechargeable 2016 sized batteries, but a Li2032 which is twice the volume has a capacity of 40mah. a CR2032 is about 240mah. Nearly 5 times the power. 6x if you're using a linear regulator and can't take advantage of the extra 0.7V from the Li2032.

bluetooth link to my optic nerve (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 months ago | (#47553171)

I'm an avid gamer, but at my age, for me to play this thing, I'd need bifocals for my bifocals. What is that, like quadfocals?

I blame online porn.

uses the exact same technique of my business card. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47553409)

... that I made 2 years ago: http://www.limpkin.fr/index.php?post/2012/09/15/My-new-business-card

Re:uses the exact same technique of my business ca (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 4 months ago | (#47554675)

and I saw it on instructables 5 years ago, its an old idea

Fuck Arduino shit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47553451)

'Arduino' and 'RPi' and all this other shit is fooling dumb kids into believing they're doing electronics when all they're doing is the 21st century version of writing little shit programs in BASIC. You talk to them, and you quickly find out that they believe you can't do ANYTHING without a microcontroller, and that if you're telling them otherwise that you must be trying to trick them or something. Furthermore they actually believe that anything that you CAN do without a micorcontroller must not be worth doing in the first place, or that 'you must be an old guy or something'. I fear for the future of technology in general, when these kids view electronics as like playing with Lego (just snap blocks together) when there has to be someone to CREATE the blocks in the first place. So fuck all this Arduino shit, it sucks ass. Kids should be building radios, and learning how transistor amplifiers work, and other REAL electronics, not screwing around with these stupid little playtoys. Once they learn real electronics then if they must they can play with microcontrollers but not before. Oh and go right ahead and mark me as 'troll' or 'flamebait' or whatever you fucks want to do, I don't care.

Neat idea, but overpriced for what you get (2)

Cyfun (667564) | about 4 months ago | (#47555333)

For $50, you get a tiny monochrome screen, a D-pad and TWO WHOLE BUTTONS, and a non-rechargeable 9 hour battery.

A coin cell battery? This is 2014, and it doesn't have a rechargeable battery? He did mention you can get rechargeable coin cells, but they only last an hour. So with moderate use, you're gonna be spending a few bucks a week on coin cell batteries, not to mention having to carry around spares with you.

Yes, it's nice and thin, but nobody is gonna stick this in their wallet unless he invents a flexible PCB.

Or, for $30, you can get a brand new LG smartphone from Walmart, running Android 4.4, with a 3.5" color touchscreen, a dual core 1.2ghz processor, camera, wifi, bluetooth, GPS, accelerometers, speakers and a microphone, several gigs of storage space, and a RECHARGEABLE battery that will last 10 hours heavily used and over a week in standby. I guess the only downside is that touchscreens aren't as good as D-pads and physical buttons for games, but you could always buy a USB controller and get a lot more buttons. And while it IS about the size of a credit card, but half an inch thick. And instead of shelling out a few bucks a week on coin cell batteries, you could spend that money on a straight talk cellular plan and get UNLIMITED INTERNET ACCESS!

Re:Neat idea, but overpriced for what you get (1)

felipou (2748041) | about 4 months ago | (#47555633)

Unbelievable. I went straight to walmart.com to verify your claim, and now I'm definitely amazed.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Stra... [walmart.com]

It's incredible how cheap these things have gotten.

Sign of the times? (1)

tkrill (3649469) | about 4 months ago | (#47555435)

There are alternatives. Recently got myself one of these, http://gamebuino.com/ [gamebuino.com] Nice little piece of HW.

Flappy balls? (1)

kuzb (724081) | about 4 months ago | (#47555723)

Really? That's not a sales pitch, it's a warning bell.

DAMN YOUR SCROLL SITE, ARDUBOY.COM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47556453)

Damn it all to hell!

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