Support us on Patreon to keep GamingOnLinux alive. This ensures all of our main content remains free for everyone with no article paywalls. Just good, fresh content! Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal, Liberapay or Buy us a Coffee. You can also buy games using our partner links for GOG and Humble Store.

Looks like it's all over for the once promising Smach Z handheld

By - | Views: 18,922

Press F to pay respects. Remember the Smach Z? A handheld gaming unit where you could pick between Windows 10 and SMACH OS (Linux) - well it looks like it's all over now.

The situation surrounding the Smach Z has always been a bit of an odd one, with the team behind it often going completely silent with plenty of people out there who considered it a scam from the beginning. It's had multiple funding rounds with €474,530 from Kickstarter and a further bunch from IndieGoGo in 2016, and they had pre-orders available since 2018 too. Over time it seems they pulled in some investors too but the well has run dry.

In a forum post from the Founder, Daniel Fernandez, which isn't available to view publicly (but reposted to Reddit) Fernandez goes on to mention how they "might soon enter bankruptcy" due to their main investor pulling out of the project and they were the only thing keeping it afloat.

Fernandez makes it clear that despite all the money, "the project was way more ambitious than the budget we were managing" and they even had aid given by their government and private investors but "after a few missteps, the investors felt forced to decide to stop supporting the project".

What does Fernandez claim are the reasons? A mixture of COVID, the charging unit failed an emissions test and problems with the batteries heating up too with continued delays that has led to this.

Will anyone get their ordered devices? Considering some have pre-ordered units for close to £1,000, it's a lot of money to lose on your dream handheld gaming device. Sadly, it looks like a no and there's only three people on their team so it's clearly not going to happen. How about refunds then? If they do declare bankruptcy, anything they have left will apparently go towards refunds. They also claim to have been providing refunds "for a very long time" already but they can no longer do it now due to the investor pulling out.

Sounds like a clear message: It's dead, Jim.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Hardware, Meta
13 Likes , Who?
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG and Humble Store. See more here.
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
22 comments
Page: 1/3»
  Go to:

TheSHEEEP 15 May
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Throwing 1k at a KS campaign....
I'd really hope that's just spare change for whoever does that cause otherwise it seems like a really damn stupid thing to do.
KS is always throwing money at a dream with the slight chance it might actually come to fruition.


Last edited by TheSHEEEP on 15 May 2021 at 11:12 am UTC
Lightkey 15 May
Eh, I've thrown over a thousand bucks to Revolution Software too and got nothing. No replies for months, even from the current community manager. Not that I needed it but it really put me off of crowdfunding as a whole (also always being treated a second class citizen without a credit card).
Zappor 15 May
I backed this, would have been fun... At a low tier, I forgot about that money a few years ago... But it still sucks.
slaapliedje 15 May
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
And yet I've been seeing a few different systems that are similar to this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wINKqvWou5w
denyasis 15 May
It's always a little dad to see projects fail, but, perhaps it's me, but I did not, and still don't, understand the appeal of playing a pC game on a mobile device. It's mostly a screen size thing for me. Too small to really enjoy.
slaapliedje 15 May
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: denyasisIt's always a little dad to see projects fail, but, perhaps it's me, but I did not, and still don't, understand the appeal of playing a pC game on a mobile device. It's mostly a screen size thing for me. Too small to really enjoy.
For me, it is more about the MASSIVE library of games that I have in Steam. Or emulation, etc. Being able to play those on the go is an appealing idea. But so was the idea of the Switch, but mine mostly just sits on its dock because I don't actually go anywhere...
denyasis 15 May
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: denyasisIt's always a little dad to see projects fail, but, perhaps it's me, but I did not, and still don't, understand the appeal of playing a pC game on a mobile device. It's mostly a screen size thing for me. Too small to really enjoy.
For me, it is more about the MASSIVE library of games that I have in Steam. Or emulation, etc. Being able to play those on the go is an appealing idea. But so was the idea of the Switch, but mine mostly just sits on its dock because I don't actually go anywhere...

I get that and also have a switch. But the games made for the switch, I would assume, target the switch and it's tiny screen. I feel like the PC, without the advantage of the monitor, can't compete using a switch-like against something purpose built with games targeting that form factor. I'm trying to imagine playing a hardcore PC game, like Dominions 5, or KSP, or Rimworld and I think it would be difficult to enjoy.

You make a really good point about the emulsion though. I hadn't thought of that.
BielFPs 15 May
For me the best "mobile console" so far is an Android Smartphone with Retroarch and an Ipega joystick, Relative cheap, it works and has a lot of games if you know how to do it.

I don't get it why it's still so hard to make something like this project to succeed, I mean there's obviously an market for this kind of console (based on the people who donate to it), the costs with hardware is probably the culprit I think.
I disagree with the headline. The Smach Z was never promising. Sure, the developers made a lot of promises, but I was never under the impression that they would be able to deliver.


Last edited by Mountain Man on 15 May 2021 at 11:16 pm UTC
emphy 16 May
Quoting: BielFPsFor me the best "mobile console" so far is an Android Smartphone with Retroarch and an Ipega joystick, Relative cheap, it works and has a lot of games if you know how to do it.

I don't get it why it's still so hard to make something like this project to succeed, I mean there's obviously an market for this kind of console (based on the people who donate to it), the costs with hardware is probably the culprit I think.

Hard but do-able, there's several of these kinds of devices on (or coming to) the market (aya neo, gpd win).

It seems fairly clear to me that this project's underlying management problems are what are the real cause of it failing, not any inherent difficulty in getting such a niche product in costumers' hands.


Last edited by emphy on 16 May 2021 at 3:58 am UTC
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Patreon, Liberapay or PayPal Donation.

This ensures all of our main content remains totally free for everyone with no article paywalls. We also don't have tons of adverts, there's also no tracking and we respect your privacy. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
Login / Register

Or login with...
Sign in with Steam Sign in with Twitter Sign in with Google
Social logins require cookies to stay logged in.