- Retro Gaming Watch is a Kickstarter project, where the display flips open to reveal a full-fledged retro gaming console.
- The creator was inspired to make this smartwatch by the founder of Pebble Smartwatches, and it can run any DOS era game with ease.
- While currently in development and shipping by November 2024, the Retro Gaming Watch is priced at $169 on Kickstarter.
In an increasingly boring era of smartwatches, we get to see a product so unique you would want to buy it instantly. If you have spent countless hours on your Wii or GameBoy, you are going to love the Retro Gaming Smart Watch, a Kickstarter project by Jason Rogers. He got the inspiration from Eric Migicovsky, Founder & CEO of Pebble Smartwatches. Eric is currently a co-founder at Beeper.
After some ideation, he arrived at the Retro Watch concept. It would essentially be a feature-packed smartwatch that would easily turn into a retro gaming console. It will not have all the features of modern smartwatches. However, it packs enough ‘smartwatch’ features to be called that.
As shown above, this is exactly what you think it is. You wear the Retro Watch on your wrist, and it is a smartwatch that lets you track steps, send messages, and more. It has a mechanical hinge, and you can flip up the screen to reveal another one. Now, the Retro Watch has changed forms and has become a gaming console.
Take a look at the dedicated game controller buttons – while they are quite small, they are complete with a proper D-Pad and ABXY buttons.
Retro Gaming Smartwatch: Specs & Features
The Retro Gaming Smartwatch features an ARM Cortex M33 processor, which runs at 160MHz. This processor also has 2 low-power cores, which are used for the smartwatch’s Bluetooth & sensors functionality.
In terms of RAM, it has 1.5MB of fast RAM and 8MB of external RAM. Part of the package is a low-power 2D graphics processor as well. Speaking of performance, the creator claims it can handle ‘any DOS era game‘ and has also added that “[Retro Gaming Watch] has more horsepower than the Nintendo64 era systems”.
What about smartwatch features? This Retro Gaming Watch will have similar connectivity as other smartwatches. It will connect to your phone using Bluetooth. The creator says that after connecting to ‘any smartphone’ (meaning it should support both Android and iOS) the watch will let you “send and receive messages, interact with applications, and download new apps, games, and updates.”
The battery life was a huge concern for the creator in the development period. However, a company known as Efinix, Inc. made exactly the kind of FPGA board that he required. These specialized boards had extremely low power requirements. After the creator of Retro Gaming Watch reached out to them, he received his own boards after discussions.
It turns out that during the testing stages, the creator of Retro Gaming Watch found his conceptual design to be quite feasible. For gaming, the initial prototype was able to deliver a promising 2 to 4 hours of battery life powered by a 600mAh battery.
The power consumption in ‘watch’ mode is only 3% of what it takes to game, so the creator says the user should be able to get up to 4 days of battery life with this Retro Gaming Smartwatch.
Price & Availability
The Retro Gaming Smartwatch is currently a Kickstarter project. The creator is seeking funding for the project, which is close to 150% subscribed at the time of writing. To buy it, you can spend $169 as a ‘pledge‘. The rewards of this pledge include the Standard Retro Gaming Watch with the basic band.
The Retro Gaming Watch is estimated to be delivered in November 2024 to the first backers. You can also consider spending $350 for the ‘Beta Tester’ tier, which will grant you a prototype version of this product, as well as a final version when development is completed.
Depending on the success of the project, the creator is considering adding other features too. In the future, if we assume the project becomes successful, the creator could even add innovative features like Heart Rate Sensor, microSD card, Camera, and shoulder buttons. If you liked this Kickstarter project, consider supporting it and getting yourself a mini wrist console.
What are your thoughts on the Retro Gaming Watch project? Would you buy this smartwatch? Let us know in the comments below.