The ever challenging task of making the worlds smallest games console has been a quest many modders and small start-ups have been attempting for years.
And we need to respect Pocket Sprite for starting the trend because now more and more handhelds are coming up with this miniature size due to inspiration from the Pocket Sprite. Take the Funkey S for example, it’s a miniature Gameboy Advance SP that can play your best PS1 games and more!
Now, towards the tail end of 2021 we have Thumby.
Thumby is a games console the size of your thumb, with a bright OLED display helping you actually see what’s on the tiny screen.
- Processor: Raspberry Pi RP2040 Processor
- Memory: 2MB total storage
- Connectivity: micro USB for programming & multiplayer using Thumby Link cable
- Outputs: 72×40 Monochrome OLED, Piezo Speaker
- Inputs: 6 tactile buttons (4-way D-pad, 2 action buttons)
- Power: Power switch, 40mAh Rechargeable LiPo Battery, ~2 hours of gameplay
- Dimensions: 1.2″ X 0.7″ X 0.3″ (29.5mm x 18mm x 8.5mm), 4.7 grams
- Programming: MicroPython or Arduino IDE
This day and age we’re seeing many companies out there trying to squeeze as much power out of old chips as possible, just like the RG351MP.
Steam are now attempting to build one of the most powerful affordable portable consoles named the Steam Deck, so it’s nice to see some start-ups thinking outside of the box and playing around with something a little less serious.
How does it feel?
The world’s smallest console known as Thumby also comes with a few pre-loaded games from the dev team. For example, one is called Tiny Blocks which is similar to Tetris, another called Annelid which is basically the classic Snake game and a few more that we don’t want to spoil!
On the front of the Thumby you will find an operations 4-way D-pad, two action buttons and the tiny 0.4″ OLED display. When playing we were surprised with how bright the display actually is, allowing us to see what was going on fairly well for a device of this size.
Towards the corner of the world’s smallest games console you will find a hole in the shell that allows you to add this to your keychain, because you know, we all can’t go a day without our beloved Gameboys.
The plastic is fairly sturdy, we’ll admit it’s not the best quality shell on the market, but what can you expect from a cheap device like this, and because it’s light it can take a lot of beating when on the road or travelling overseas.
At the bottom of the Thumby you will find your charging port which is unfortunately Micro-USB and not USB-C, but this can also double app as a link cabe, allowing you to play with other Thumby gamers.
How does it perform?
I never thought i’d be writing about performance from a Thumb sized console, but here we go! It performs as it should. Does it run Doom, no. Does it emulate, no.
This console is for those who love this console as a piece of art, and if you are familiar with MicroPython then you will be glad to know that you can actually create you own games for this through your web browser which is pretty cool.
You won’t find yourself playing it for hours on end, heck we just about got a 30 minute session out of this before we thought we were in an episode of Ant-Man, but it’s a nice addition to your keychain or those times when you need something to do.
Overall we respect any team willing to take on this challenge, it’s no easy accomplishment, and although it’s likely to find it’s way in our games drawer and sit there for a while, it’s a lovely addition to our gaming collection and it’s reminds us that the gaming industry is always coming up with something weird and wonderful.
The mini handheld niche is growing and growing, and I think this one is going to the world’s smallest console for a while.
The team should be proud.