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February 2017 Retro Gaming Article

February 8, 2017 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

With heavy emphasis on the Atari brand name, GameBand has launched their smart watch for gamers

Atari GameBand
GameBand wants to set itself apart from other smart watches with micro SD and game portability... and an Atari logo.
GameBand has been teasing the release date of their smart watch Kickstarter campaign and the day is here! With Atari and Terraria branding, they are introducing a smart watch aimed at gamers. It appears to mimic a feature of the former GameBand combined with an array of apps found on many wearables.

If you are familiar with GameBand's previously released a wearable product, it facilitated portability of Minecraft files. The partnership with Atai seems to have produced GameBand versions of popular arcade games like Asteroids and Pong for play on the watch's screen.

Via USB you can bring some games with you, to be played on a PC, as well as your Terraria files. The former GameBand was very Minecraft centric, while this model has much wider appeal to gamers and anyone who's into wearable technology.

The drawback to smart watches in general is they're expensive niche items. Smart watches just don't do enough to warrant the prices we see at retail. The GameBand is said to be retailing at $199. There were a few "super early bird" tiers on the Kickstarter for $99. I was tempted, but I haven't seen enough to convince me this is a needed product. I feel they need to emphasize it's purpose and value. The 300 super early bird offers already sold out. Damn - that was fast!

Atari GameBand Playing games on a 1.63" screen doesn't interest me, but I really like the ability to bring games along for play on a PC using GameBand's PixelFurnace. This device also suports micro SD cards which opens up great possibilities for storage.

The problem is the campaign doesn't give much info about this feature. How many games are there? Are they proprietary? How is Pixelfurnace implemented? I want to know more!

It's hard to cover every detail on a Kickstarter campaign page, but most of us are familiar with smart watches and want to know what makes this one different?

I like the gaming angle and I adore the Atari brand (although its nothing more than a holding company today), but I'm not finding enough info about GameBand's gaming capabilities. It has a companion app for iOS and Android, but my phone already has "productivity" apps and features. I don't need other source for alarms or calendars. What separates GameBand from the pack? Gimme more info!

That expandable storage lends well to storing music on the go. Had I been able to find more compelling info about it's gaming capabilities, I'd have gone in on one of the $99 early bird tiers. However, by the time I was able to piece together more detail, those tiers sold out. For $150+ I can put music on my phone and I always have my 2DS with me.

So, my sad tale is that I was too late for the $99 offers. Depending on the robustness of the gaming features, I think this could be pretty cool if you cram a slew of MP3s on it too.

The concern that probably held me back too long to catch the $99 offer was their app store called PixelFurnace. How dependent is the GameBand on it? With niche items like this, external facets tend to wane quickly and disappear. If the games and watch can operate independent of PixelFurnace, I'd be all aboard. Check out their Kickstarter to see if GameBand is your kind of wearable.

Atari GameBand I'm too indecisive. I shoulda backed it this morning... When will I learn? :)

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