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PICO-8 'fantasy console' to become an actual handheld console -- sort of

Lexaloffle Games' PICO-8 "fantasy console" is going to get a physical, handheld version when it ships pre-installed (with a library of built-in games) on Next Thing's $49 PocketCHIP handheld computer.

Lexaloffle Games' PICO-8 "fantasy console" is going to get a physical, handheld version -- sort of -- when it ships pre-installed (with a library of built-in games) on Next Thing's $49 PocketCHIP handheld computer later this year.

PICO-8 has gained a reputation in the game industry for being a lightweight, approachable and sharply limited game engine, affording both experienced and budding game makers the opportunity to experiment with tiny games. 

Those games have long been shareable online, giving rise to a passionate community of PICO-8 game players and makers -- the line is easily blurred. Now that Next Thing is shipping PICO-8 preinstalled on its portable computers, it's likely that a broader audience will be exposed to both the work of PICO-8 creators and the PICO-8 Lua-based development environment itself.

For more on the history and culture of PICO-8 development, look into the PICO-8 fanzine published by developer Arnaud de Bock.

Both he and fellow French game maker François Alliot made a PICO-8 game about the European migrant crisis, Passengers, and you can learn a bit more about PICO-8 development by reading their postmortem of the project.

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