The Gamebuino META is a retro open-source console designed and made by indie developers in France that lets gamers to play the great pixelated games they loved on a compact device and learn programming to make their own games. The Gamebuino META fits in a pocket, packs plenty of free exclusive games, and the battery will last through a continuous day of gaming. An optional micro SD card can fit more games than you can play, and players can switch between games in a matter of seconds.
The Gamebuino META will only be available online, so consumers are encouraged to preorder via the Kickstarter campaign at prices starting under US$100. Preorders surpassed the first stage within two weeks and is on track to fulfill its current stretch goal by the December 23rd deadline for launch in January 2018. A significant boost in reaching their goal came from users of an earlier Gamebuino model who were eager to get their hands on the new version, and the project has garnered high praise and enthusiastic supporters after CES 2016, Maker Faires Bilbao (Spain), Kiel (Germany) and Rome.
“I created the previous Gamebuino Classic when I was an engineering student. Our current Gamebuino META is our next evolution of Arduino based retro console to make and play to all your favorite games,” says Aurélien Rodot, inventor of the Gamebuino. “We want people to try programming because it’s a gateway to so many things (like jobs), but we also wanted to make the experience fun and easy. We want to turn everyone into Makers.”
The Gamebuino META features a d-pad, A and B buttons, and a backlight. The console uses the same microcontroller as the Arduino Zero, and the team kept all the pins free for the user to maintain software and hardware compatibility. Users may also put all their Arduino shields on the back of the Gamebuino and use existing Arduino libraries. There is also an extensive set of libraries for graphics, sound, buttons, and more, including video screen capture, easy save games, and multi-language support. All games created on the Gamebuino are open source and free.
“You’re not even limited to making games with the console,” continues Rodot. “hook up sensors, motors, lights… Invent whatever you want; a device to water your plants or feed your cat. Your only constraint is your imagination.”