A US-based start-up is making waves in the gaming world with the launch of the Retro Gaming Watch, a portable gaming device with an innovative smartwatch design. This unique gadget, reminiscent of a mini Game Boy SP, allows users to wear it on their wrist and flip it open to play retro games. Jason Rogers, the developer behind the Retro Gaming Watch, is currently raising funds for the device through a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign.
The Retro Gaming Watch stands out as a tiny game console that doubles as a wristwatch. When not in use for gaming, its screen can be flipped to function as a regular watch. The device is designed to emulate classic games, both in hardware and software. Early bird backers of the Kickstarter campaign can secure the watch starting at $159, with the top backers slated to receive their devices by November 2024.
Retro gaming watch becomes a hit on Kickstarter
However, it's important to note that the Retro Gaming Watch is not designed for gaming while on the wrist. Instead, it is intended to be played when taken off the wrist, where it then attaches to a wrist strap to serve as a watch. The device features a small display for basic watch functions and a 1.54-inch 320 x 320 pixels internal LCD with a 60Hz refresh rate for gaming. It includes four action buttons, a D-Pad, a magnetometer, an accelerometer, and a single speaker.
The Retro Gaming Watch is powered by a Renesas/Dialog DA14706 chip, which includes a 160MHz application processor and two ARM Cortex-MD processors for sensors and Bluetooth. The console also boasts a 2D GPU, 1.5MB of internal memory, and 8MB of external QSPI RAM. Additionally, it is equipped with an Efinix T20 FPGA, allowing the creation of custom video game hardware with cores to emulate popular 8- and 16-bit game consoles. This makes the Retro Gaming Watch particularly adept at playing emulated classic games.
The device promises up to two days of battery life when used as a smartwatch, but gaming playtime for 2D games is expected to be between 2-4 hours.
The future of the Retro Gaming Watch hinges on the success of its Kickstarter campaign. If the funding goal is met, the device may feature a machined steel body. Otherwise, over 500 pledges will result in an injection-molded plastic body. Beta testing options are also available for a $350 pledge, with a targeted delivery of March 2024 for these early units.