Arctic Cooling reveals handheld console

It’s been a couple of decades since we last saw the words "16-bit gaming processor" listed in the bullet points for a new console, but Arctic Cooling reckons that the 16-bit gaming chip at the core of its new GCM handheld console will still offer “life-like gaming.”

Following on from its recently-announced GC Pro console, the chip cooling maestro that brought us the legendary Freezer 7 Pro has now ventured into the handheld console market.

Although it’s unlikely to send the boardrooms at Sony and Nintendo into a panic, Arctic Cooling looks like it’s attempting to clear up at the lower end of the market; people who can’t quite afford a DS and don’t have a phone that can play simple games either. Yes, that’s probably a pretty niche market, but its success will depend largely on the quality of the games.

Rather than using cartridges or optical storage, the GCM instead has 80 games built into its simple chassis, which features a NES-like D-pad and two buttons. These include 12 sports games, seven racing games, 27 maths puzzle games and 34 strategy games. However, a quick look through the machine’s games catalogue reveals no big-name titles, which could be a problem for the GCM.

The cheap portable gizmo comes equipped with a 2.5-inch colour TFT display and is powered by three rechargeable AAA batteries. As well as using it as a handheld gaming device, you can also hook up the GCM to a TV via a composite output, and recharge it via the USB connector on the back.

Unsurprisingly, Arctic Cooling isn’t making a big deal about the specs. In fact, the specifications list only tells you that it’s available in red, white and blue, and that it comes with some batteries, manuals and a two-year warranty.

We’re guessing the outfit has given us so little info on the machine’s innards for precisely the same reason that Nintendo hasn’t publicly disclosed the detailed specs of the Wii; the technology is embarrassingly primitive. After all, even Nintendo’s GameBoy Advance had a 32-bit ARM processor back in 2001, but let’s also not forget that the classic SNES and MegaDrive were both 16-bit machines.

There’s a montage of screenshots from the games on the back of the packaging (see below), and while it’s a long way from “life-like gaming” the games don’t look a million miles away from the graphics on the GameBoy Advance.

Arctic Cooling says that the GCM will be available to buy this month, at a price of €39.90 (£35.11).