Why would you want to play retro games on a tiny game cartridge on your keychain when you can play retro games on your phone? We don’t know. If that’s something that interests you, though, then you’ll definitely want the PocketSprite.
Billed as “the world’s smallest playable emulation device,” it’s a mini-Gameboy that contains emulation software for a variety of legacy platforms, allowing you to enjoy your favorite retro games while straining your eyes staring at ultra-tiny graphics. We know, that sounds horrible when you can play all those same games comfortably on an emulation app in your smartphone, but a dedicated mini-console sure provides an entirely unique experience.
The PocketSprite can play any Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Sega Master System, and GameGear title, allowing you to enjoy the same video games children of the 90s played on their portable game consoles. There are no pre-installed games, although you can easily add any game ROM of your choosing by connecting to the console over Wi-Fi (it creates its own hotspot) and copying the file to the onboard storage. It comes with 14MB of usable space, by the way, so you can fill this up with hundreds of smaller games if you want. Oh yeah, having all that storage means it can save games, allowing you to start a new game at the exact same point you left at, so you’re not starting a new game every single time.
A tiny OLED screen shows the game in full color at a resolution of 80 x 64 pixels, complete with an ultra-smooth framerate of 60 fps, so while it’s no match for the 720p graphics on your smartphone, it should be pretty satisfying. It has a gamepad based on the classic Gameboy layout, so you get a directional pad and two action buttons, allowing you to experience Metroid, Zelda, and Super Mario Land the way you would on their original consoles. Except, you know, with way more eyestrain than you probably remember.
The PocketSprite comes with a rechargeable battery that, the outfit claims, will allow for hours of gaming on a single charge. Considering it has a full color OLED and Wi-Fi, though, we’re kind of skeptical, so best bring a power bank along to be sure it keeps up with your retro gaming appetite. A tiny 8-bit speaker plays bleep-bloop sounds while you mash the buttons, accompanying your game with matching sound effects and music.
Measuring 54 x 31 x 14 mm, it comes in a soft-touch plastic frame similar in size to a Zippo lighter, ensuring it can sit in your pocket with the rest of your keys without taking up too much space. If you’re up to it, by the way, the console comes with an SDK that you can use to write new emulators for the platform, so you can use it to run games from other platforms, whether you’re hankering for some NES, SNES, or Dreamcast in your daily life.
The PocketSprite is currently on pre-order over at Crowdsupply. Price is $55.