When will the next Arduboy drop?

I don’t think a mono palette display will be a great addition. A color OLED is much more expensive, Code to write to the display would take 16 times more time which means faster/ more expensive CPU.

However there could be a physical option: Using different colored plastic for the injection molded case. But I doubt there is a large enough interrest for the large amounts required per color (maybe a kickstarter? :wink: ) A DIY solution could by putting thin layer of colored film in the display area or stick colored transparent tape/ screen protector on the case.

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Perhaps some kind of thin rubber or plastic sleve with holes cut into it?
Or maybe a two part hard plastic outer shell?
(I assume 3D printers can handle transparent plastic?)

Oh that’s an good idea too. colored PVC sleeves.

Making the mold for that would be very expensive. Hmm maybe a 3 part (front, back, spacer) lasercut colored persplex :thinking:

A 3D print can be translucent but not transparent like glass which is what we want for the display area.

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When I said ‘hard plastic’ I was thinking more of the kind of plastic that can be 3D printed than something that needs to be cut.

(You can tell I’m more of a software person :P)

That’s unfortunate.
I thought that might be the case because of the process involved, but wanted to be hopeful.

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The point I was trying to make is that it does not matter if the screen has that functionality, it can be done from the Arduboy side.

As I said above, if you get a screen with a parallel interface it does not need to be any slower.

Say you have a parallel RGB565 interface, and tie all the red, green, and blue pins together to make it RGB111. You could even use the existing RGB LED pins for selecting which colour you want the display to be (add some kind of logic switch IC with a single select pin to decide if the RGB pins are allocated to the LED or to the display, to make it an either / or)?

Then you could still use the same mono screen buffer, still clock it out at the same speed with SPI, but with some more logic or pull-ups / pull-downs or a tiny FPGA, the SPI Data pin is used to toggle between ‘off’ (black) or ‘on’ (the selected RGB111 colour, or ‘white’ by default - doesn’t even break compatibility)?

I know the Pokitto had a custom parallel-interface display made, and they are not yet near the scale of production the Arduboy is at. Even if it cost an extra $5 in parts - I think someone who is already happy to pay $50 for an Arduboy isn’t going to draw the line at paying $55 for this?

Anyway, it was not my idea, and I don’t feel strongly enough to keep making an argument for it. Just seems like a good feature that could be used creatively, and does not necessarily break the built-in set of limitations of the Arduboy that make it great! :man_shrugging:

Circuit Dude would be able to support loading levels from an SD card like on other platforms. :stuck_out_tongue:

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That won’t work as you need to use the lower data lines to send commands too.

A FPGA, CPLD or even a tiny MCU would increase cost considerably (RnD, programming,testing,etc.)

I don’t know about that. But I think the custom bit of it is probably the display cable.

That’s not really how pricing works. I think it would probably cost more in parts resulting in a price incease of $20 or $25. The question then is if enough people would pay that amount extra for a monochrome color choice or rather want a full color display.

The idea you suggested is nice for an homemade Arduboy though.


Right. Well, just use a serial-to-parallel shift register instead to clock out the configuration commands at start-up, and then set it to all on (white), and clock out / latch other fixed colours as desired…

I need to pump the brakes a little here - whenever I read “that won’t work” / “that’s not possible” I just take it as a challenge to go and spend time proving that it can work!

My only point is that you can at least have a variable fixed colour for the display, without having to either increase the screen buffer or sacrifice speed.

The bigger problem would be having to refactor the format of the screen buffer, unless you can find a colour display that uses the same ‘page’ system…

RnD, programming, and testing are not a cost when you have a loyal community who will do it for you for free! :rofl:


Arduboy is pretty much always going to be black and white. The only reason I would want to do color is if it’s actually capable of emulating other stuff, but I’m not interested in making an emulator. Pico8 console would be just about the only reason I want to do color, but certainly not a new platform.

So I’m not really against doing a product with a color screen, but it won’t be the next version of the hardware or anything with the same kind of branding.

A game with 128x64 pixels, black and white is now immediately recognizable as an Arduboy game. Personally I really love what people have managed to do with 1 bit graphics, it’s really unique the way that a little bit of effort can go a long way in addition to rewarding you for meticulously crafting the pixel artwork.

Keeping the same screen also allows game format to be copied over without having to worry about then adding color to things. You can just focus on adding more story, music, content, levels, stuff like that.

Color, while obviously awesome, creates a larger barrier to entry for people to make and create games. Having to work with a color pallet can cause people who are not pixel artists to struggle to make compelling graphics. More advanced artists certainly can take full use of the increased number of colors, but then it’s just that more of a time investment.

Not saying any of that is wrong, but they are against the theory of what Arduboy is about. Basically, if you want color it might be better to look at one of any number of platforms that have been released in the past few years. I don’t want to compete with them. I don’t want someone to see a screenshot and wonder “hmm is that a pokito game, or a gamebuino game… or?”…

Color screens also cost more. If anything I’m more interested in making the current platform cheaper and more accessible. If you really want more in the screen department than maybe if we can find a 128x128 display with 1 bit color…

That said, and I think I’ve wrote this in a number of other places somewhere else in the forum…

SAM21D with an SD card. Probably two small “start/select” type buttons. Better speaker/sound with some effective audio output… possibly maybe even using USB-C to take advantage of the dongles. Using SD card over something soldered to the board just opens up a lot more possibilities in how you use the device.

There is a design from @MLXXXp here that is a likely contender for being the basis of a next generation of the system.

So, take a look at that system if your curious what comes next. If you want to develop an audio library with music for that chip… let me know. Seriously.

It’s also worth noting that I’m probably wanting to launch a different product instead of the Arduboy before the sequel. Something music related and I’ve got an open call for any developers who are interested to contact me.

Last but certainly not least it is super exciting for me to see everyone enthusiasm for the next version. It would be really incredible if we could sell at least as many as the first kick starter, but that’s a really tough goal considering the publicity that we had. So the more you share Arduboy and talk with your friends about it, make games for the current generation (and help me develop the next behind the scenes) that will add the most fuel to the fire.


Maybe more than a year for a new Arduboy, less than that for new music related hardware (inquire within).