Smach Z to Return to Kickstarter Next Month

Last year this SteamOS powered handheld arrived on Kickstarter with a $900k goal and no working prototype. Unsurprisingly things didn’t go as planned and the campaign was pulled before the end. The team vowed that they would return after sourcing the majority of funds from private investors instead. Things went relatively quiet for a while, until a Thunderclap campaign was launched with the intention of raising awareness of this handheld before its re-submission to Kickstarter.

The Thunderclap campaign ends on October 11th, after which time the product will go live once more on Kickstarter with a much lower goal. The machine will still come in 2 variants, a standard model with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal memory, whilst the Pro model will double those figures, and add 4G connectivity and a front facing camera. Both machines will contain a 1080p screen and be powered by a battery claiming 5 hours play time.

Interestingly, the team have stated that a low stretch goal for the new Kickstarter campaign will be to provide Windows 10 support for the machine, presumably dual booting alongside SteamOS. The team were at Gamescom last August where they had a working prototype to show off. Unfortunately they’re still polling to decide what screen size they should use, which means they’re a long way off a release date yet. The latest from the team is that it’ll be available in 2017, but that could mean anything between 4 months and 16 months time – so don’t start holding your breath just yet.

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8 Comment

  1. AVahne says: Reply

    Welcome back! Loving the new site design and I adore the new Pandora-inspired favicon.

    1. obscurehandhelds says: Reply

      Thanks for the kind words 🙂

  2. Yes, Welcome Back! 😀

    What are the options on the Screen-size poll?

    I hope this campaign takes off and they meet their goal – but I kind of think they are shooting themselves in the foot by going the Steam Controller route. I presume this is a touchscreen as well, so a lot of the benefit of the Steam Controller (IE the only real benefit – that it serves as a handheld Trackpad as well as a game controller) is lost on a handheld.

    Since this is their own device, they could actually just add a D-Pad and/or a second analog stick and have the best of both worlds. Really a missed opportunity there. (And no, I’m not sure how to lay all that out properly or ergonomically, but it should be possible with some clever thinking.)

    BTW – I’m not hating on the Steam Controller. I bought one – and I actually use it sometimes – but for most games, either a standard (IE Xbox 360) controller – or a keyboard and mouse is better.

    1. obscurehandhelds says: Reply

      The poll was started in early August but is still running by the looks of it. You can vote here: https://goo.gl/F1te0I

      1. Thanks. I voted for 5.5″. Anyone wondering what the size options are, but don’t feel like clicking a link to find out: 5″ 5.5″ 5.7″ 6.0″ – and the caveat is noted “Keep in mind the bigger the screen, the less portable.” – and I would add – the lower the PPI.

        1. obscurehandhelds says: Reply

          I voted 5.5″ too though I wouldn’t be too bothered if they went up to 6 despite the PPI decrease.

  3. Place your bets, which one is going to be a real thing first, this or the PGSLab handheld?

    Oh, and welcome back!

    1. obscurehandhelds says: Reply

      I almost forgot all about that thing. Guess I’ll go and find out if anything’s happened yet!

      Cheers, glad to be back 🙂

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