But most exciting, to me at least, is PocketCHIP will ship with PICO-8 preinstalled. If you’ve never heard of PICO-8, you have a bunch of weird little video games to catch up on. Basically it’s a “fantasy console” that runs in a browser or on a desktop, but has resource limitations akin to a Game Boy Color. What’s even better is PICO-8 has built-in tools for building your own game – complete with code, sprite, and sound editors – and every game someone else makes can be opened up and tweaked. PocketCHIP will include a browser for the hundreds of published PICO-8 games, turning it into an out-of-the-box handheld console.
So this thing completely passed by my radar, and it’s actually kind of amazing. The PocketCHIP is a CHIP in a Game Boy-like case, and comes with the aforementioned PICO-8 environment preinstalled. I immediately ordered one today, and I can’t wait for it to arrive come June.
This is a ton of value for what you’re getting, and the built-in coding ability, while not useful to me – since I can’t program – should be a huge boon for many people here on OSNews. The device’s QWERTY keyboard means you can code right on the device itself.
All in all, incredibly neat.
I ordered one right away, really love stuff like this!
I’ve got the base CHIP from the Kickstarter campaign (though not the PocketCHIP, which is just now shipping to backers) and it really is a powerful little device for the money. I’d put it on par with, if not slightly faster than, the Raspberry Pi 2 for desktop use. The only downside I’ve run into with it is no built-in HDMI or VGA video output; getting it to run at full resolution on a modern TV or monitor means waiting for HDMI or VGA daughter boards to come out (I’ve ordered one of each, due to arrive in July).
I almost pulled the trigger on the PocketCHIP instead of the bare board, and now I wish I had. I was just hesitant to jump in with both feet to a new platform, even if it’s one that has built on what the Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone boards have done.
And yes, my Raspberry Pi 3 is overall faster and more mature than my CHIP, but the CHIP is just more fun. The GPIO pins are all labelled, it has WiFi/BT just like the Pi (and seems to be better than the chipset on the Pi), the default CHIP OS feels more polished than Raspbian, and the built in flash storage seems very fast compared to external SD cards.
I won’t say it’s better than the Pi overall, and it’s not a new concept at this point, but I like the direction Next Thing Co is going with it and I’ll be along for the ride. 🙂
I strongly suggest you all try Celeste, one of the PICO-8 game. It shows what you can do with it really well and it’s hard and addictive, which is pretty rare these days.
The most exciting aspect of the pico-8, to me, is that it’s the test-bed for voxatron.
I would love a real console with the voxel screen:
Edited 2016-05-08 17:54 UTC