You know, sometimes I cant believe that we have been playing video games for 40 years. Thats 40 years of jumping, Driving, shooting, and, of course my personal favorite, maiming out enemies. Now we get to shoot Nazis in the face in super hd, but once upon a time we would shoot a little collection of pixels, at another little collection of pixels. It was all exiting stuff.
It may all seem quite quaint and a little antiquated, I mean, who want to trade in their 4k mega console, for a console that has more in common with, and has similar computing power to, a ham sandwich?
Yet for the same reason people flock to museums, the history of gaming draws people in, with the old, fueled by rose tinted nostalgia, looking to revisit their roots. And the young, well, they what to discover where their great hobby’s life started, or a reason to be thankful for what computing power delivers to us today, or because, you know, to find out that actually it didn’t all start with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
So we want to Explore the history of gaming, and a easy to use, convenient way of doing this is with a retro gaming handheld machine. You see, handheld gaming, by many a youngster, is seen as a new thing, a casual pastime that there mum or dad might indulge in on their smart-phone while waiting for a train.
But it’s thankfully, mercifully not all about angry birds. Console greats such as Mario and Sonic graced handhelds decades before the first smart phone was ever conceived. Now the pass-time of the casual, handheld gaming was once the battleground of the hardcore, with war-weary Pokémon players taking their Gameboy colors out into the field to ‘link-up’ and fight.
But with technology forever trundling forward the consoles of yesterday, once the size of VCR players, have now been shrunk to be smaller than your little finger nail. These technological miracles now make it possible to fit the computing power of a small nation in the palm of your hand. And with that slightly frightening realization comes the ability to emulate every great, and not so great, console that has ever bean.
You can now have every classic game, from Mario World to Gran Turismo in your pocket, on hand for your gaming pleasure 24 hours a day. It sounds impossible. And for productivity sake it probably should be.
Right now, with all this tech wizardry at are finger tips, it has never been a better time to get into retro gaming. So read on to find my best picks for the ultimate consoles that will let you explore the gaming greats from the convenience of your pocket
Do you want a portable handheld device that plays your old SNES cartridges? Of course you do! Who doesn’t want to weighed down by a bag load of massive cartridges!
First of all, a round of applause please because retro-bit have gone and done it again. These guys and gals really know what they are doing when it comes to retro gaming hardware. For with this admittedly large hand held, they have somehow broken all the rules of design and crammed a original cartridge slot on top of the unit. Stand in awe of Retro-Bit’s design powers! How they did it is anyones guess, It is breathtaking engineering, really it is. You can just keep this console in your pocket ready for gaming on the go, sticking whatever cartridge you want in it. Though being able to take original cartridges is a nice idea, it is understandably a bit of a cumbersome affair which makes this handheld a little bit more suited for use around a house.
While we are talking about being cumbersome, though the general build quality is very good, the RDP is rather huge for what it is. This is classed as a hand held, but I would love to know who’s hands were holding it when it was tested. It’s absolutely huge. My little finger’s had to stretch and strain to the point of popping out of their sockets just to reach the d-pad. Ok, that might be an exaggeration. But you get the idea. Yes, the machine had to be big to house a cartridge. But really, did it need to be built as if Godzilla asked for a custom job?
One final note, which is in keeping with the. ‘keep it at home,’ vibe I get from the console is that it comes with an adapter. This lets you: one, plug it into the TV for big screen gaming and two, there is a second adapter so you can plug two original SNES controllers in. Yes thats right console fans, you can play 2 player Mario Kart on this one handheld. How great is that?!
Made by a company that has made a name for itself in retro gaming, the the Retro-bit RDP is the stay at home handheld of choice for gamers who want to use their original cartridges instead of using emulation.
With this handheld console that was designed to play just Sega games, Lets take a look to see if you will be in Sega Genesis heaven, or Master system hell.
