As my geek side is sometimes predominant, I always loved handheld devices and alternative consoles. I used to play hours on Game & Watch clones as a child, and I always dreamed of owning a Gameboy (which I never had lol), or I thought it would never be possible to play my good old Genesis games on the go…
With time passing and technology evolving with the world, some of these dreams became true: first PC emulation then emulation on the Nintendo DS lite. Then it sparkle some interest on open handheld devices and I did some researches about the Canoo, Gpx2 and such.
So here are the devices I will principally be using for developping and on which I will (woukd like to?) deploy my games.
The one used to create my art and to code my games. It also work with a PS3 controller mutated into an Xbox 360 controller thanks to Motion In Joy
My good old smartphone, not even rooted. I also use it to check my emails and, sometimes to give phone calls.
Archos gamepad 1, then Archos Gamepad 2
Archos are a French company that provides classic hightech equipments as phones and tablets.
Both are android tablets with physical buttons and a clever mapping system that allows you to map any physycal buttons to the virtual one on screen. It makes the gaming experience really pleasent, but it wasn’t obviously fully compatible with all games, especially those that are only tactile. It also features a store with games that are already mapped to button which is nice as you don’t have to do it yourself.
As a first try product by Archos, yhis was my first acquisition as I started to lurk towards game development. but they also create a tablet with physical button integrated. The first gamepad wasn’t that very good though, but it was possible to have a glimpse of a a cool product will be. The buttons were noisy, the stick a bit incomfortable, and the avoerall finish really make it look like poor quality toy plastic. The screen however, did not give a decent angle of vision and was also of poor quality, with lots of remanents effects and a despicable autonomy.
The second iteration however did it very well, with top tech specs, nice screen and an overall better finition. The stick are really more comfortable even though they are a bit noisy and look fragile. The screen is really good, and the autonomy was expended as well, so the Gamepad 2 was really worth investing. The D-PAD however lacks in precision as it is frequent to presse left or right as you only want to press down or up. This is alas really annoying and it can ruin gameplay pleasure.
The (in)famous Ouya, funded in Kickstarter. I wasn’t a baker though, and I acquired one only juste recently. Well, it will surely be discontinued within the next year as they have been acquired by Razer for their Forge TV, so it’s a pity I got my hands on it a little too late. There are some nice games on it.
Lesser known Gamestick, but also funded in Kickstarter. Lesser specs that the Ouya, too but this project was less the buzz as the Ouya, and it is still existing. I managed to get my hands on a baker edition. Linking account with the console is a pain as if you bought it from someone that did not unlink his account before hand, you are stuck with an account that is not yours and cannot create one unless dealing with customer support.