32blit Is a Retro-Inspired, Open Source Handheld with the Tools to Make Your Own Games

There have been a lot of retro-inspired handheld video game consoles hitting the market recently, and most of them are marketed towards makers and hackers who want to tinker with the hardware. Most can be put into one of two categories: those designed to run emulators, and those designed for new homebrew games. The former is great if you want to play the classics, and the latter is great if you want something new and different. 32blit is a brand new open source handheld that fits into the second category, and it even includes the tools to make your own games.

Pimoroni’s 32blit recently launched on Kickstarter, and has just surpassed its $42,467 funding goal. On the hardware side, 32blit has some pretty impressive specifications. It runs on an STM32H750 microcontroller with an Arm Cortex-M7 processor at 400MHz, has 32MB of flash memory, a 3.5″ 320×240 IPS TFT display, a built-in speaker, a triaxial accelerometer, and a 1200mAh battery that’s good for more than four hours of gameplay. The controls are an analog joystick, a directional pad, four action buttons, and one system button. It has a footprint of just 150×65 mm, and weighs a mere 250 grams.

That would be exciting on its own, but it’s the software and game making tools that make 32blit especially interesting. Games can be programmed in C++ or Lua using the included open source libraries, and there are a number of tools to help you make your games. Those include a sprite editor, map editor, sound effects editor, and music editor. Backers will also get access to thousands of game assets, including sprites, sound effects, and music. At launch, there will be 24 tutorials to teach you how to make your own games, and more will be published every month. And, because Pimoroni is a well-known and trusted company, you can be sure that the quality will be good.

If you want a 32blit, the Kickstarter campaign will be running until June 30th. Beta tester backers can get a pre-production 32blit console, with all of the game assets, for £65 (about $84 USD). Super early birds can get a production console for £90 (about $117), which also includes the game assets. Beta consoles will ship in July, while production consoles will ship between October and December.

32blit Is a Retro-Inspired, Open Source Handheld with the Tools to Make Your Own Games was originally published in Hackster Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Original article: 32blit Is a Retro-Inspired, Open Source Handheld with the Tools to Make Your Own Games
Author: Cameron Coward