The portable Steam Machine project that was designed to make it possible for us to take our digital game collections on the road with us has been cancelled. After months of teases, discussions of pre-orders, and the beginnings for a crowd funding campaign, the Smach Z campaign has ended, despite having garnered over 160,000 euros in just a few days. Why?
Nothing too drastic, we’re told, though the cancellation of the Kickstarter is hardly good news. The developers have released a statement saying that they had taken the decision to “reset,” the project because of a number of reasons. The number of pledges wasn’t high enough to get even close to the 900,000 euros they were looking for, the specifications of the AMD Steppe Eagle system on a chip (SoC) it planned to use remains a secret, and a fully working prototype of the Smach Z is needed to encourage investors.
With all that in mind, it is understandable why the project has been shuttered for now while the developers work things out, but it’s still sad news for those that were hoping for a Smach Z in the not too distant future.
Although some of the hardware was unproven, the promised device would’ve boasted some impressive specifications. Along with the AMD CPU and GPU, it would have offered 4GB or 8GB of RAM depending, on how much you wanted to pay. Storage would’ve been 64GB, or up to 128GB on the Pro model. Other specifications included a five inch, 1080P touch screen display, USB 3.1 Type-C connectors, Wi-Fi over the five GHz spectrum, Bluetooth connectivity, and support for 4G mobile data on the Pro model.
All of that for 280 euros ($305) — and much less if you were one of the really early birds. No doubt the most disappointed among fans are those who made a special effort to get there early to net a cheaper version of the portable PC. Then again, cancellation is for the best if the developers weren’t confident. A budget pre-order would be worth nothing if the company couldn’t deliver what it promised.