‘Handheld retro games console’ and ‘crowdfunding’ seem to be pretty common words around here these days, but the Creoqode Lyra+, about to start crowdfunding for a new model over at Kickstarter and brought to our attention by Liliputing, is different.
Different in that, instead of being a shrunken PC in a Switch-like case, as is the fashion (except for the PlayDate), it’s a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 in a Switch-like case. This makes it a machine for streaming and emulators rather than for playing games directly, but what’s interesting about the ’+’ is that it’s a second-generation device.
The original Lyra was crowdfunded in 2019, and had a Pi Compute Module 3 at its heart. The new model uses the Compute Module 4 with 4GB of RAM, a board with a different form factor that’s required some alterations inside the Lyra+ to accommodate.
There have been some additional changes too, including the expansion of the IPS touchscreen to 7 inches, double the battery capacity and dual analog sticks. The price? $380 For a pre-order, a significant step-up from the original’s starting price of $180. The full RRP will be $560, which sounds like a lot when you can pre-order Ayn’s Loki Mini Pro, with its Intel i3 and 16GB DDR4 addons, for $389.
The Lyra+ runs Raspberry Pi OS, and will happily manage Steam Link, Moonlight, and PS Remote Play for PlayStation streaming. It’s compatible with Google’s Stadia, and Xbox Cloud Gaming. There's RetroPie too, for reliving the thrills of retro consoles. Alongside being a streaming and emulator engine, the Lyra+ is going all-in on the possibilities offered by its central Compute Module. The machine’s GPIO pins are exposed, allowing for the connection of HATs and other electronics, and there are additional I2C pads. USB ports allow for the connection of a mouse and keyboard as well as gamepads, and there's an HDMI port to hook up an external display. You also get Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and there's mention of a 5G connection too, though no details about how it will be realized. Presumably through some kind of SIM card slot. Storage appears to be handled by Micro SD cards.
The Lyra+ is available in two versions: a kit you build yourself, and a fully assembled form. Remember that crowdfunding a project is not a guarantee of receiving a finished product. Backing a crowdfunded project is akin to an investment, you believe in the project and want it to succeed. You are not purchasing a retail product.