Arduino Esplora gives you a handle on game-based hardware modding
Imagine this: You’ve decided to get a handle on microcontrollers so you can start building a variety of great projects. After a bit of research (on GeekTech of course) you decide to use Arduino boards as your base controller, but you still find some of the kits too confusing for a total newbie. If this sounds like you, the Arduino team thinks it has something you might like: the Arduino Esplora.
Arduino Esplora is somewhat related to the Arduino Leonardo, and it's designed to be relatively easy to use. It comes ready to use straight out of the box; you don't need to use a breadboard or deal with soldering irons. According to the company, the Esplora gives you all the power of a typical Arduino microcontroller, but without the complicated setup.
To make that idea actually work, the board includes all the parts you would usually add on yourself. Esplora has a variety of sensors, an accelerometer, a joystick, a microphone, push buttons, an RGB LED, and a buzzer already strapped on. And as you might expect given the addition of the joystick and diamond-shaped buttons, it also comes pre-loaded with game-controller software, making gaming projects the most obvious use for this board.
If your project requires more than the stuff Esplora already comes with, you can add those components, so you aren't too limited. There are a couple of Arduino items—like Shields—that won’t work directly with the Esplora, though.
If this all in one board sounds tempting, you can buy it now for around $58 over on the Arduino official store.