Divoom Ditoo Bluetooth Speaker Displays Pixel Art on a Tiny Retro Computer

If you love the retro look of pixel art, check out this little desktop accessory that not only can display custom pixel art, but can play music and work as an alarm clock, among other things. The Divoom Ditoo looks like a tiny all-in-one computer, and displays colorful animations on its tiny screen.

The Ditoo works in concert with a companion mobile app to load up over 1000 different pixel art images and animations from an online pixel art community. Its 16 x 16 dot matrix display can display 16 million different colors at each of its pixels, and can also be used to do things like show social media alerts, or display the time or weather forecast, each triggered via the mobile app. It can even play primitive games like Snake, Tetris, and Breakout on its tiny LED screen. Its built-in Bluetooth speaker isn’t exactly huge, but it does offer 10 watts of amplification, and the reviews on Amazon say that it actually sounds pretty good for its size. It can also play MP3 files loaded from a TF card (up to 64GB.)

It really does look like a miniature computer, though it only has six keys on its mechanical keyboard, and its joystick only moves on one axis. Measuring in at 3.54″ x 4.48″ x 4.77″, it’s actually small enough to put in the palm of your hand.

The video below from :3ildcat shows the Divoom Ditoo in action, along with some demonstrations of its audio quality and volume compared to some other small speakers.

You can grab a Divoom Ditoo pixel art speaker over on Amazon for $79.90. It’s available in five different colors: black, white, green, blue, and pink.

The Sinden Is a Light Gun for LCD TVs

Among classic arcade and console games, light gun shooters are some of my favorites. The problem is that the technology used for older video game systems required the scanning beam of a cathode ray picture tube to detect where you were pointing the light gun. For years, companies have attempted to replicate the same idea for today’s LCD or OLED TV displays, but have had little success doing it accurately – at least without the addition of some kind of light bar above the TV, and often wonky calibration techniques.

The Sinden Light Gun aims to change that, letting you play classics like Duck Hunt, Time Crisis, Virtua Cop, House of the Dead, and Area 51 with accuracy on modern screens.

The trick is in the Sinden’s HD camera and tracking technology which allows the light gun to know its exact location in 3D space relative to your TV screen. After identifying the corners of the television, and correcting for keystoning in real time, it calculates the gun’s X and Y coordinates relative to those known landmarks, then provides those coordinates back to the computer as analog mouse coordinates via USB. It requires no calibration, and works from any place you have line-of-sight vision to your display. 

The prototype version of the Sinden is able to perform the process of capturing the image and processing it in about 40 milliseconds. That’s still a bit slower than a gaming mouse or old school CRT-based light guns, but should still be fast enough for a satisfying gaming experience. It’s expected to be compatible with Windows PC, Linux PC, Raspberry Pi, and PS1 and PS2 consoles.

Since the Sinden can also detect its distance from the television, it could also be used to provide Z-axis data, so it knows your exact position in 3D space. That could theoretically be used to provide position tracking, if game developers decide to take advantage of that information. In addition to the base model, there’s a version in the works with a solenoid built in that can provide the kind of recoil feedback found in some arcade guns.

The developer of the Sinden Light Gun is raising funds for production over on Indiegogo, where it has already blown through its funding goal. The base model Sinden Light Gun is going for $98, while the version with recoil is priced at $159. 2-player packs are also available at a slight discount. Keep in mind that this is the gun’s second round of crowdfunding after an initial campaign on Kickstarter last year, and the first batch of guns has yet to ship. The current plan is to start shipping Indiegogo orders this September, assuming COVID-19 doesn’t slow that down further.

This looks like just what the doctor ordered for anyone who loves retro console or arcade gaming, and its maker hopes it will lead to the development of new light gun games.

3.5″ Floppy Disk Coasters Protect Tables with Pixels

You know what makes a good drink coaster? A good old 3.5″ floppy disk. But real floppies have moving parts and irregularities that can make them less than ideal surfaces for balancing some glasses. Never mind that they just don’t look as cool as these colorful pixel art floppy coasters.

