Older hardware concepts

Here's some content from my now defunct Prometheus' Spawning Grounds site. I made most of the art in 2004-2005, but I've updated or comment on my old comments.


This is from 2004. Back then I really wanted a tiny laptop for gaming, programming and "PDA" stuff. I also wanted it to have a touch screen, but having tried them now, I don't like them much.

I drew this with pencil but colored in old Photoshop 5.5. Stole and scaled keyboard from a "Tungsten".


Oh, I wrote some specs for it. Seems pretty high end for the time. They were somewhat based on other stuff of the same format, like the contemporary Dell Axim X50v. I'll leave these specs and comments as I wrote them.


Most handhelds are either for business men or 13 year olds. I'm not interested in the calendar function. Nor do I want a thing that only runs proprietary formats. This thing would be for:

(2015 note: So WiFi might be a thing huh? Sort of close to the RPi specs, but the ports on it would have to be desoldered and moved to support a thinner form factor. I think the system should be the size of a "Passport" drive when closed (maybe a bit fatter).)

Assorted stuff

These were done in 2005. There are some iPhone-like devices but I must have been inspired by something else (Nintendo DS and touch screen PDA's probably).

Donkey Kong. My designs definitely had a rugged look back then. I think the bottom "screen" was supposed to be a simple touch-pad and not a screen.

DK jr. dual screen. I don't like the button formation and massive hinge.

NES handheld.

A pretty terrible NDS-NES design.

C64 Portable. I don't like this one at all. It's jumbled and misses the opportunity to caricaturize.

Centi/Milli-pede. Probably not comfortable to hold. Trackball at bottom.

USB key. Wouldn't it be fun with a little usb-stick / Tamagotchi / Dreamcast VMU thingy? What's up with the greebly edges?

Master System console, wii case style (2007, this one). Appears to be some sort of computer as well. I like the steering knob as the middle mouse button. I don't like SD cards much.

Master System handheld. I don't think putting the joypad so far down is a good idea.

Would be cool with trackball on a joypad wouldn't it? There could be a scroll wheel underneath and the shoulder buttons (2+2) could work as mouse buttons for both the left and right handed. (2015 note: Just a doodle, but sort of cute.)

It's the Rotro!

I did this when the "Wiimote" was revealed.

My dad visited Japan in 1983 and came back with this... I regret losing the box.

One remote to rule them all

(2015 note: This project is funny because it solves a problem of a past, but not the present, but the device itself was not viable in the past. Remote control litter has mostly disappeared now. The main problem with this project is that someone would have to make all the content for it.)

May 2005: Anyone who have juggled remote controls knows how tricky it is to figure out what button is what. It would be great with a little help display that explain what a button does, or better yet, a multipurpose control unit for everything (as proposed by me here). It's certainly not a new idea. There is a standard (or two) for remote controls signals, but my version is more advanced, since it can be updated with new remote control definitions in a simple XML format I designed.

(2015 note: XML is a terrible format. If it's meant to be a text format readable and editable by humans it fails because the tags will clutter up the data. If it's meant to be a data format, it's terribly wasteful.)

The handheld itself could be very multi purpose. There's a few buttons on it, a green button which is always positive or accepting, and a red which means stop or cancel. It can also be flipped into a gaming device.

In the OS, the lists can be condensed. Once a remote has been selected the XML file will be used to generate a list of buttons along with explanations. The real buttons on the handheld can be changed by the XML file. Stylus screen maybe, or just + pad navigation.

XML for a generic TV remote using RC5 signals. (2015 note: IIRC, I did some light research into remote control signals.)

Back to the future

Here's some more recent stuff (2014+).

Tried to do a redesign, but didn't do a very good job as I got impatient. I quite like the forms of the original design.

VMU design with "neko" theme. Bit of a shame that the Dreamcast died... it was one of the last "pure" consoles. It wasn't a monolith (featureless cube or slab) or living room media machine.

A redesign of... Happy Console Gamer's (Youtube gaming guy) speculative Nintendo DS design. I thought a super wide screen would be novel.

What's on my USB sticks? I don't know, it's a bloody mystery. At least with floppies I could write on a big label. Some time in the next 5 years, sticks like this might become feasible (economically for consumers). It could have a persistent e-paper display, a simple OS, some navigation buttons, maybe rechargeable battery. The display could show a variety of things, like file listings, file previews, a representative/cute image, last added file(s)...

Beyond the Overmax

A redesign of the Overmax (OV-TOUCHPLAYER)... one of those obscure handhelds (Polish? < €20). I don't like 4 buttons like most joypads have now, it's too much. Relocating two to the top as L/R makes them more distinct in the mind. Added decorative panel lines. Colored the buttons.

Texas Instruments

Let's not hide the fact that these things are used for games.

TI inspire CX


Wait, there's more!

Nintendo GameGal

Nintendo Game...gal

Nintendo BigBoy

Big pixels on this Big Boy. BA & speaker placement is same as on DMG. Screen portion draws inspiration from the Switch. Perhaps it's a GB colour, with a modern screen as big lowrez LCD screens aren't really available (though B&W LCD screens can actually be cheap to make, even for a hobbyist). I'm thinking original hardware for ICs other than perhaps screen driver and battery charger.

SEGA Gamegear

SEGA Gamegear

SEGA Gamegear. I wanted to defy symmetry and rounded ergonomics, and I'm quite liking the result. I took the +pad from... the SEGA Nomad was it? It apparently had a very good +pad.

Intellivision controller

Intellivision joypad sketch which came out eeh.

Wanted to draw something metallic I guess.

Apple II -style keyboard computer. Maybe 1995-2010 was the tower PC era... but is it not time for a return to the keyboard computer form factor? A Mac-mini (or a similar size computer which could fit inside a smaller case) with a SSD is small, silent, quite cool, cheap, and able to do the useful things. Well. Maybe not the most recent games, but "max settings" is just a bunch of diminishing returns wankery. Me, out of touch? No, it is the children who are wrong.

I really quite like the Atari 65 XE case. Better than the Amiga cases, I think.

The PC8801FE is quite nice, but shipping it from Japan would ruin me. The big floppy drives makes it quite hefty. Was thinking a MF2DD version would be nice.

Based on the A65... or was it some other machine with the drive facing frontward like this. Lump might get in the way though.

Thoughts about a mobile work station. Not a fan of cameras in my devices so I'd make it external.

Unsure why they used such a wonky solution for the back port moulding when the NES had it solved. Also, HDMI is proprietary poop, Displayport is preferable but the plugs look poopy. Poop poop. Composite isn't too bad looking nowadays, honestly, judging by my Wii. VGA could work. RGB might be for SCART-land only.

Unsure what I was thinking here. Might be a Famicom re-do and a random pinup.

Nokia handheld gaming thing. I guess companies are hesitant to sacrifice screen space now. The entire front has to be a screen, which is pretty shit for certain kinds of input. Can't bloody pick up and hold the thing without pushing something by mistake. Future edit: I guess with the Switch having been around for some time now, a few companies have begun using this type of design, but that wasn't the case when I made this mockup.

Art by Arne Niklas Jansson