Other Neo-Retro handheld consoles

If I do, it won’t be for a long time.
My backlog is scarily long and I haven’t looked into it much anyway.
For now the Arduboy and Pokitto are enough for me.

I’ve never used it for long, but Love2D combines two of my favourite things: Lua and SDL2.

I might see if it’s possible to get Lua going on the Pokitto someday, though the Lua engine source code is absolutely hideous.


last time i checked elua needs more ram to be usefull
there are sacrifices you can make in the lang but i don’t think its worth it, basic will probably be more likely to pull off

I wouldn’t know without testing.
If there is major memory use, it will probably come from building strings on the fly and lots of table allocation.

I’ve looked into the inner workings of Lua before and the bytecode is actually well designed.

(And it was good enough for 90s computers to do stuff like Grim Fnadango and Escape from Monkey Island.)

If anything any excess memory usage will be from scripts that weren’t written with memory consumption in mind. That’s understandable, one of the reasons Lua is popular is because it doesn’t require good technical knowledge or thinking about memory consumption, hence many people will just create hundreds of tables in a loop and have no clue what that’s doing in terms of RAM usage.

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im not stoping you from trying, but even in the 90s we had mb of ram not 36kB that you share by the hole system.

maybe the esp32 as an add-on might do the trick making the pokitto chip more like a peripheral manager

But isn’t micropython working on the pokitto already? I haven’t checked, but I would have expected that elua’s memory requirements wouldn’t be much different from micropython’s. Non-embedded python is much larger and more complex than Lua, so I figured that running some form of lua would be possible. Again, I haven’t actually checked, that was just the impression I had.

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they don’t seem to support anything under cortex-m3

but it might be possible with this patch

Seems eLua’s source is equally ugly, but quite well commented:

Like I say, the bytecode for Lua is exceptionally well designed, so like @wuuff says - if micropython will work then Lua should work.

Especially if the main program is just the bytecode processor loaded with some custom drawing functions, and the game code is just stored as bytecode in a file on the SD card. Then it can be loaded on the fly and ‘paged in’ to work RAM as and when it’s needed.

The compiler would only be needed for the sake of something like a Lua terminal, which would be more use as a ‘fun’ thing than a game making tool.

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I am currently on a family vacation in London, so I just quickly comment on MicroPython. Afaik MP is rewritten from scratch to work in MCU devices. Probably optimized even more for BBC MicroBit, which is seemingly a big customer for MP. MicroBit uses the same Cortex M0+ as Pokitto.


Cozy and warm there?

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It is snowing (!) but at least warmer than in Finland.


Anyone has any experience with Tiny Arcade?

I tried it once, and if your hands are on the bigger end it is very difficult to play. But the concept is really cool.

…speaking of Other Neo-Retro handheld consoles, the long-awaited handheld Uzebox is very near to being a reality! :slight_smile:


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Wow, thank you @uXe, I am still fairly new to the world of open retro consoles and I didn’t know about this, it looks awesome!

My list of consoles to buy is getting dangerously long :smiley:

There is a big repository of games for it! And all seem to be under GPLv3! (Could they be ported to Pokitto?)

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Uzebox handheld has moved a little closer to completed:


and some really cool work being done towards an FPGA-based handheld!


…stumbled over a couple more, the ‘Glyph’ and the ‘Spike’, over here:



Just got a GameShell a few weeks ago and would like to say that I don’t even use the retroarch portion (yet?).

It can run games natively (it runs a linux OS). So far I’ve mostly used it for playing Pico-8 games, but I’m also updating my own system to run smoother on it (which is made using mini2dx a java framework).

I was hesitant about getting it because I didn’t just want a mobile emulation station. But when I discovered it was just linux and folks could actually make stuff for it without even emulating I was all in :ok_hand:.

It definitely will NOT replace my Pokitto since they aren’t even the same category really. GameShell is a mobile computer that plays games and programs and is simply shaped like a game console. But is so much more.
Pokitto is a game console and IoT device.

I’ll eventually see if there is some way I can use them together :smirk:. The GameShell keypad is a programmable arduino board so my first thought was getting that to work as an input device for Pokitto.


You can probably write Pokitto code on it, and maybe flash the Pokitto somehow.
(Assuming there’s a USB port, or a way to bolt one on.)

I was going to try and run the PokittoEmu on it :wink: (the gameshell itself not the keypad lol)

The keypad does indeed have USB though

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