Fallout Pip-Boy smartwatch looks charmingly impractical

9 pictures

Bethesda has announced a limited edition smartwatch modeled on the Pip-Boy wrist computer, from the Fallout series

View gallery - 9 images

The Pip-Boy wrist-mounted personal computer device exemplifies the Fallout franchise's retro-futuristic charm. At E3 last year, the centerpiece of the preorder bonuses for Fallout 4 was a replica Pip-Boy, which could hold iOS and Android smartphones and be used to interface with the game. Now, Bethesda is one-upping itself with a functional Pip-Boy smartwatch.

Last year's replica looked pretty authentic, but it was essentially just a phone case, and not a very practical one at that. The Pip-Boy Deluxe Bluetooth Edition has a bit more meat under its bulky exoskeleton, with its own integrated display and the ability to pair with a smartphone or tablet to receive or make calls, display contacts, check (but not write) text messages, and play audio files.

When it isn't paired, the Pip-Boy functions by default as an alarm clock or in a "Cosplay Mode," where it will display the Status, SPECIAL and Perks screens seen in the games. Those physical buttons, dials and knobs aren't just for show either: Bethesda says they function, which most likely means they'll be used to flick through menus and select options, if the games are anything to go by.

The device comes packed in a Capsule Case tin, along with a charging base station and even a holotape, which is a USB drive that can be removed from then compartment at the top of the device. The inside is cushioned and adjustable to various wrist sizes.

As cool as it looks, this Pip-Boy is only for the most dedicated Wasteland wanderers. It's a hefty 7 in x 5 in (17.7 cm x 12.7 cm), weighs in at 2 lb (0.9 kg), and will cost you US$350. So considering its functionality is relatively limited, it's going to sell on novelty value to fans of the games, and not on any practical use as a smartwatch.

If you are in the market for a cool-looking accessory that you'll probably only wear once before relegating to a prime position on a shelf, you should know that Bethesda is only releasing a limited run of 5,000 Deluxe Bluetooth Pip-Boys, and if last year's preorder numbers are any indication, they'll last about as long as a feral ghoul in a Deathclaw nest.

The Pip-Boy Deluxe Bluetooth Edition is estimated to ship Nov. 11, and its features are outlined in the video below.

View gallery - 9 images

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