Make directory of handheld gaming devices

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Continuing the discussion from Does anyone know about… ClockworkPi?:

Example data page
Initial list for directory

I am all about this one.

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If we are talking about open-ish handheld devices then this gets my vote!

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In this vein I am eyeing the 32blit closely. It hits a lot of sweet spots for me.

I get the sentiment. Here’s how I see it: I’m collecting data and sharing it in the easiest way possible: CC0 text files.

I have no obligation except to myself. And so I focus on the data I want.

That said, we want all the data. First of all, we need all the data to compare and track how freer projects are doing. Second, we want to load up the crappy entries with suggestions and anti-feature tags, in order to:

  • educate data viewers
  • promote free culture

Any such directory will of course be popular with our niches, but imagine loading up all the Gameboys and see what kind of folks we get visiting and finding out more… :slight_smile:

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When you go to look up handhelds, where do you search?

I’m realizing that if it ain’t in Wikipedia, I might miss it on the first pass…

The specs tracked in the comparison are:

  • Main processor
  • Clock speed
  • Main memory
  • Storage
  • Video memory
  • Display
  • Resolution
  • Colors
  • Controller
  • Game media
  • Operating system

For reference:

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Id recommend starting to maybe document how these devices (especially newer in production units are manufactured). Its something im starting to try and keep in mind. For example both the 32blit and the Gamebuino Meta are manufactured in their host countries. UK and France respectively if im remembering correctly. Which say might have different labor practices than random devices your would normally source in online chinese gadget shop sorts of devices.

Not to entirely besmurk the latter. Just an axis ive been considering as of late, which might be worthy of documenting.

Might be useful to for monitoring availability if US trade wars continue to heat up as well.


Keeping track of both architecture and or SoC / Microprocessor “family” may also be useful. Often that tells you a lot about your hacking / OS / programming options and which ecosystems are available right off the bet.

Arduboy and Gamebuino are both in the Arduino family for example.

Several handhelds participate in the RaspberryPi and OrangePi families.

Also often the independent devices in the arena are geared towards emulation OR homebrew in a way thats very weighted to one side or the other. Documenting which side of the fence those fall might be a good idea. And for the homebrew oriented ones documenting supported languages might also be a good idea.

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In relation to the data, I wonder if that is something we’d reference, rather than given it a tag or rating. What I mean is: when i sit down to think how to capture that information, it seems more important to understand a lot more than what’s shown in a database.

Consider Fairphone: some of their supply chain was great, some of it not, and they took the time to document it in reports and posts. So it might be easier to have a separate project that is rating these somehow, and we can point to it.

On the other hand, maybe we can build out a database of manufacturers and infer what we can from there…

Hmmm, interesting.

Both of those are kinda infer-able, ne? As in, we can list individual countries or processors, and then infer data from lists, ie “show me all the consoles not manufactured in countries US is trade-warring”.

For processors, I imagine them being their own data points, useful for quickly linking similar devices, etc. :slight_smile:

SoC tells you a lot about compatability but there can be a world of difference between two different boards running the same Arm CPU in terms of say distro compatability on what you might want to run on them.

In most cases the same distro can work on both with a recompile and some kernel config tweaks. But may not work out of the box. Assuming their are not other chips on the same board to worry about can compound matters. Knowing the family also might provide assurances on how open some of the supplemental interfaces / bootloaders / etc are.

ALSO with microprocessors I think this kind of thing is even more important.

I feel like scope versus manpower might need to provide some borders on that kind of thing eventually. Id vote for any option that doesnt involve secondary databases or secondary projects at this juncture

There are pages in Wikidata such as:

They list the base relevant properties, which is helpful to build a structure around.

In lieu of a guide for hardware or consoles, we have Nintendo 3DS - Wikidata.