Batocera.Linux OS Combines Kodi & Retro Gaming for Raspberry Pi & ODROID Boards

batocera.linux

There are already several ways to run retro games on development boards, with for example RetroPie, and derivatives like RetrOrangePi, Lakka and Recalbox. Batocera.Linux is another option that I had never heard about so far, and works on PCs, as well as Raspberry Pi and ODROID boards, with ODROID-N2 support having been added very recently. batocera.linux operating system can easily be run from a USB flash drive on your computer without altering your existing OS, while it will boot from a standard microSD card on Raspberry Pi and ODROID boards. Beside retro-gaming support, the OS also includes Kodi media center for playing videos, or listening to music. You may even play games in it since retro-gaming support was added in Kodi 18. The partial compatibility table above shows all platforms have a different level of support, and for Intel hardware support more emulators than Arm based boards. The Orange arrow […]

POWKIDDY X18 is a Low Cost Portable Android Game Console Powered by MediaTek MT8163 SoC

GPD XD Plus handheld Android game console launched about nearly one year ago with a MediaTek MT8176 hexa-core Arm Cortex-A72/A53 processor, and a 5.0″ display, and is now sold for under $210. But there’s now another portable game console that appears heavily inspired from GPD design, but featuring a low end MediaTek MT8163 quad core Cortex A53 processor instead, as well as a slightly larger 5.5″ display. Meet POWKIDDY X18. POWKIDDY X18 hardware specifications: SoC – MediaTek MT8163 quad core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.3GHz with Arm Mali-T720 GPU System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3 Storage – 16GB eMMC flash, microSD card Display – 5.5″ IPS Screen with 1280 x 720 resolution, 5-point capacitive touchscreen Video Output – HDMI port Connectivity – WiFi 4 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth: 4.0 USB – 1x micro USB port (for charging only?) Buttons – Power button, D-Pad, A/B/X/Y buttons, L1/L2/R1/R2, left & right joysticks, Start & […]

GameShell Kit Review – Part 2: An Hackable Retro Gaming Console

ClockworkPi GameShell is an hackable retro gaming console combining Arm Linux and Arduino boards that happens to come in kit form, and that’s lot of fun to assemble as we’ve seen in the first part of the review of ClockworkPi GameShell. Since then I’ve had time to have more fun, play some games, and experiment with the device, so I’ll report my experience and point out the good parts, as well as some of the shortcomings I came across. We can press the power button to start it up, and after a few seconds we get to the main menu with several icons including… the self-describing Settings, Retro Games with MAME, MGBA, NESTOPIA, and PCxs emulators that require your own ROMs/BIOS, as well as Indie Games with ready to play games like OpenTyrian spaceship shooting game, or NyanCat. Moving on to the right of the menu we’ve got the famous […]

Wechip R69 Allwinner H3 TV Box goes for $19 Shipped

A few years ago, it was relatively easy to purchase sub $20 TV boxes with some patience, but with the increase in RAM and flash prices, it’s been more difficult to find those ultra-cheap TV boxes. It turns out there’s such a deal now on Aliexpress where Wechip R69 TV box is sold for just $18.99 shipped. Now with an Allwinner H3 processor, 1GB RAM, and 8GB flash, I would not necessarily recommend such device for your media needs, but they can be useful for some specific use cases like a simple digital signage, or even to run Linux with some efforts. Wechip R69 also looks to be similar to Sunvell R69 TV box that is officially supported by RetroOrangePi, but with the pin-to-pin compatible Allwinner H2 processor, so it could make an inexpensive retro gaming console as well. Wechip R69 specifications: SoC – Allwinner H3 quad-core Cortex A7 processor […]

MUJA Touch Sensitive Gamepad Sticks to the back of Smartphones (Crowdfunding)

Gaming on smartphones has given rise to various accessories including smartphone gamepads, and smartphone docks to connect USB keyboard and mouse. MUJA is yet another Bluetooth gaming accessories that sticks to the back of your phone and offers four touch sensitive zones enabled 6 fingers operation once you include your two thumbs taking care of handling the control on the touch screen display of the phone itself. MUJA smart touchpad specifications: Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.2 up to 10 meters range Buttons – Four touch sensitive areas 17 suction cups to stick on back of smartphone (compatible with 4.7″ smartphone or larger) Battery – 450 mAh good for about 36 hours of playtime, 56 hours in standby Dimensions – 133 x 68 x 5.4mm Weight – 59 grams Certifications – PSE, telecom, FCC ,CE, RoHS You’ll just need to install MUJA app for Android or iOS on your smartphone with supports […]

Kodi 18 “Leia” Released Ahead of FOSDEM 2019

As one should have expected based on the abstract of the upcoming Kodi presentation at FOSDEM 2019, Kodi 18 “Leia” has just been released a few days before the 2-day open source developer event. It’s been nearly two years since the release of Kodi 17 “Krypton”, and it took a little longer than initially expected for Kodi 18 to become stable enough for an official since there have been so many changes including half a million lines of code added by 36 open source developers, close to 10,000 commits for almost 9,000 changed files. Some of the improvements in Kodi 18 include: Retroplayer gaming with support for gaming emulators, ROMs and game controls. Digital Rights Management (DRM) decryption support to play subscription content Improved Music Library with better filtering, faster API access, and more Live TV improvements including support for new back-ends like Zattoo, Teleboy, and Sledovanitv.cz, as well as enhanced […]

Edu-C Arduino Compatible Board Targets Education & Game Development

Sometimes learning can be boring, and a potentially good way to get kids more engaged is to learn by playing. Edu-C Arduino compatible board is designed to teach game development to kids old and young, so they have a lasting reward once they complete programming of the board, or they may decide to customize the game further. Edu-C hardware specifications: MCU – Microchip Atmel AVR328 microcontroller Display – 28×64 pixel OLED display + 1-digita 7-segment display Game Inputs – Left and right potentiometers Misc – 8x LEDs, left & right LEDs, RGB LED, on/off power switch, reset button, buzzer USB – 1x micro USB connector for programming (CH340) and power Power Supply – 5V via USB; LiPo battery support The board ships with a 200 mAh Lipo battery, and a charger. Educational materials are also provided, but only in French right now, except for some documents which are in English. There […]

FOSDEM 2019 Open Source Developers Meeting Schedule

FOSDEM – which stands for Free and Open Source Software Developers’ European Meeting – is a free-to-participate event where developers meet on the first week-end of February to discuss open source software & hardware projects. FOSDEM 2019 will take place on February 2 & 3, and the schedule has already been published with 671 speakers scheduled to speak in 711 events themselves sorted in 62 tracks. Like every year, I’ll create a virtual schedule based on some of the sessions most relevant to this blog in tracks such as  open hardware, open media, RISC-V, and hardware enablement tracks. February 2 10:30 – 10:55 – VkRunner: a Vulkan shader test tool by Neil Roberts A presentation of VkRunner which is a tool to help test the compiler in your Vulkan driver using simple high-level scripts. Perhaps the largest part of developing a modern graphics driver revolves around getting the compiler to […]