You can sign up to get a daily email of our articles, see the Mailing List page!

Remember the SMACH Z handheld? It's apparently going to be at E3 this year

Posted by , | Views: 6,391

SMACH Z [Official Site], the gaming handheld that will give you the option of running either Linux or Windows (Windows costs extra) is heading to E3 this year. Hopefully they will have a few fully-working and complete units to show.

Details right now are quite light, as they haven't sent any special press info out that I am aware of. Their own newsroom on their website hasn't been updated since September last year and their Twitter is also rather quiet. However, they did slip out this video below today:

YouTube Thumbnail
YouTube videos require cookies, you must accept their cookies to view. View cookie preferences.
Accept Cookies & Show   Direct Link

I genuinely hope this is a properly real device that's actually going to work out, as it could help push a few more to make comparable devices. Imagine a small revolution of gaming handhelds that let you just boot up whatever you have on Steam—that idea is why I want SMACH Z to actually succeed.

Quite expensive though, the top-end model costs more (without the current pre-order discount) than the full Valve Index kit and I know which one I would prefer…

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
16 Likes, Who?
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG, Humble Store and Paradox Interactive. See more information here.
About the author -
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
43 comments
Page: 1/5»
  Go to:

UltraAltesBrot 4 June 2019 at 7:32 pm UTC
It's a little bit late to the party. Times are tough with Steam Link Anywhere around. Why purchase an expensive new device when you already have a smartphone or tablet?


Last edited by UltraAltesBrot at 4 June 2019 at 7:33 pm UTC
Beamboom 4 June 2019 at 7:40 pm UTC
No way on earth this will ever succeed in any form. Five - possibly ten - years too late.
TheSHEEEP 4 June 2019 at 7:41 pm UTC
View PC info
  • Supporter
Not to downplay the device, but a feature like that should simply become available via tablet/smartphone (+ controller attached, of course). I don't really see the need for an extra piece of hardware here, to be honest.
Maath 4 June 2019 at 8:01 pm UTC
I have been eagerly awaiting this product for some time. To be able to port around PC games is interesting to me.

Regarding the alternative via phone, does this really work well? I tried Steam Link maybe over a year ago. My Linux PC is directly wired to my 5Ghz Wi-Fi router, and my phone was about five feet from it, and it's simply unusable. It was like VNC at its worst. If this has changed and now I can even play over LTE then WOW, times have changed and I need to catch up.
Purple Library Guy 4 June 2019 at 8:15 pm UTC
TheSHEEEPNot to downplay the device, but a feature like that should simply become available via tablet/smartphone (+ controller attached, of course). I don't really see the need for an extra piece of hardware here, to be honest.
I don't personally expect it to be a success. But consider trying to play games on a tablet/smartphone while holding a controller--you can't also hold the tablet/smartphone, so you will need to put it somewhere and that somewhere will have to allow it to be propped up in a stable way where you can see it properly while gaming and the controller itself won't block your view of the screen. Even with one of those little prop-up-a-tablet thingies, that lets out planes, trains, and automobiles, not to mention buses and many coffee tables (too low). With this you would presumably be able to play on the go, with real PC games, plausibly even continuing the same game you were playing on the PC at home.
So there's at least one use case. Dunno if that's going to be enough, though. If nothing else, to sell something like this in big numbers what you need is a big advertising/marketing budget to prompt people to think they should buy it because it is a new shiny electronic thing. I don't think they have that budget.
eldaking 4 June 2019 at 8:16 pm UTC
I really love this concept of a portable console that runs desktop Linux and can run my games. Something between the smartphone (carry with you all the time, use in the middle of things, but mostly for light tasks) and the laptop (you can carry it around but must still sit on a desk or sofa to use). I mean, I would still prefer a good GNU+Linux smartphone with all the support Android gets, but that seems like a longer shot (yes, there were many trials, none was a smashing success).

But going full "deluxe gaming PC" in my opinion is the completely wrong direction to go. I may be biased because I don't much care for AAA and heavy graphics, but trying to compete with the performance of a high-end PC looks a fool's errand. People don't buy fancy hardware to play those games on a tiny screen, with a presumably worse performance/price ratio. With people trying to push cloud gaming to get away from hardware limitations, this seems particularly backwards. Now, a handheld geared at indies and not-so-recent games on the other hand...

The one thing about the SMACH Z that looks most interesting, though, is the control scheme. As someone that plays many games that aren't controller friendly, solutions to play the likes of Civ or EU4 without a mouse and keyboard are intriguing, and this looks to try to address this somewhat. The modularity (swap for a d-pad or buttons depending on the game) is also neat.
Iperpido 4 June 2019 at 8:19 pm UTC
Well, i'm still one of the first backers, and after so many years i still have hope.

And yes, it's definitly a bit too late considering the current state of cloud gaming. Steam Play Anywhere works quite well (if i've been actually using the old app for some time trough OpenVPN), and soon we will have some news about Stadia.

But SmachZ can still be interesting, since cloud gaming is still in his early stages.
It's still powerful enough to play many pc games without using the cloud (well, not at maximum settings, of course).


Last edited by Iperpido at 4 June 2019 at 8:23 pm UTC
Maath 4 June 2019 at 8:25 pm UTC
Purple Library Guy
TheSHEEEPNot to downplay the device, but a feature like that should simply become available via tablet/smartphone (+ controller attached, of course). I don't really see the need for an extra piece of hardware here, to be honest.
I don't personally expect it to be a success. But consider trying to play games on a tablet/smartphone while holding a controller--you can't also hold the tablet/smartphone, so you will need to put it somewhere and that somewhere will have to allow it to be propped up in a stable way where you can see it properly while gaming and the controller itself won't block your view of the screen. Even with one of those little prop-up-a-tablet thingies, that lets out planes, trains, and automobiles, not to mention buses and many coffee tables (too low). With this you would presumably be able to play on the go, with real PC games, plausibly even continuing the same game you were playing on the PC at home.
So there's at least one use case. Dunno if that's going to be enough, though. If nothing else, to sell something like this in big numbers what you need is a big advertising/marketing budget to prompt people to think they should buy it because it is a new shiny electronic thing. I don't think they have that budget.

There are brackets you can buy which connect to your controller and phone to support the phone just above the controller. I have one for my dual shock 4 controller, and it works quite well without much button obstruction. In this case I would probably want a Steam controller for the mouse input and hope such a bracket also exists for it as well.
Shmerl 4 June 2019 at 8:30 pm UTC
BeamboomNo way on earth this will ever succeed in any form. Five - possibly ten - years too late.

What exactly is late? Mobile AMD chips only now got to some decent performance point. You would prefer to use 10 years old SoC?
Liothe 4 June 2019 at 8:44 pm UTC
I have backed this project. I also own a GPD Win 2 (which is a competitor). It's a complete joy to have a full-blown computer in handheld format

My main gripe is with the small keyboard (or lack thereof even with the Smach Z) for when you actually want to use it as a computer, although it's understandable why
  Go to:
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on Patreon, Liberapay or Paypal. We have no adverts, no paywalls, no timed exclusive articles. 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!

You need to Register and Login to comment, submit articles and more.


Or login with...

Livestreams & Videos
Community Livestreams
  • Crawl About: „The Warlock of Firetop Mountain“
  • Date:
See more!
Popular this week
View by Category
Contact
Latest Comments
Latest Forum Posts