I assembled a Clockwork GameShell. It's very cool

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/06/04/i-assembled-a-clockwork-gamesh.html


This looks really, really cool.


So @frauenfelder, what kind of emulators can you run on it? Game Boy Advanced?


Yes,and NES, too


Video seems to be unavailable

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Have you taken a look at the ODROID-GO? It’s an ESP32 based design, so, WiFi and BT built in. It’s a good deal cheaper, too. If you live in the US, you can get it from Ameridroid.

That looks cool, but doesn’t seem to run GBA games, and lacks two buttons. Otherwise it looks nice!

Sweet! Do they have a tricorder emulator?

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Are there alternate screens or anything? OLED, transflective?

I guess I’m asking: what’s the point of the modularity? Or is this mainly appealing in a model-plane “you get to assemble it” sense?


I think by assembling it, it’s a bit cheaper? But one thing for sure is that you can add a special Arduino-tinkerer’s back with extra buttons. They were included in the kit. I didn’t mention them because I haven’t looked into how you can use them yet.

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Not enough buttons to play SNES games, unfortunately, which is deffo a dealbreaker.

I impulse-bought one of these but haven’t got it yet. I’m not expecting anything beyond a Game Boy in Gakken kit form, but that’s enough for me.

The “modular” bit is obviously specious – there’s never going to be an ecosystem around this thing, and it’s not like it needs to be “modular” for you to mod it.

That said, the buttons module is apparently built around a self-contained arduino board, so it might be recreationally realistic for me to add some shoulder buttons (given that I have a 3D printer and CNC machine and soldering station and all kinds of other work-related stuff which stretches the definition of “DIY”).

Though I can’t actually think of any console games I want to play that require shoulder buttons anyway. I think in Super Mario World you can use them to pan the overworld map, but they’re hardly critical.

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What’s up with the nitrile gloves? Makes perfect sense but I’m curious about Dr. Frauenfelder’s reasons.

This looks really cool and not insanely expensive !

It’s also way cheaper at <$40 vs $160. It also has much longer battery life making the title of ‘portable’ meaningful.

Edited to add:
Emulating the GBA is a lot harder as its processor is a lot faster and more complex than the GB, GBP, GBC CPUs. IIRC, it was a 33MHz ARM11. That’s going to require a lot of CPU. You migth just want to look into using an old cell phone to run retro-arch or your favorite emulator.

A really useful device would be a flexable BT connected ‘dock’ that any phone could stuff solidly into and leverage already made smart phones with their batteries, screens, and fast processors. But that doesn’t fit the modern sloppy ‘maker’ category as well.


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Just to keep from smearing the clear plastic covers.