http://i.imgur.com/PXf4XKy.png
I love the open ecosystem of PC gaming. Buy your games on Steam and GOG and with many new games you can run them on PC, Mac or Linux. The benefits are legion and the ability to play your games where you wish is incredible. I've wanted to buy a gaming handheld for quite some time with the same goals in mind and this year I took the plunge and bought and Android based GPD XD. The XD is a fun system and I use it to play all manner of Android & PC streamed games on a handheld.

http://cheerfulghost.com/jdodson/posts/2758/my-review-of-the-android-handheld-gpd-xd

GPD recently sent me an email about a crowdfunding campaign for a new device on Indiegogo called the GPD Win. The GPD Win is a full Windows 10 system that includes a full controller, keyboard, 4G RAM, Intel ATOM CPU (1.44GHZ/2.24GHZ), 64G Flash HD, 5.5" 1280x720 display, Intel HD Graphics, Wireless N, micro SD & mini HDMI and 1 USB Mini & USB port that fits in your pocket. It's a surprising amount of computing power for such a small device fully capable of running PC games.

Before Valve launched it's Steam Machines Gabe Newell mentioned Valve looking into handheld gaming and there were reports circulating of a Steam Boy. The GPD Win seems to be the first entry into the handheld PC games world and I imagine we will see other devices in this space that do similar things. The line between gaming handheld and laptop seem to be blurring and I can't wait to see more companies jump in and see what they make.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gpd-win-intel-z8550-win-10-os-game-console#/

The GPD Win is looking to raise 100k and they went well over their goal and sit at a bit over 400k right now. Clearly there are people interested in a PC handheld and I can't wait to read launch reviews of it.

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 04/20/2016 at 04:56pm

The most interesting thing about the GPD Win, for me, is the idea of acting as a portable console, plugging it into a TV and using a gamepad to play games when you're traveling. As a handheld device, though, the problem is playing games that aren't designed for a 5.5" viewport. PC games aren't designed for that space. The button/stick layout doesn't look entirely comfortable either, even less so than the Wii U gamepad (which, admittedly, I already have bias against). The ongoing idea (this seems to be the latest, not the first) of "handheld PC gaming" is like a battle of tug-of-war where neither side wins. Do people really want to play large format games on a significantly smaller screen? According to the funding page, at least 1400 people might, but that's not much of a market. Bear in mind, too, that's 1400 people buying in at the heavily discounted price of $300 (they've said actual retail will be $500).

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 04/21/2016 at 12:18am

> The most interesting thing about the GPD Win, for me, is the idea of acting as a portable console, plugging it into a TV and using a gamepad to play games when you're traveling.

I agree. The thought of using this as a console or laptop is really compelling.

> As a handheld device, though, the problem is playing games that aren't designed for a 5.5" viewport. PC games aren't designed for that space.

True, but it's a 720p screen so it's not too bad. I've got the GPD XD which can stream Steam games to it and it's not too bad. Sure the text is small, but most games are not unplayable. That said, I don't recommend FTL on it.

> The button/stick layout doesn't look entirely comfortable either, even less so than the Wii U gamepad (which, admittedly, I already have bias against).

Again, it's similar to the GPD XD which isn't too bad. As good as a console controller? No, but it has to be a full system so it might not ever be as good.

> Do people really want to play large format games on a significantly smaller screen? According to the funding page, at least 1400 people might, but that's not much of a market. Bear in mind, too, that's 1400 people buying in at the heavily discounted price of $300 (they've said actual retail will be $500).

I can't say how mass market this is but I am interested in it. I look at this like I look at PC gaming in general. It's not perfect but it's pretty damn good and the ability to at least have the option to do this isn't a bad thing. You might not be able to run Skyrim on it but if you could run 40% of your Steam games on it I think that might be worth it.

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 04/21/2016 at 02:24pm

Good points! It does look like decent hardware. I'm definitely interested to see how it's received when it launches.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 04/22/2016 at 02:54am

Me too. Set top boxes have lots of power I guess it was a matter of time until we started seeing a laptop stuck in such a small device. If GPD can do this, I wonder what Nintendo has planned for the NX?

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