Yep I know I’m very late to the party on this one, having been announced almost a week ago now. Many of you have emailed in about this machine already and I apologise for not posting about it earlier. Honestly though there’s not an awful lot to say about this thing yet, we’re still well over a year away from release and all there is to go on is a couple of renders, some loose specs and a starting price of €300.
So what do we know? Well the device is going to be based on an AMD G Series X86 “Steppe Eagle” SoC, it will have a 5 inch 720p screen and it’ll run SteamOS. Smach have said that around 1000 Steam games will be compatible at launch, including Civilization V, DOTA2 and Halflife 2. There will be a Pro model with 4G for on the go gaming, and both models will have all the usual connectivity such as MicroSD, HDMI, WiFi, Bluetooth and USB OTG. The controller inputs appear to be based on the layout of Valve’s official controller, which utilise tactile feedback directional inputs instead of analogue sticks. As yet no mention of battery capacity which perhaps means they’re still working out the layout of the internals, and therefore how much physical space is left over for the cell.
The Smach Zero goes up for pre-order on November 10th, which is apparently also the day that the first round of Steam Machines are being made available. Unlike the Steam Machines though, the Smach Zero is not going to be available until Q4 2016 at the earliest, and I’m willing to bet it’ll be delayed into 2017 – so don’t get too excited just yet.
If you’re interested, head over to the Smach Zero website and stick your email address in the box.
The Kickstarter campaign was cancelled in mid December. It doesn’t surprise me seeing as they had no working prototype and couldn’t even nail down the CPU they’d be using. Here’s a copy of the notice they sent to all of their backers. Hopefully when they return things will be a bit more definite, and we’ll see some working hardware.
We have been analyzing the status of the campaign and have decided to take it down and re-consider our campaign. We believe that it’s the best decision for the project because the following reasons:
– Campaign progression: Pledges started very well but they have stopped in the last days. We’ve to work better our marketing strategy next time.
– Too high goal: Even if we need 900k to produce SMACH Z, it’s a very ambitious goal. We’ll need to find additional private funds and go for a lower goal.
– AMD SoC: This is causing a lot of confusion. We think we‘d need to give more info about the final SoC and we can’t do it now. We’re going to discuss the matter with AMD.
– Prototype: Everybody expect to see SMACH Z working in an encapsulated prototype and it’s something that we can’t offer just now. So we’ve first to build a more advanced prototype to better demonstrate SMACH Z capabilities.
– Windows: Many people is asking for a Windows version of SMACH Z. We need to re-analyze better this possibility and see how that’d impact the cost. While we can do that during the campaign, we believe that it’s better to stop it and start a new one in the next months.
– Rewards: Same that for Windows, people is asking for changes in the rewards that would be done better if we re-launch the campaign.
But don’t worry, this isn’t a tragedy: This campaign has meant a lot of good stuff to us. It let us see that lots of people are interested in SMACH Z. From loyal backers to people that shared the campaign through social media. We’ve received great feedback and we have seen people becoming authentic spreaders of their love for SMACH Z. It means that there’s a market for this product. Our intention is to keep going and launch a new improved campaign improving to make sure that we can reach our goal!
We can’t tell the specifics yet, since we’re studying different possibilities. And we want to keep you in the loop, we hope we can count with you on board for the next campaign, to stay tuned about the news don’t forget to sign-up our Newsletter: http://smachz.com/news
Once again, we want to thank you all for your amazing support! We’re amazed and glad to your interest on our project. It’s the fuel that motivates us to create the best handheld console ever!
Finally, we’ve set up a Google poll for you to let us know your opinion about how to improve our next campaign and SMACH Z. Please fill this out, your answers will count a lot on our decisions for the next campaign:https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1pz1O1Ronw_TBXAk9XVsSNzsaWXUG7jVlEfbACnbxIZs/viewform
See you soon!