Thumby
ThumbyCloseUp.jpg
Thumby game console close up
DeveloperTinyCircuits
ManufacturerTinyCircuits
TypeHandheld game console
Release date2022
Introductory price$19-$35
MediaDigital distribution
System on a chipRP2040
CPU2 ARM Cortex-M0+ cores @ Up to 133 Mhz[1]
Memory264KB[1] (SRAM[1])
Storage2MB
Display72x40 1-bit OLED
SoundPiezoelectric speaker
ConnectivityLink cable
Power40mAh Lithium polymer battery
Online servicesThumby Arcade
Dimensions1.2 by 0.7 by 0.3 inches (30.5 mm × 17.8 mm × 7.6 mm)
Mass4.7 grams (0.17 oz)
Marketing targetProgramming education[2]
PredecessorPocket Arcade
Websitethumby.us
LanguageMicroPython, Arduino

The Thumby is a small keychain sized programmable game console produced by TinyCircuits of Akron, Ohio[3][4] and funded by a Kickstarter campaign.[5][6][7] The console measures 1.2 by 0.7 by 0.3 inches (30.5 mm × 17.8 mm × 7.6 mm).

History

The first concept for the Thumby originated roughly around 2015 or 2016.[3] An early version of the system was shown at the 2016 Bay Area Maker Faire.[8]

A Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the console began on September 28th, 2021.[9][10] The company projected a production of at least 10,000 Thumby consoles despite the 2020–present global chip shortage.[3] A stated goal was to ship consoles to backers by February 2022, with plans to ship some early units in Fall 2021.[3] The console shipped in 2022.[11]

Games

The Thumby includes six preloaded games:

Additional games can be downloaded from the internet on a personal computer, then loaded onto the console over USB.

Hardware

The Thumby is powered by a Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller.[7] The console provides 2MB of onboard storage.[7] MicroPython is supported with a web based development environment.[12]

A small 0.38 by 0.27 inches (9.7 mm × 6.9 mm) 72x40 pixel 1-bit OLED panel is used as the display.[13][7][14] A buzzer is also included[15] for simple audio feedback.

A microUSB port is used to connect the console with computers, as well as to support the Thumby link cable.[7] This port is also used to charge the lithium polymer battery, which provides about 2 hours of operational runtime with a capacity of 40mAh.[7]

The system is notable for its small size, measuring at 1.2 by 0.7 by 0.3 inches (30.5 mm × 17.8 mm × 7.6 mm).[13] The console can be mounted on a keychain.[10][13] The system has a mass of 4.7 grams (0.17 oz).[16]

The console casing was made in a variety of colors including gray, blue, and pink.[17]

References

  1. ^ a b c "RP2040 specifications". Raspberry Pi. Raspberry Pi Ltd. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  2. ^ "This Akron startup is Bringing Tiny Technology to the Masses". TechOhio. 13 April 2022. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d Mackinnon, Jim. "Akron's TinyCircuits has its fingers on a new winning product, Thumby". Akron Beacon Journal. Retrieved 2022-05-14.
  4. ^ Nethers, Dave (1 October 2021). "Dreaming small: Local electronics company making it big with tiny retro video game". Fox 8 Cleveland WJW. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  5. ^ "Thumb-Sized Game Boy Project, Thumby, Launches A Kickstarter". ScreenRant. Sep 29, 2021.
  6. ^ "A (Playable) Game Boy For Ants". Kotaku. 29 September 2021.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Liszewski, Andrew. "How Small Is Too Small for a Game Boy? The Thumby Might Have the Answer". Gizmodo. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  8. ^ Evenden, Ian (29 September 2021). "Raspberry Pi Powers Keychain Sized Games Console". Tom's Hardware. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  9. ^ "Thumby, the 'world's smallest gaming handheld', headed to Kickstarter on September 28th". Nintendo Wire. 22 September 2021. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  10. ^ a b Whitehead, Thomas (21 September 2021). "Random: This Tiny Game Boy Is Probably The World's Smallest Game Console". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  11. ^ "Playing A Tiny Video Game With My Thumbnails Because I Hate Myself: A Review". TheGamer. 6 April 2022. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  12. ^ Hill, Brandon (29 September 2021). "TinyCircuits's Diminutive 'Thumby' Game Boy Clone Would Make Ant-Man Proud". HotHardware. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  13. ^ a b c Wong, Raymond. "World's tiniest Game Boy is actually playable". Input. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  14. ^ "Bright Ideas". Inventors' Digest. 37 (11): 12. November 2021. Retrieved 20 May 2022.
  15. ^ Becka, Megan (1 October 2021). "Akron-based TinyCircuits video game keychain hits Kickstarter funding goal in under 2 hours". cleveland. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  16. ^ "Meet The World's Smallest Games Console". Retro Dodo. 6 October 2021. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  17. ^ Frahn, Enrico. "The Raspberry Pi Pico-powered Thumby is a tiny retro gaming console for your keychain that looks like a miniaturized Nintendo Game Boy". Notebookcheck. Retrieved 14 May 2022.