1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

AMD will host SMACH Z handheld gaming console at TGS 2018 booth

By Cal Jeffrey · 24 replies
Sep 17, 2018
Post New Reply
  1. The SMACH Z project raised almost double its goal of €250,000 on Kickstarter. Nearly 1,300 backers pledged €474,530 to the development of a high-powered handheld gaming system. The device was initially slated to ship to backers in April 2017, with a full market launch coming between December 2017 and Q1 2018. However, issues with its manufacturer disrupted production plans and pushed the project back significantly.

    SMACH Team gave backers and the public an update at E3 2018 saying that in a way the delay was a blessing in disguise for backers (video below). While the team was looking for a new manufacturer, the Ryzen V1000 chips launched. So the developers decided to go with the more powerful SoCs. This means backers are getting much more bang for their buck.

    The SMACH Z is powered by the Ryzen Embedded V1605B SoC with AMD Radeon Vega 8 graphics. The device is equipped with WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/d/e/h/I and Bluetooth v2. It can run for 5 hours on battery power and can be fully charged in 45 minutes.

    The SMACH Z, as you would expect, is going to be quite pricey on release. The base unit will retail for €699 ($816 US) and has 4GB RAM, and 64BG storage . The Pro version of the console has 8GB RAM, a 128GB SSD, and a 5MP camera for €899 ($1050 US). The top tier called the “SMACH Z Ultra” has the same camera as the Pro, but double the RAM and storage retailing at €1099 ($1284 US). Storage on all units is expandable with an SD card. I imagine early adopters will mostly consist of hardcore enthusiasts.

    The asking price may seem steep when compared to something like the Switch, but it is way more powerful and can even double as a computer if you hook up a mouse, keyboard, and monitor to it. It runs Windows 10 or Linux based SMACH Z OS. It has a six-inch 1080p touchscreen and is capable of 4K (on some games) with an external monitor. If it catches on enough it warrant more massive manufacturing, we could see the price fall significantly.

    Best of all it will launch with over 20,000 compatible games, many of which you might already own. The SMACH Z will be able to install anything from your existing online game libraries. The device supports Steam, GOG, Origin, Itchio, Battle.net, and UPlay. Additionally, it can stream games from PlayStation Now or any other PC-compatible service.

    The SMACH Z is set to launch on December 1, 2018. Pre-orders are available on its website, which is currently offering a 10-percent discount for early orders. The price cut is only available for the first 10,000 units ordered.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Johndoedoedoe

    Johndoedoedoe TS Enthusiast Posts: 28   +22

    Stop using those touch pads. Steam is constantly beating a dead horse. Majority of people hate it.
    thews86 likes this.
  3. rvnwlfdroid

    rvnwlfdroid TS Booster Posts: 193   +49

    I must say, I love the idea of being able to install games from existing accounts. The price tag is a bit high but about what I would expect for a new device. This just might be a portable (handheld) unit I will look into when they reach Rev2. Understandably you could get the same thing from a laptop. I just like the handheld aspect of it. Not sure I've seen anything that would compare.
  4. ZackL04

    ZackL04 TS Guru Posts: 504   +243

    I take it this is probably a 720p device at best?
  5. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,438   +601

    Watch the video at the bottom of the article yes most of those pc games are running at 720p and some at 1080p. I would have no problem going to 720p to increase fps on a portable device.

    But you have to remember that is on a 6inch screen that will be right in front of you.

    So it will be good enough.

    To me this maybe a better buy than the switch since its already compatible with a huge library. However I see this more for Adults with disposable income such as myself. I can't see buying something like this for a child too expensive and they would just destroy it in a few months anyways.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
    CaptainTom and Cal Jeffrey like this.
  6. Cal Jeffrey

    Cal Jeffrey TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,651   +398

    Oh yeah. If I got one the kids would not be allowed near it. They already both have criminal records when it comes to electronics. lol

    As to @ZackL04 's question: According to SMACH Team the 6-inch screen is capable of 1080p resolution, and the system itself can output to 4K. However, there is only so much you can do with a Ryzen 1605B. Higher resolutions are going to drop the FPS considerably. However, it was shown running 1080p at between 30-50 FPS on some games. But as Lionvibez said, on a six-inch screen that is right in front of you, 720p is going to look great.
    Charles Olson and Lionvibez like this.
  7. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,438   +601

    I went on the site and there is so many configurations possible I'm really thinking about grabbing this now.

    And I'm due for a Desktop system upgrade when Zen 2 comes out I may have to do both lol.

    on a site note "WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/d/e/h/I" what are those in bold never seen them before.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
    Reehahs and Cal Jeffrey like this.
  8. thews86

    thews86 TS Booster Posts: 40   +42

    The Steam controller sucks a fat D, and that is what they are basically using on this device.
  9. TechCat

    TechCat TS Member Posts: 23   +15

    The unit can be customized there are adapters for the pads.
    Charles Olson and Lionvibez like this.
  10. TechCat

    TechCat TS Member Posts: 23   +15

    I am surprised to see the kickstarter page is not updated with the new
    APU specs. Unless there is a second page.

