The GCW Zero open source handheld gets a spec upgrade

January 16, 2013

I mentioned the GCW-Zero (a Kickstarter project for an open source handheld console) a few days ago, and my doubts regarding some of the hardware choices behind the device. I was since then contacted by a few people who are backing the project, either here on this blog, or by email, basically explaining me where the project is coming from, and why I shouldn’t dismiss it too fast.

Most of my criticism was about the specs of the device, which are relatively sub-par compared to modern expectations. 256MB Ram, a small screen with a small resolution (320×240), lack of a second analog nub… well, I won’t do it again, if you want to see my concerns just read my previous article.

Nevertheless, I ended up backing the project, because people convinced me that the device does what it does very well, and I don’t want people to believe I’d criticize a project without even trying it. And what the hell, I might actually enjoy to play doom again on yet another device :)

Today the people behind the GCW-Zero posted a nice update, announcing that the device will get 512MB of Ram instead of 256MB, and 16GB of internal storage instead of 8G. This is a great update, although I would have preferred they revised their decision on the screen size and resolution (but that one seems to be pretty final in particular for battery life concerns. The device is announced with 7 to 10h of battery life, which is not bad at all).

My pet project Wagic will not run on a 320×240 screen, that would require to completely rethink the interface to fit on such a thing. To be honest, I would love to take this as a challenge (is there a way to fit Wagic on a 4:3 320×240 interface?) but sadly these days I don’t have much time to spare on coding. Of course, if somebody’s up to the task, that would be great, if only to see what that could look like :)

the site Kicktraq shows that the GCW-Zero project is still not sure to be funded. At the current rate, it could miss its target by a few thousand dollars. But trends are just trends, so we’ll see how it goes.

More details on the project (and how to help funding it): Kickstarter

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