Artist Tsvetelina Mihaylova aka PXLprincess makes these 3.5″ floppy coasters entirely from fused perler beads, and they look great. They come in way more colors than I remember in my old library of floppies. I seem to remember a sea of black and blue plastic neatly loaded into these tubs that held maybe 50 disks each, with lots of chicken scratch scrawled onto the labels. And remember having to install software that came on like 20 disks? I don’t miss that.

You can grab some pixel art floppy coasters over on Etsy for about $4 a piece. Just don’t try and stick these floppies into your old disk drive. I can’t imagine that would work out well. And remember, Don’t Copy That Floppy!

Konami’s delayed TurboGrafx-16 mini arrives in the US May 22nd

After missing its initial March 19th release date, Konami's TurboGrafx-16 mini will finally make its way to North America on May 22nd. When it becomes available next Friday, you'll be able to pick it up for $100. At the start of March, Konami delayed...

Evercade’s cartridge-based retro handheld makes more sense than you think

Retro gaming has arguably existed ever since there was a second generation of consoles. Today’s gamer seeking a shot of nostalgia has almost as many ways to play vintage titles as there are platforms to collect for. Evercade adds one more to that lis...

LEGO 3Dfx Voodoo 3D Card Brings Back 1990s Memories

Since I’ve mostly been using a laptop, an iPad and an iMac, it’s been a while since I had a computer with an upgradeable graphics card. But back in the day, I was constantly gunning for the latest and greatest graphics processors to play games like Quake II and Duke Nukem 3D at the fastest frame rate possible. While today’s GPU cards are all made pretty much running Nvidia or AMD chipsets, there was a time when 3Dfx was the king of the hill. Fans of the brand’s graphic cards will love this user-submitted design that turned up on the LEGO Ideas website.

The idea was submitted by Bhaal_Spawn, and it’s inspired by 3dfx’ flagship Voodoo graphics card, which reached the height of popularity back in 1996. If you wanted the fastest graphics money could buy, you got a Voodoo card, or a Voodoo2 when it came out. Oooh, just think about those 8 Megabytes of memory running at 90 Mhz and amazing 800 x 600 resolution graphics!

As cool as the design is, I’m not sure if LEGO could get the licensing rights to the 3Dfx artwork for the chips, since the brand is now defunct. That said, Nvidia actually bought what was left of the company in the early 2000s, so there’s still hope. The good news is that the design actually looks like it would be pretty easy to replicate if you wanted to build your own. If you think LEGO should sell the 3Dfx Voodoo card as an official kit, you can show your support over on LEGO Ideas.

[via Journal du Geek]

Tetris Lamp: Stack ‘Em If You Got ‘Em

Full disclosure: as much as people loved Tetris, I sucked at the game. Every time the blocks started falling from the sky, I’d survive for about two minutes before I got overwhelmed, and they hit the top and my game was over. Another quarter down the drain until my pockets were empty. At least with this Tetris lamp, I never have to worry about that.

This fun USB-powered lamp comes with 53 stackable Tetromino blocks for you to stack and arrange however you want. Just start humming the Tetris theme song to yourself, and you’re all set. The blocks won’t automatically disappear when you complete a row, but they will look cool sitting there on your desk or bookshelf.

Best of all you can stack the blocks any way you want. Challenge yourself, and if you can make them look like Mario or Pac-Man or a Space Invader. The Tetris lamp is available from I Want One of Those for $25.99.

Robocop ReAction Figures: I’d Buy These for a Dollar!

Toymaker Super7’s ReAction line of action figures is designed to capture the feel and style of 1970s and 1980s action figures from brands like Kenner and Mego. So in other words, don’t expect them to be screen-accurate or well-articulated. That’s the charm. If you dig those kind of retro figures, and loved the original RoboCop, then you’ll want to check out these ReAction figs.