Officially sanctioned by Sega, the At Games Sega Genesis Arcade was made so you could take all the Sega classics you could stomach with you in a handy pocket sized packet of plastic joy. With this in mind, both At Games and Sega thought it fit to include 80 of the greatest Sega games of all time. A huge collection that includes all the games you would expect from Sonic to Mortal Combat.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. You see, the Arcade has a trick up it’s Sega logo totting sleeve. This retro remake is actually an emulator is disguise. There is no Genesis cpu inside pumping out the graphics and sound. No, instead we have an under clocked Arm CPU (Doesn’t everything these days?) that does all the heavy lifting. Some purists may be disappointed, and rightly so, but with its emulated nature, Sega has allowed you to do the unthinkable… In a very generous move, Sega has let you stick an SD card full of ‘Roms’ or, copies of games saved to Zip files inside the Arcade which, basically, opens up every Genesis game, ever made.
And with all these games potentially on hand, At Games should be applauded for including within this diminutive handset a simple, yet infinitely useful feature called save states. I can hear you,’what are save states?’ Let me explain. Say you were out and about, playing your favorite Sega RPG and, suddenly, you get interrupted by somebody telling you their is a fire. Both life threatening and inconvenient for your gaming pleasures, you cant just turn off your handheld. I mean come on, you just got that level 77 sword after all. What is a gamer to do? In steps save states to save the day. (A bit of a mouthful there!) You can just bring up the convenient in game menu and quickly, because remember there are flames licking up around your face, save the entire game. So yes, the building might have burned down, But at-least you still have your sword.
A great console that is perfect for people who are prone to disasters striking, and love Sega. If you fall into this combination, and I know I do, you need to get out right now and go buy one of these little beauty’s. You wont be disappointed.
It looks like it is made from dirty glass but looks can be deceiving. Read on to see why you should go beyond the the transparent exterior to discover the handheld gaming promise land.
The Revo K101 not only sounds like the T1000s, pissed off, poorly named little brother, it’s an emulating handheld gaming behemoth that delivers pixelated death and destruction by the ton. Due to the emulating nature of the K101 it can play games from nearly every handheld console prior to the Sony PSP. So here is the list. Deep breath… It can play games from the Gameboy Advance, The GameBoy, The Gamebody Colour, Sega Multi-Mega, and the Sega Game Gear. Wow, that is one hell of a list and a lot of games to be getting through.
To be play all these games from these different systems, The Revo has taken its emulation compatibility very seriously. Its hardware designers wanted to be sure that no matter what you wanted to play, whatever your threw at it, the K101 would be ready to rock. So, to that end, the Revo Comes packed with plethora of custom hardware which includes 2 CPUs dedicated to games. The idea here is that if one doesn’t work the other hopefully will. Also, we have a dedicated GPU for the slightly more graphically intense games. And if that wasn’t enough, there is a sound Chip thrown in as well, because, why not?
In addition tothis dedication to compatibility comes a massive push for user customization. As a race, we have a fetish for self customization and we like to extend that out to everything we do including gaming. Why do you think things like hats sell for hundreds of dollars on team fortress! Did somebody at the back put their hand up and say, ‘self customization.’ Good because your right! So, in keeping with this trend, not only can you have a huge tattoo, blue hair and clothes that make you look like a fool. You can also customize your k101 with all the pointless add ons you like. Customize on board UI, the startup screens, the game screen, graphics filters, sound filters, you want to filter something, no not your coffee, then this is what you need. You have an option for everything and anything. Except, and this is the one thing I would actually like, a change of case color. I mean come on, who want their console to be see through?
Now we are getting on to serious stuff and the beginning of the hardcore. It’s a shame that home consoles are not supported with no SNES or genessis games here. But, if all you want it for is emulating your handheld consoles then, your getting a machine that has unfathomable levels compatibility and give you more customization options than your local Ford dealer. This is going to be a fantastic choice.
We all have to start somewhere don’t we? Of coarse we do! So, if your a newbie and you want to get some retro gaming under your belt, this is the place to start.
The Emods is a nice and easy intro to retro gaming. For starters it has been designed to be as simple as possible to use. You can’t use your own games or install more games on the machine. No, instead you must make do with the admittedly good collection of 162, 8 bit games stuffed inside.
