Since we now have smartphones with us at all times, we can carry our favorite video games in our pockets. If you’re a really dedicated gamer, though, you’ll want to be wearing the classics right on your wrist. You can do exactly that with the Gameband, a smartwatch gaming platform that comes with 20 preloaded Atari classics like Pong, Breakout and Asteroids ready to play. A second version of the watch will have an exclusive mini-game version of the popular indie game Terraria built-in. The wearable, which bears more than a passing resemblance to the Apple Watch, has a 1.63-inch touch AMOLED display, along with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. The Atari staples have been rewritten and optimized for the smaller display, so the wrist-based gaming is more intuitive than just porting the home console versions of the games.
The Gameband is more powerful than you might expect from a device dedicated to nearly 40-year-old arcade games, boasting a Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor that runs a customized version of Android Marshmallow. It also has a built-in SD slot for up to 256 GB of expandable storage for additional games, files and more. To load up that extra storage with more games, the Gameband syncs up to a computer via USB-C to a PC-based marketplace app called PixelFurnace, where you can play and download new games and manage music, photos, files and more.
Along with typical smartwatch features like step counting, alarm notifications and remote phone dialing, the developers behind the Gameband are touting potential Amazon Alexa voice AI integration in future versions of the watch. It’s not as waterproof as fitness wearables meant to hit the pool, but you’re not sporting the Gameband for exercise — unless you count working up a sweat breaking your high score on Centipede as a workout.
Gameband just hit Kickstarter, where an early bird pledge of $99 (or a normal retail price of $199 if you’re too slow) will reserve one of the wearables, which are projected to ship by September. In the meantime, brush up on your Atari skills so you’re primed and ready to take your game on-the-go.