Arduboy vs Gamebuino (Which is better?)

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Arduboy vs Gamebuino (Which is better?)

Postby retrobolt » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:13 am

Arduboy vs Gamebuino

Which one do you think is better?
Both as a system and a programmable device.
Please list pros and cons.
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Re: Arduboy vs Gamebuino (Which is better?)

Postby wuuff » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:01 am

There have been discussions on this in the past, and I think you could gain a lot of insight from doing some extra research on the two systems. However, here are some of the major points about them.

First of all, the Arduboy undoubtedly has a better screen and build quality. It looks more like a polished manufactured product, while the Gamebuino looks more like a diy device for a hobbyist or tinkerer. Apparently a lot of people consider this very important since it has a larger community and I bet you can find plenty of people who would endorse the Arduboy, but I feel strongly that it is missing some important features that the Gamebuino has, and my response is biased towards the Gamebuino. But you're on the Gamebuino forums, so go figure.

The Arduboy does not have an SD card, meaning you need to attach it to a computer to switch games. I also have some other minor gripes about it such as how it has multiple libraries for developing games, with it being slightly unclear which is the best one to use (I'm not sure whether the official word is to use the Arduboy 2 library, or just a community recommendation---I can't recall); there are multiple 3rd-party lists of games for the system instead of a centralized game repository; multiplayer requires you connect to a computer; and games have to share EEPROM space (where games can save data) unless you want to lose save data or copy EEPROM contents to and from your computer. There have been a lot of competing standards for various things, such as a standard way to package metadata with a game, or ways to partition EEPROM.

The Gamebuino has an SD card slot, plus a loader program that allows you to switch games on the go, so game switching is simple. You can also put games you compile or download on the SD card and don't have to upload them directly if you don't want. The SD card also gives games the opportunity to be bigger since they can load data off the card. The game libraries are simple to use and the wiki provides decent documentation, and there's an official game page too. The Gamebuino has two ports on the top that let you chain multiple Gamebuinos together for multiplayer or attach other devices, such as sensors or motors. The Gamebuino has a C button, which means it can be used as a menu button, while games on Arduboy sometimes have to resort to combined button presses. There is a single standard format for storing game metadata (in .inf files) that provides screenshots and a game icon in the graphical loader on the Gamebuino. Overall I would say there is less uncertainty about how to go about developing and uploading a game.

Also, despite the Gamebuino screen being worse (lower resolution plus slower refresh rate), it can also generate grey pixels (an extra color) more easily than on the Arduboy.

Despite all I said, there's not actually a reason that these two devices need to compete. They aren't so expensive that somebody couldn't get both if they saved up. Also, these aren't the only devices on the market either. While they are probably the best options for a portable black-and-white diy console, the Pokitto seems to be a great new option for a portable color diy console, and the mysterious Gamebuino 2 will also probably deliver this.
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