I can remember back in the day when gaming, especially on the PC was limited to a desktop machine. As time progressed I can remember playing the original Diablo on a laptop and I was so excited. However, imagine if you could play the latest triple A games on the go and also customize the console the way you wanted? This is the premise behind the latest handheld gaming console called SMACH Z. I recently got in touch with the folks over there and this is what they had to say:
TR: Please introduce yourself.
DF: Hi, my name is Daniel Fernandez, I’m co-founder and CEO of SMACH Z. Before I worked for more than 10 years in the video game industry as a game designer and producer.
TR: Tell us about your company.
DF: We’re three entrepreneurs with many years of experience in game development. In 2016 we felt that there was a gap at the handheld gaming PC sector and we wanted to build a device to fill that gap. We started SMACH project with the goal to create the most powerful handheld console for PC gaming.
TR: You have been working to bring the SmachZ to market can you first explain the concept of this console?
DF: SMACH Z is the first portable console that allows you to play any PC game with the highest quality, away from home. In addition to SMACH Z regular use as a game console, it can be used as a laptop for example installing Windows or Linux, (to) surf the internet or play movies.
One of the most interesting features is that users do not have to buy games again, all the titles that accumulate their Steam library or other game platforms, are available from the beginning in their SMACH Z, without any additional cost.
TR: What sets this handheld apart from the many others that are out there?
DF: The main advantage and difference of SMACH Z in relation to other portable game consoles on the market is the compatibility with PC games. All portable consoles that we can find in the market are made with a closed operating system and that only supports games created for it.
Furthermore, thanks to our partnership with AMD and other providers we could build the most powerful handheld console for PC gaming.
TR: What are the specs of this device?
DF: The SMACH Z comes with a core with Ryzen™ Embedded V1000 family as CPU and AMD Radeon™ Vega Graphics as GPU.
The display is 6” touchscreen 1920×1080
You can add up to 512 GB storage, up to 32 GB RAM.
Wi-Fi. BlueTooth. USB-C. DisplayPort. Micro-SD Card. USB-A. Micro-USB.
TR: What games will it be able to handle (for example: I recently bought Borderlands 3. Would it be able to play that?)
DF: Any game that is available for PC, will be for the SMACH Z, including Borderlands 3. Then, as with any other PC you may have to adjust the game configuration to your hardware capabilities. We have game-plays videos on our YouTube channel showing performance with quite demanding games and the result is really good for a handheld console.
TR: Can you configure the device the way you want to play it?
DF: The controls are fully configurable, like with the Steam Controller, so you can adjust any details or create your own presets. Then for the rest of the device, you can install and change anything you want, the same way you do with your PC.
TR: What if you need more space? Will you be able to use any SD cards to add games?
DF: Yes, you can use SD cards and bring your games there. Or even on a USB hard drive. Also, the SMACH Z is a “fully upgradeable” console, which means that you can upgrade your SSD storage in the future if you wish.
TR: What OS is installed on this device and can you upgrade the OS?
DF: You can choose between SMACH OS, which is based on LINUX, or Window 10. If you want to install another OS in the future if you prefer, like you would do with your PC.
TR: What can you hook up to this device if anything?
DF: The SMACH Z is a handheld computer, so thanks to the various ports and technologies that include (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB-C, Display Port, Micro-SD Card, USB-A, Micro-USB), the possibilities of connecting peripherals are really wide, from mouse, keyboards, TV/monitor, hard drive, etc.
TR: What about battery life? How long can you play games on this device?
DF: Depending on the use and type of games played the battery can last from 2 to 5 hours.
TR: OK, I am sold on this! How much is it and where can I order it?
DF: Currently, you can reserve a SMACH Z on our website to have the console the as soon as possible. Prices are on our website and range from $699 to $1198 for the most powerful model.
TR: When will this device be released?
DF: The SMACH Z will be first shipped to pre-orders by the end of 2019. As we receive new reservations every day we can’t say a specific release date yet but we point at the end of Q1 2020.
TR: Once this is released what’s next for the SmachZ?
DF: We have many ideas and plans for accessories, like a dock, zpads or extra batteries. Also we want to work on new software to improve the experience of playing on SMACH.
TR: Anything else you’d like to add?
DF: I would like to thank all the people around the world for the support and interest in SMACH Z. We are excited because of the SMACH Z is very close to being available for everybody.
So there you go! If you want to experience the latest gaming on the go to https://www.smachz.com/ and get ready to play games on the go.