First up, there’s RoboCop himself. The 3.75″ tall figure is done up in a shiny silver paint, with five points of articulation and an oversized pistol that most certainly won’t store inside of his leg. You can also get battle-damaged and glow-in-the-dark versions of RoboCop if that’s what you’re into.

Next, we’ve got a figure of OCP’s famed ED-209 police robot, as he gives Mr. Kinney five seconds to comply. The 6″ tall bipedal robot has four, count-em, four points of articulation, and is guaranteed to fall down stairs. Kinney figure naturally has a bloody hole blown in his chest, arm, and leg.

Last, but certainly not least is the figure of Emil Antonowsky, the bad guy henchman who managed to get himself dipped into a vat of toxic waste. Naturally, this is what he looks like before he got splattered all over the windshield by his buddies. Fun fact: Did you know that Antonowsky was played by Paul McCrane, the same guy who played Dr. Romano on ER? You know, the guy who gets his arm chopped off by a helicopter? It must be in his contract that he gets mutilated in every role.

They also make a special glow-in-the dark edition of the so -called “Toxic Waste Thug.” All six RoboCop ReAction figures are available from Big Bad Toy Store, with prices ranging from $14.99 to $34.99.

Pac-Man Succulent Planters Trade Quarters for Cacti

You know what the ghosts from Pac-Man could use? Plants growing out of their heads, that’s what. Yeah, that makes them much more adorable, and less intimidating for sure. That’s why I love these Pac-Man ghost planters from Dips and Prints.

Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde are all here, and ready to help provide a home for your indoor succulents. Of course, Pac-Man is here to try and gobble them up too, though I’m thinking the spiky plants might get stuck in his throat. Wait, does Pac-Man even have a throat? Who knows? Regardless, these guys would look great sitting on your bookshelf… or your maze if you have one.

These guys are 3D-printed from PLA bioplastic, and come in two different sizes 2.5″ tall and 4″ tall for the ghosts, and 2.75″ tall and 4.43″ tall for Pac-Man, respectively. The small ones sell for $14.99 each or $44.99 for the set, and the large ones are $19.99 each or $69.99 for the set. You can chase them down over on Etsy.

Star Wars-Inspired USB Arcade Controller Hits Kickstarter

I always loved playing Atari’s vector-based arcade games back in the 1980s. Games like Tempest, BattleZone, and Quantum were some of my favorites. And then there was Star Wars. I loved shooting down TIE fighters, zapping radar towers, and zooming into the belly of the Death Star to take aim at its exhaust port.

Part of what made the game so good was its unique controller, which combined the turning mechanics of a racing wheel with the yoke style controls of a flying game. Of course, this specialized controller means that the game is nearly impossible to play on a home arcade system. Now, arcade enthusiast Glen Planamento of Glen’s Retro Show set to release a brand new controller that not only works like the original, but is better in every way.

The GRS Arcade Flight Yoke has the same functionality of the original Star Wars controller, but unlike the original, which used a complex system of gears and potentiometers, it uses magnetic sensors to detect movements. That contactless mechanism means less potential for breakdowns, and smoother and more precise control. It’s body is made from metal, while its handle grips are made from hardened plastic.

The yoke connects to a PC, Mac, or Raspberry Pi via a USB connection, and works just like an analog joystick. That means you can use it to play other games too. In the video below, Glen shows it off controlling everything from Paperboy to Spy Hunter to Space Harrier – all of which work best with an analog steering control.

GRS plans on retailing the Arcade Flight Yoke for around $200 when it comes out, but early supporters can pre-order one on Kickstarter for just $150. Keep in mind that price doesn’t include a mounting base for the controller, so you’ll either need to fabricate one, or reach out to the guys at 99 Lives Arcade, who fabricated the base shown in the images here. Glen hopes to start shipping the controllers by this July.

Also, it’s not an officially-licensed Atari or Star Wars product, so it doesn’t come with the graphics shown here. That said, it wouldn’t be hard to make your own.