When I interviewed Michel last September with regards to his contribution to Ocean’s unreleased Liquid Kids arcade conversion he teased that he was working on a personal hardware project to be unveiled in the near future.
Well, the future has landed and his ‘Console 101’ Kickstarter has just gone live. It’s a fully programmable, Arduino based, old school video game console for which anyone can develop and share games. These are to be produced on a PC via a small C scripting language, tested in an emulator and then transferred to the device using a Micro SD card.
Five work in progress games are underway, of which you can watch footage on YouTube, along with a working prototype of the wooden ‘arcade in a joystick’ itself.
Nevertheless, if programming isn’t your forte, you’ll still be able to access and play the fruits of others’ labour by browsing the console’s upcoming homepage, and transferring the downloads to the built-in 4gb Micro SD card reader. In addition the dedicated site will offer tutorials to help programmers get the ball rolling, and a shop from which the console will be available to purchase.
The prospective hardware specifications comprise the following:-
A resolution of 120 x 120 pixels
8 bit DAC
256 RGB colours in 3.3.2 (VGA output, video signal generation with GPIO ports)
6-way DDS (AM-FM) sound engine
6-way single DDS sound engine
8-way pad with 4 buttons
1 reset button
External DC 9 ~ 12 volts power supply (or USB)
Michel tells me the aim isn’t to offer a rival to the Raspberry Pi as many might imagine, rather to provide a bare-bones, back to basics programming environment in which to inspire the development of games that push the ideals of raw game-play ahead of aesthetics. He believes to achieve this you must strip back a platform’s technical capabilities; only then will you awaken true genius.
If the idea appeals you have 35 days left to support Michel in bringing his concept to market. With a modest target fund of €2000 and backers pushing the current level of progress to 25% it’s looking highly likely the dream will become a reality.
Feel free to post any questions you have for Michel and I’ll make sure he sees them.
From all at Everything Amiga, we wish you the best of luck!