Linux News Today: SMACH Z Is the First Handheld Steam Machine and It's Amazing
SMACH Z is a portable Steam Machine, powered by SteamOS and capable of running one most of the games the Steam library. The new device is not yet available, but it’s trying to raise enough money of Kickstarter to become a reality.
This handheld console would not be possible without the AMD Embedded G-Series SoC, so it looks like the new Steam Machine is coming at the perfect moment. Valve is not actually building Steam Machines, and this job falls in the hands of third party companies. So far, a number of Steam Machines have been made available, but they haven’t been all that successful.
Maybe a portable Steam Machines will have more success than the classical approach, especially if all the features that have been promised will prove to be true. In fact, just running the Steam library seems like an amazing achievement, but it remains to be seen if it’s going to provide the necessary hardware power for a smooth experience.
SMACH Z should arrive in March 2016
The SMACH Team wants to raise €900,000 ($985,000) on Kickstarter, and that’s a big sum, although many projects that asked for more managed to raise enough money.
“Valve has opened a new Steam dimension with Steam Machines: Now you can choose if you play your favorites games on your PC, your TV, or your SMACH Z. We have chosen AMD’s powerful embedded low-powered SoC with its blazing fast performance and power efficiency on portable devices. Thanks to their support for SMACH Z, the dream of playing your Steam games on the go is on its way to coming true,” the developers wrote on Kickstarter.
The AMD SoC used by the SMACH Z Steam Machine uses 2 GB of dedicated GPU RAM, 4 GB of dedicated RAM memory (8GB for the PRO model), a 5-inch touch screen with 1080p resolution, HDMI video output, and Wi-fi connectivity.
The innovation doesn’t stop here. The console supports customized controls that can be changed depending on what you’re playing; SMACH Z should be able to stream games from the PC via the Wi-fi connection, the controls have haptic feedback, and the device itself can even be used as a gamepad for the PC.
The battery should be able to resist for about 5 hours, but extra batteries can be used. SMACH Z also features an accelerometer and a gyroscope, for good measure.
The cheapest version of SMACH Z only costs €299 ($327), and the launch date is set for March 2016.