The Clockwork GameShell is a handheld game console designed that ships as a kit that you assemble yourself — I put one together in about a half hour a few months ago.

The some-assembly-required nature of the GameShell has a few advantages for folks that aren’t worried about getting their hands dirty. First, it teaches you a little bit about how the hardware works. Second, it lets you upgrade the system without replacing it.

So now that Clockwork has some new hardware available, you have two options for buying it. You can pick up an entire GameShell kit for $199 (or $159 during a launch sale). Or if you already have a first-gen version, you can just buy the ClockworkPi v3.1 dev board for $49 and put the new module into your old GameShell.

Update 5/2019: The GameShell is also now available for purchase from Amazon.

The new GameShell has the same 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex-A7 processor as its predecessor and the same Linux-based operating system. But there are a few key differences in the new kit:

  • It has 1GB of RAM (up from 512MB).
  • There’s a micro HDMI port for video output (the old version had just headphone and micro USB port).
  • The new GameShell comes with a 16GB microSD card (up from 8GB).
  • The battery has been upgraded from 1,050 mAh to 1,200 mAh.

You’ll obviously need to buy the whole new GameShell to get the battery and microSD card upgrades, but the new version of the dev board gives you twice as much RAM and HDMI output for connecting an external display.

Original GameShell Video (Unboxing, assembly, and preliminary impressions)

 

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