Our friends over at XGameStation have updated their product line with two new additions. Unfamiliar with the XGameStation concept? The product description for the new XGS Pico Edition 2.0 sums it up best:
"The XGameStation Pico Edition 2.0 is based on the technologies of its bigger brother the XGameStation Micro Edition. However, the Pico Edition is a more simplified unit that you assemble yourself! The XGS Pico Edition 2.0 comes with both the XGS Pico Edition 1.0 solderless breadboard and parts as well as the Pico PCB Add-On Kit, so it's two kits in one! After you build the solderless breadboard version then you can solder your unit together and have a completely portable embedded game system that you can re-program."
The full release:
XGameStation Mailing List: XGS Pico Edition 2.0 and Pico PCB kits now available!
Monday, September 18, 2006
The new XGS Pico Edition 2.0 and Pico PCB add-on kits are now available. The Pico 2.0 includes the Pico 1.0 as well as the Pico PCB add-on kit. The PCB version of the XGS Pico Ediition supports a built in Dpad, 7-segment LED, expansion port, and much more. The Pico Edition PCB add-on kit is for those that already have the solderless breadboard version Pico 1.0 kit. While the XGS Pico Edition 2.0 includes both the Pico 1.0 and the Pico PCB add-on, so you can build both the Pico edition on soderless breadboard as well as solder it together on a slick RED PCB.
Thanks for your continued support!
-- The XGS Team
Admittedly, I only understand about 25% of the jargon on this page, but I'm a bit perplexed by the overall purpose. What kind of games can you end up playing on your DIY console? Will the thing play MAME roms or are you also supposed to design your own games in assembly or BASIC? Whew.
This thing reminds me of something you'd see on the shelf at Radioshack.
I am wondering how accessible the device will be for non-hardcore developers. Will end-users be able to have a fullfilling game experience on the device similar to say the gp2x device from Gamepark?
-= Mark Vergeer - Armchair Arcade editor =-
I made a nice long explanation that I musn't of posted after previewing it, so that's gone, but I'll try a shorter version... Anyway, this is a type of educational hardware, to teach you everything from the absolute basics of the custom technology to machine language programming and the like. It's not meant as a pure game machine. It's meant, just like the old days with the Apple II, to allow you to actually understand the hardware from the screws to the video output. You can build the machine from all but scratch or get a pre-built version and just focus on the programming. There are a variety of languages available for it or you can roll your own. Think of this as a modern learning kit and that there will be few games available for it except for the ones made by other users. It's similar to developing for the Atari 2600 in that you have to pretty much write display routines and the like yourself, but that also teaches you "real" programming. You have to actually code to the metal as it were. I'd put the power of this thing somewhere in the Atari 2600, NES and Genesis ranges, depending on what you actually do with it. It's possible there will be (or even are) emulators for it, but it's unlikely considering the limitations.
Anyway, if youclick here: http://www.xgamestation.com/about_xgamestation.php You get the official explanation, which does a good job of going into detail.
I've been following these guys since before they had a product and in fact they're still one of our "Links and Affiliates" as we are to them. It's a great concept, but I fear I won't acquire one and dabble in it simply because it's probably more of an investment than I can give at this time from a time standpoint.
If you remember that it's an educational and hacking device and not a stand-alone game machine, then you'll much better get the concepts in the various kits and see the "point".