Awesome Stuff: Artisanal Handheld Games

from the now-that's-nice dept

This one’s for collectors and folks with a little cash to spare: Pixel Vision, a beautiful hand-made game emulator from Sweden.

The Good

Love Hult?n is a designer who makes incredible video game cabinets both large and small, and the Pixel Vision is a Kickstarted attempt to make some of his very desirable work available to more people with his smallest device yet. It runs on a Raspberry Pi board inside a handmade walnut casing — in fact everything about the Pixel Vision is handmade by one person. It has controls much like a classic Nintendo, runs emulators for a bunch of classic game systems, all controlled through a special minimal front-end interface that lets you access emulator functions like Reset and Save/Load State via hotkey combinations. It comes with some pre-loaded ROMs and you can load more via USB.

Given the completely hand-made nature of everything Hult?n makes, all his products are ultra-limited edition, and this is no exception: there are only 500 Pixel Visions, and a few extra special versions with even finer materials. Nothing here is revolutionary, but all the elements are top quality and put together with style to create a product I suspect many gamers — and especially those with nostalgic memories of their Game Boys — would love to have in their collection.

The Bad

There was no way a lovingly hand-crafted, limited edition, solid wood handheld gaming device was going to be cheap, was there? Alas, the Pixel Vision costs around $470 (but is priced in Swedish Krona). Considering the nature of its construction and the fact that it’s essentially an art piece, this isn’t an unfair price — and indeed this is Hult?n’s less expensive offering, given that his other even-more-impressive designs cost considerably more — but it will certainly discourage most would-be buyers (that is, after all, more than a Playstation 4). Though, with only 500 on the market, that’s not exactly a problem.

The Details

What really caught my eye about the Pixel Vision is just how much Hult?n’s attention to detail permeates every aspect of its design. This isn’t just some electronics crammed in a nice hand-made wood box by a woodworker hoping to find a market — it’s actually a complete design by someone who clearly cares about all the elements of the device, hardware and software included.

The best example of this is the 3.5″ LCD screen. Anyone could stick a small screen in a box, but this one is mounted in a bezel that is ever-so-slightly curved outwards to evoke old-school TVs — but it doesn’t stop there. The curved bezel is a great vintage look, but the screen would still clearly be modern, so the Pixel Vision runs custom OpenGL software that applies barrel distortion and a soft shader to all the emulator’s graphics, giving it the genuine bulged look of an old CRT television. That’s the sort of detail that ties the whole thing together and makes it not just a gimmick but a cohesive piece of great design.

Filed Under: , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Awesome Stuff: Artisanal Handheld Games”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
5 Comments
Rekrul says:

I’d be very surprised if this didn’t run into legal trouble. His promotional video shows the unit playing Mega Man II and while neither the video nor the page say that it includes that game, it implies that it does. It could also be seen as encouraging copyright infringement.

Plus, there’s really not enough homebrew games, available in downloadable ROM format, to justify owning a console with all those emulators. Of the Atari 2600 homebrew games that have been created in the last decade or so, maybe 5% of them have been released as ROMs. Anyone who pays almost $500 for a portable console featuring emulators for a bunch of different systems is going to fill it up with copyrighted games. If it was only intended to run homebrew games, he could have just added an internal 4GB microSD card and included every available homebrew game for those systems built-in.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...
Older Stuff
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Monitor Everything (5)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Cool Components (1)
12:42 Tech Companies Ask European Commission Not To Wreck The Internet -- And You Can Too (4)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Play & Listen (1)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Beyond Chiptunes (12)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Updated Classics (3)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Celebrating Cities (1)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Crafts Of All Kinds (5)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: One Great Knob (13)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Simple Geeky Toys (2)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Gadgets For The New Year (18)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: A Post-Holiday Grab Bag (0)
13:34 How Private-Sector Innovation Can Help Those Most In Need (21)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Towards The Future Of Drones (17)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Artisanal Handheld Games (5)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: A New Approach To Smartphone VR (5)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Let's Bore The Censors (37)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Open Source For Your Brain (2)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: The Final Piece Of The VR Puzzle? (6)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: The Internet... Who Needs It? (15)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: The Light Non-Switch (18)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: 3D Printing And Way, Way More (7)
13:00 Techdirt Reading List: Learning By Doing (5)
12:43 The Stagnation Of eBooks Due To Closed Platforms And DRM (89)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: A Modular Phone For Makers (5)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Everything On One Display (4)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Everything Is Still A Remix (13)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Great Desk Toy, Or Greatest Desk Toy? (6)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Sleep Hacking (12)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: A Voice-Operated Household Assistant (19)
More arrow