Earlier this year, plenty of people got excited about the Steamboy, the first handheld portable Steam Machine, which would be capable of both running some titles natively and streaming games from a more powerful gaming PC. Things picked up a bit more this month, as the portable Steam Machine had its name changed to the ‘Smach Z’ and launched on Kickstarter.
Things started off well, with over £150,000 raised but unfortunately, the crowd funding campaign has been called off, just a few days after going live. The team behind the SMACH Z explained its decision in a Kickstarter update, which notes that while pledges started off strong for a few days, things quickly declined. People were also confused about the specifications as not enough information was given regarding the AMD SoC that would be used for the handheld.
The post outlines some plans for the future, as the console isn’t dead just yet, it is just being taken back to the drawing board. For starters, a new marketing plan will be put in place next time and a lower funding goal will be offered as long as the team can secure private funding elsewhere.
When the Smach Z kickstarter returns, it will do so with a working prototype as well. Right now, there is no real encapsulated prototype of the handheld, so we don’t know for sure just how well it will work. On top of that, a lot of people were asking for a Windows version of the device, rather than sticking to Steam OS, so this will be considered for the future.
We have seen plenty of ambitious crowd funding projects get funded only to fail later on. It is clear that the Smach Z team did not want this to happen to them, so ultimately, it seems like a smart move to cancel the project for now and come back later with a better prototype and a tighter business plan.
KitGuru Says: I was disappointed to hear about this Kickstarter’s cancellation at first but ultimately, it seems like the right move- the team obviously felt like it had made some mistakes with its messaging and business strategy. Were any of you interested in the portable Steam Machine? What do you think of its cancellation?