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.
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.