The issue with most handheld gaming systems is that they sacrifice ergonomic controls for portability, however the RetroBlock2 may change that. It’s designed from the bottom up across the much-loved Nintendo GameCube controller, and can quickly be hitting Kickstarter.
Nintendo has lengthy dabbled in distinctive controller designs; all the pieces from the N64 to the Wii to the Swap introduced one thing new to gaming, even when it wasn’t all the time a runaway hit. However whereas the GameCube itself was removed from Nintendo’s most profitable platform, the GameCube’s controllers are nonetheless so fondly remembered that Nintendo really resurrected and re-released them for the Swap model of Tremendous Smash Bros.
Pierre-Louis Boyer was presumably additionally an enormous fan of the GameCube’s controllers, which impressed him to create the RetroBlock2. In the event you’re outdoors the retro gaming scene, Boyer’s identify may not instantly be recognizable, however over time he’s created a sequence of fantastic retro gaming handhelds, together with the RetroStone 2 which was launched final yr after a profitable crowdfunding Kickstarter marketing campaign.
The RetroBlock2 is Boyer’s follow-up to the RetroStone 2, and it trades that console’s Recreation Boy impressed design for one thing that appears extra like a mashup of the Recreation Boy Advance and the Nintendo Swap with its horizontal format. It appears to be like virtually just like the GameCube’s controller was sawed in half after which reassembled with a 3.5-inch LCD show plopped into the center, however the construct was infinitely extra advanced than that. As outlined in a video that runs over an hour lengthy, Boyer particulars all the customized made and 3D-printed elements that went into its meeting, together with a brand new housing primarily based on the GameCube.
As a result of the RetroBlock2 is designed to run RetroPie, a platform with emulators for a lot of completely different basic consoles, Boyer didn’t embody the GameCube controller’s unorthodox button format, as an alternative choosing the less complicated button format used on the Tremendous Nintendo’s gamepad. That’s a disgrace, provided that the GameCube controller’s button format was certainly one of many issues players beloved about it, however comprehensible, for optimum compatibility. What’s extra unlucky, nonetheless, is that probably the most highly effective console RetroPie can emulate is the N64, that means that whereas it appears to be like like a conveyable model of the Nintendo GameCube, you received’t be capable to run any of its precise video games.
As with the RetroStone 2, Boyer plans to make the RetroBlock2 out there to retro gaming fans by way of one other Kickstarter crowdfunding marketing campaign. It hasn’t launched, so particulars on when you can doubtlessly again it and get your arms on the RetroBlock2 are nonetheless up within the air, but when pricing is comparable, you possibly can count on this handheld to set you again upwards of $400. That places it in competitors with the Nintendo Swap, which is a tricky promote, however not less than you received’t be on the mercy of Nintendo’s drawn out launch schedule for traditional video games, you possibly can set up no matter you need, everytime you need.
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