The idea is to make it easier for hobbyists and others to play tabletop board games, which have made a big comeback in recent years.
The Gameboard-1 is like a flat computer with a square touchscreen display, 16 inches-by-16 inches. It is thin, light, and portable, and you can expand it by connecting it to other Gameboard-1s. You can also connect a private screen, like your smartphone, to it so you can play a game like poker, where you want to hide the cards from other players.
Designed by Rob Wyatt, system architect of the original Xbox and the Magic Leap 1, Gameboard-1 offers a fully immersive board gaming experience that connects real physical game pieces with a digital library of games. Gameboard-1 is portable, lightweight, and an interactive game board.
The console uses patent-pending Sense Screen technology which understands inputs from multiple sources simultaneously. To increase screen real estate, the Gameboard-1 can connect multiple gameboards for a multi-screen gaming experience.
Real physical pieces can interact with the Gameboard-1 through tags embedded into real pieces that store encrypted data including the location, orientation, and type of piece as well as user data, such as a character’s hit points or experience. The game pieces can be with or without batteries.
The goal is to give players a robust library of games with their subscription and the ultimate control of where, when and how they choose to play and enabled network play to choose with whom.
The campaign is live now and gives early adopters a chance to get boards in their hands this year.
“Our goal was to create a device and platform that will change the way we play games together — a device to teach new players faster, digitize set-up and scorekeeping, and allow users to try new games before they buy,” said Shail Mehta, CEO of Boulder, Colorado-based The Last Gameboard, in a statement. “But as any experienced gamer knows, I have my favorite characters like everyone else. With Gameboard-1 I can take that character and move their levels through whatever game I want. Who wouldn’t want to do that?”
Last Gameboard technology is compatible with Unity and Unreal and will have a developer’s edition that includes everything you need to start creating your own games, programs, and innovations for this platform. Wyatt noted that he is no longer working with Atari on its Atari VCS game console.
Gameboard-1 is expected to ship n the fourth quarter of 2020. Wyatt and Mehta have been out talking to tabletop game developers, and they have about 100 games committed to the platform.