SMACH Z, The World’s First Handheld Steam Machine Hits Kickstarter
Remember the intriguing teaser during E3 2014 for a handheld device called the “SteamBoy,” that promised to be the first handheld Steam Machine? Well, after a few delays and renamings, the device has now hit Kickstarter, rebranded as the SMACH Z.
The SMACH Z comes with a great deal of horsepower for its form factor, and being a Steam Machine, it offers users full access to any Linux game available in Steam. Since its original announcement last year, the device has seen upgrades for its screen and internal memory to better support latest games including Half-Life 2, Portal 2, Civilization V, BioShock Infinite, and others.
Powered by AMD’s latest generation of Embedded G-Series SoC, SMACH Z sports a Steam Controller-styled layout, with optional adapters for those who prefer physical controls over its touchpads. The device will basically come with adapters to which the team refers to Magic Z-Pads that will allow you to configure the device for classic layouts, like the GameCube and Genesis. The current specs for the basic model are as under:
- AMD embedded G-Series SoC “Steppe Eagle” with Jaguar-based CPU and GCN based Radeon graphics.
- 4 GB RAM memory.
- 64GB internal memory and SD Card Slot.
- USB OTG and USB 3.0
- 5-inch Touch screen with 1080p resolution.
- Configurable tactile gamepads.
- HDMI video output connection.
- Wi-Fi connectivity.Bluetooth connectivity. 4G mobile network connectivity (PRO model only).
The SMACH Z Kickstarter campaign hopes to raise €900,000 by Jan 13, 2016. However, if a €1.5M Stretch Goal is reached, the device will ship with the KODI media player, support for Windows and a selection of emulators. The standard pledge starts at €299 (~$325 USD) for the vanilla version and €499 (~$487 USD) for the PRO edition, with more robust hardware and an attached camera.