After a year in development -- that included Bates moving to China -- the production model that's on Kickstarter and was presented at the HAX demo day today has a polycarbonate front and metal back. It's tiny, light and feels like you could drop it without it shattering. Pretty much everything you want in a handheld gamer. While the $29 early bird pledge versions are gone, the $39 version is still available.
To make sure there are apps when it hits backers' mailboxes, Bates has seeded 100 developer versions of the device and said that 100 games will be available for download at launch including dysentery-inducing Cascade Path (Oregon Trail clone), Flappy Ball (Flappy Bird clone) and Ardumon (Pokemon clone). All the games will be free, open source and editable. And because it is open source, Arduino-based and can emulate a keyboard or mouse, the Arduboy could prove to more than just a fun gaming device in your pocket. During a presentation video a synth app and an Arduboy controlling a quadcopter were shown.
"In the long run, I want to sell it for $10," Bates said."It'll be the same price point as a thumb drive and can be handed out at conventions by companies with their information on it. Then you can take it home and play games." If that happens, conventions just got a bit more fun.