Arcade machines are not generally known for their portability – the thought of moving one around is enough to cause a back ache. Nanoarcade pushes those notions aside with a device that looks like a classic arcade machine, but scaled down to 1/10th the size.
This is not the first mini arcade machine, with the iCADE rising to popularity for use with iOS devices, and Pinball Magic performing a similar function for pinball games. But the biggest difference between those devices and the Nanoarcade is that this works without a smartphone or tablet.
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With any gaming device, it's all about what games can actually be played on it. With Nanoarcade, you'll find that it can run any J2ME game, which are Java-based games. They were the cell phone games that were popular before the rise of the iOS App Store and Google Play. Not necessarily the most advanced, high-quality games, but they could be effective for delivering a retro experience.
The creators of Nanoarcade are J2ME developers themselves, and the team promises to include a few games with each device. Additionally, a standard microUSB port is included, which will allow users to copy any game to the device easily.
As far as the hardware itself, there's a retro arcade-inspired joystick, and six buttons for controlling games. There's also a coin slot below the the power button, adding to the authentic look and feel.
Eric Lin, the creator of the Nanoarcade, is seeking funding on Kickstarter. The project has a US$30,000 goal, and it's working its way towards that with just under a month left in its funding period. Backers who would like to preorder a device can do so for a minimum pledge of $39 while the early special lasts. Once gone, the price jumps to $49. The team plans to deliver the devices to backers in April 2015, if all goes according to plan.
The Kickstarter pitch video below provides more information on the Nanoarcade.