...Probably not, but I like the idea.
"Blaze" is a Europe-based gaming outfit that mostly specializes in making gaming peripherals and those dedicated all-in-one consoles and handhelds pre-loaded with retrogames that you see on mall kiosks around the Holidays. Now, they've thrown their weight behind a still-somewhat-mysterious concept called "GameGadget" that seems like the logical next-step from that particular business model: An open-source, Linux-based handheld (it looks like a plus-sized GameBoy Micro) that aims to be the "iPod of games."
Thus far the press-release from last week and images are the bulk of what's been revealed, but the basic idea is that the device (which DOES appear to have an SD slot) will interface with a proprietary version of the App Store, which Blaze/GameGadget is heavily angling for rights-holders to classic games (pre-PS1, most likely) to fill with their product. The press release makes a BIG deal out of this being a way for publishers to re-monetize their retrogames without much (or any) additional investment. They're also courting small/upstart developers to make new titles for the format, which they claim it's "fully compatible" with SDL and DirectFB.
I LOVE everything about this... except for the fact that it's being put out by a company without much of a profile otherwise - something that's going to involve a lot of back-and-forth between a dizzying number of (theoretical) partnerships needs some muscle behind it, or at least would seem to from my perspective.
I've maintained for awhile that something LIKE this - an everything-in-one-place app store for classic games - would be both a game-changer and an industry-saver; and it's INCREDIBLY frustrating that the main thing preventing it has been Apple's ridiculous resistance to having buttons on the various iDevices - which has severely kneecapped the variety of games most smartphones can (properly) run. Imagine carrying around every Atari/Spectrum/C64/NES/SNES/Genesis/TG16/NeoGeo/Arcade classic you ever loved - plus new stuff in the "golden age"/mobile style - to be there whenever and wherever you needed them? BLISS. Absolute bliss... and also a vital way of keeping The Classics alive and readily available to new generations without the cumbersome extra work of buying/maintaining used equipment and/or murkily-legal emulation. No more game design students walking around without a proper background in the origins of the medium on account of having been born after said origins were easy to get? THAT'S how you save the future of video games, my friends.
I would love, love, LOVE to see something like GameGadget swoop in and either A.) be wildly successful and put a giant dent into Apple's goal of iPhone becoming "The AllGadget" because of their silly button-phobia; or B.) be just successful enough to scare Apple/Android/etc into getting over their silly button-phobia and making one to compete. I'm just not sure GameGadget is actually the thing to do it.
BUT! The thing (apparently) comes out early next year, so we'll see. A man can dream, after all...