In keeping with the simplicity, The Emods doesn’t need charging. Instead, you have to put old school AAA batteries in it, when they die, you put more batteries in it. No plugging it in, no cool lithium stuff lurking inside. No, just plain old simple batteries. Which is cool because if your on a long road trip to Grans house and you need to shut the little devils up in the back because the juice has ran dry in their gadget, you can just stop off, buy batteries, and hay-presto, quiet kids again.
So, having been designed with slobbering, destructive children in mind it comes with a number of features that lend it self to that particular audience. For instance, it’s plastic body is effectively bomb proof. A child could throws this at a wall all day in frustration and it will just keep on playing games. Additionally, it comes in an array of child pleasing fluorescent colors, no doubt designed to attract parents who know little or nothing about games apart from shinny and colorful must, absolutely mean better. And, to complete the child friendly nature of this dinky device, its been made ridiculously tiny, I mean, how do they fit all this gadgetry in such a small body?
So there you have it, a bomb proof handheld console that will please the kids all day long. The Emods is a great introductory console that is cheap enough for anybody interested in retro gaming to dip their toes into the retro gaming hot tub.
This is it people. If god wanted a handheld emulator that could play any game, from any console, up-to and including the n64, then this is it. This beast clad in Android software is the final word in retro gaming on the go. I don’t think you even have to read my thoughts on it. Just go get one. It’s the best you can get. Still here? Ok, so you need a little convincing. Then read on and let me enlighten you.
The DroidBox is a mesmerizing piece of hardware. It doesn’t just move ahead of the competition, it doesn’t just race ahead letting other consoles chewing on its dust. No, the box won the competition even before the the others showed up. This little box is game playing nirvana. A machine that was crafted by the goddess for that simple higher purpose: To play retro games
It has stunning, class leading external hardware that is punctuated with quality materials through. The first, and most catching thing about the unite is the huge 5 inch, touch sensitive screen through which DroidBox wants your eyes to drink in the pixelated bounty that it provides and I am more than happy to oblige. And when you are done playing games (why would you be done?) you can fold the screen down to protect it against the main body. Think Nintendo DS XL in both size, shape and operation and you get the right idea.
And the main body continues the trend of quality as The box comes packing what is essentially a PS2 controller. Yes, that includes 2 analogue sticks, a d-pad, and R2 and L2 buttons. Never have I seen such a well endowed peace of hardware as the DroidBox. There is nothing else quite like it.
And continuing with the quality external Hardware, the designers behind the DoridBox wanted it to be tour-de-force on the inside to. It comes packing a powerful, pixel smashing quad core cpu, and it has a dedicated Mali GPU just encase the 4 CPU cores weren’t quite enough. This isn’t just a gaming machine, its a veritably palm sized super computer. And with all that power available, it comes with the ram to back it up: 2 GB of it. Overkill you may say, but when it comes to computers, more is always better. And what more could you want than to store all the games you will ever likely play in a massive 32GB of internal storage. Every single SNES and MegaDrive game that was ever made would fit on 1/6th of that. Yet the Droid still gives you an SD card slot. It boggles the mind, it really does. And to boggle it even more it comes with some lithium Ion magic inside which somehow, when fully charged, lets you play uninterrupted for 10 hours!
It is the ultimate Retro game console. That is without question. But the DroidBox can do so much more. You can set it up as an entertainment devise to watch youTube or listen to music. You can install a media player such as Kodi on it and stream TV and Movies. You can download any of the millions of android games and apps onto it. The DroidBox is something of an enigma, for once you buy it, the story of it in your life will never end. Its not a phone that can go out of date, or something to be cast aside after use. This machine can, and will, proved thousands of hours of fun for a life time.
The DroidBox is something very special indeed. It wants your love, your affection. its needs your thumbs and your fingers and it wants to pleasure you for a lifetime with gaming greatness. Don’t think about it. Don’t compare it. If you want the very best in retro console gaming, then this, my dear friends, is it. Your getting a steal. Its like getting a Ferrari for a couple of grand. A real Ferrari, not one of those knock-offs built on a Toyota you hear about either.
You would be doing yourself a disservice as a gamer by missing out on the DroidBox, for this console deserves to be in your life as much as a gaming PC, a PS4 or a Nintendo 3DS.
So their you have it: the greatest Retro Console ever made.
So what are you waiting for?! Go get one! Now!