$49 PocketCHIP will come pre-installed with lightweight engine designed for both playing and making

Lua-based ‘fantasy console’ PICO-8 to launch as physical handheld

Virtual playable-cum-development console PICO-8 is to make the transition into the physical world.

The self-branded ‘fantasy console’ is based on the Lua code and allows users to both play and make cartridge titles thanks to integrated tools for editing code, audio, visuals and more.

The .png format of the cartridges means the files made in the engine can then be shared between users.

Tech manufacturer Next Thing will now include the PICO-8 platform on its physical PocketCHIP handheld computer, as well as other devices going forward.

PICO-8 “boasts” a 128×128 16-colour display, 32K of memory, four-channel ‘blerps’ as audio output and support for dual six-button joysticks.

The PocketCHIP adds this to its physical hardware, comprised of a 420×272 LED display, QWERTY keyboard, headphone jack and video out ports, and a removable microcomputer.

The console will cost $49 ahead of launch, later rising to $69.

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