The biggest thing I think the GameShell has got right is having X, Y, Start and Select buttons.
One of the things that I think lets down both the Arduboy and the Pokitto is the limited number of buttons because it forces programmers to come up with button combinations for doing things like pausing and accessing specific pause menus.
The Arduboy has A and B, while the Pokitto has A, B and C
(and technically a usable button at the back but hardly anyone uses it because it’s a bit awkward).
Meanwhile the original Game Boy had A, B, Start and Select.
Personally speaking a number of things put me off the GameShell though.
For one thing I think it’s too powerful. It has a quad-core Cortex A7 and 1GB of memory.
At that point, you might as well just buy a Raspberry Pi.
The price is another factor of course.
But I have some less common complaints as well.
Firstly, I don’t like how much of their source code is under the GPL because I don’t like the GPL for a number of reasons.
Secondly I see that they sing the praises of Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds and say their objectives were to spread ‘open source culture’, which somewhat concerns me.
(They also use the word ‘culture’ far too much.)