    The embedded APU is the same specs .as the R3 2200G so it is quite capable.
    Lionvibez likes this.
  11. Medallish

    Medallish TS Rookie

    Early backer here, and mod at the SmachZ subreddit, can't wait to get mine! It's been a longer wait than expected, but what we've seen has been promising, and I hope we see it in all its glory at TGS. A few things
    The screen is 1080p IPS, the SoC is V1605B(essentially a Ryzen 5 2500U) It uses M.2 for HDD, not entirely clear if the final thing supports nvme, but one of the earlier prototypes did, though you can't get many m.2 2242 with nvme, yet.

    I recently got a Steam controller just so I could get used to the control scheme ahead of it. I am kind of glad they went this route, as it is going to be for PC games, and some PC exclusives won't work well, or in some cases, not at all, on a traditional console controller-like setup.
    Reehahs and Lionvibez like this.
  12. Medallish

    Medallish TS Rookie

    It was only done when their partnership with their HW partner fell through and they had to hire their own HW team and delay everything, they were then contacted by AMD regarding upgrading to AMD's next gen embedded APU, this was announced to backers through an update, this was before even the consumer Ryzen APU's had been launched, so the information wasn't advertised publicly, and under NDA.
    Charles Olson likes this.
  13. Doeragynn

    Doeragynn TS Rookie

    Considering they've been about 30 months without a working prototype,and hands-on footage used a salvaged and cheap windows tablet.. I would stay far away from this Kickstarter scam.
    Sure,they have neat commercials,but nothing concrete still. And the fake prototype they had at their E3 hotel room was just a laptop passthrough.. that thing isn't here. And probably not ever again.
    If you want a working prooduct in less than 4 years and not a scam,get yourself a GPD Win. That thing is sold and does actually exists..
  14. Medallish

    Medallish TS Rookie

    The prototype has existed for a while now, and partially functioning, turns out using the latest APU is rather complicated, as it is now it boots, it runs games, the only thing it doesn't do is use the internal display.

    The so called "fake prototype" meme has been debunked over at our subreddit, it's a tired myth that keeps getting pushed by people who aren't even backers, which I always find interesting.
    There's also the implication that they were somehow trying to hide the fact that they used a laptop at E3, it's pretty good hiding having it in clear sight and telling the journalists that they've chosen to do so because the internal screen on the Smach Z didn't work yet....

    And the GPD Win 2 is nice and all, but imo far too weak if you're interested in handheld gaming, unless you really into 360p gaming ;).
    Charles Olson likes this.
  15. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,438   +601

    I'm not concerned at all because I buy smart. No money leaves my wallet until I see a hardware review and possibly get my hands on it, so I will be waiting for a launch to be done first.
    Medallish likes this.
  16. Netops07

    Netops07 TS Rookie

    I am sorry, but you are wrong. Initially they did try to cover up the fact that the laptop was pushing the graphics to the handheld at E3. This is a direct response I received from the SmachZ team on their Facebook page when I questioned them about the laptop to Smach setup. Instead of responding publicly on their own Facebook page they sent me a PM. I see you on the SubReddit and would be happy to share the screenshot with you.
    "The console is hooked up to a development board, but to pass the video from the development board to the console, we're using a video card converter that needs to be connected to another PC. So it is running on the final specs, just some of it is on the outside."
    As a backer, there is this info directly from the team and many other examples I have saved including screenshots. Not to mention they posted several videos of game footage stating "running on final hardware." We also know this isn't true since the dev board has been confirmed to be a full sized board running on a higher end SOC with desktop memory. All can be seen from their own E3 hotel thing.
  17. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 714   +270

    Does it have Freesync? ;-)
  18. Medallish

    Medallish TS Rookie

    They most certainly didn't, I can't speak for what they say on their facebook, and I know there was a little confusion regarding where the source was from, but they told the journalists there, "here's the laptop, and here's the dev board running on "final HW"" which btw. is supposedly limited by the bios provided by AMD, so while the string still said Vega 11, it was running V1605B specs according to the team. And they showed the prototype and told the press it didn't have display capabilities at the time.
    I mean again, what kind of hiding is that? They let the press take pictures of the board, and check the details of everything.. That's not hiding....

    Sadly no, at least it wasn't a priority early on when I asked during the campaign.
    Charles Olson likes this.
  19. koblongata

    koblongata TS Booster Posts: 170   +49

    I like the form factor of GPDWin more though, that physical mini keyboard is really useful even for mild productivity.
    And com'on 720P is WAY more practical in those kind of super portable ultra low voltage PC handheld... making it FULL HD is a super stupid decision.
  20. Medallish

    Medallish TS Rookie

    To each his own, I rather like the more gaming centered design. As to the screen, it was decided after a poll, most users wanted 1080p, I think I voted 720p at the time, but I don't think 1080p will be that detrimental.
  21. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 714   +270

    Why not 768p or 900p? Custom sure. But seems feasible.
  22. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,438   +601

    Why go custom when its not necessary.

    That is doing work just for the sake of doing work.
  23. koblongata

    koblongata TS Booster Posts: 170   +49

    I think it is that detrimental really. It's going to be at least 30% lower frame rate on a 1080P.
    And it's kind of eye rolling inducing that they have decided on a 1080P screen, but then showing off games running at 720P......... what the...
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
  24. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 714   +270

    Because whether it's 720p or 1080p. people are still complaining. "There's not enough detail'. 'There's not enough frame rate". I suppose people are going to belly ache no matter what.
  25. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,438   +601

    Correct so leave it at the standard settings and let them ***** they will do it anyways.

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...