It’s called the “TV computer,” and it is the awesome mid-1980s 8-bit computer that never was, but now is.
Sold in the far east and India as a bare bones educational model, it’s an 8-bit machine with an integrated keyboard, a 1MHz 6502 CPU and a toothy expansion port–no different, technologically, from computers sold in the west in the early 1980s. With another 25 years of game and software development between us, however, it somehow seems more perfect than even the best machines of the time: in addition to the expected BASIC interpreter, there’s a Windows-manager UI, a bunch of free game development apps, game controllers with a full complement of buttons, and a proper mouse. It even comes with an adapter that lets it run NES carts!
Playpower.org and MAKE are responsible for bringing it to our shores:
Therefore, in order to build our open-source developer community, we’re teaming up with Makershed.com to sell TV-computers to potential developers in the USA– and at the same time, raise money to support The Playpower Foundation. If there is enough demand for these in the USA, we may even be able to start shipping versions that can directly play old NES cartridges! (the current version requires a 72-pin to 60-pin converter, which is sold separately).