GameShell: hackable portable game console for indie devs and retrogame fans

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very cool.
If anyone is looking for a system that is pre-built that plays gameboy, gameboy color and NES games I really recommend the Bittboy 2 (apparently the first generation one was not as good). I have one and the sound and functionality are great. You do have to load the ROMs yourself tho.

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I’m so ordering a Playdate later this year. It has a crank! The Playdate strikes me as the first fully postmodern gaming console, I love it.


Here is a comparison of three options to get a Gameboy looking handled (mostly) based on open source hardware and software (incl. the Gameshell).


Seems to me there’s a lot of widgets like these nowadays, and none of them run anything new – or at least, nothing that people actually want to play.

But then, I suppose it could well be said that the 8-bit and 16-bit era was remarkably fecund and that one could easily while away the decades exploring the library in its entirety.

I just bought a couple of Gameboys and games from eBay for basically nothing to scratch this itch.

Writing any but the tiniest of games is a big commitment, and I suspect that people drawn to this niche are more likely to write for ios or android - you lose the retro chic, but in return you get the chance of substantial audience.

I was seriously thinking this - but I was disappointed that the crank doesn’t also provide charge to the battery while using it as a play controller. Then I saw the gameshell and have decided to go for this instead.

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It looks quite cool. A bit disappointing that a company called ‘clockwork’ doesn’t provide a clockwork-powered option though (as far as I can tell).

People do write new games for emulators. I’ve never played any of them, but they exist. They are in some way a beard for emulators ostensibly being legal.

But yeah, retro content is deep. I remember when I got my PSP and hacked it to play emulators - it was like I discovered another world. I had missed a lot of the consoles when I was younger, so going back to find games like Final Fantasy III, Chrono Trigger, Tactics Ogre and Front Mission gave me dozens of hours of entertainment. And it was like a lesson in video game history, which is actually really nice to have.

My son is now of video game age, and we play on the Switch now and then. But after playing Zelda BOTW he craved more, so I got an old PC set up with emulators so we can play some of the older titles as well. The only negative is that compared to BOTW, he doesn’t like the look of the games; the Switch has spoiled him for 16 bit. I should introduced him to games in historical order like this dad did.

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