Good dumb mobile retro-gaming console? What do you use now?


skeezix

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As an exercise, lets keep Pandora and Pyra off the table*; if you just want to have an easily pocketable (ie: small), and relatively inexpensive (ie: okay to carry around in a pocket all the time, or to a beach, or tossed into your backpack, etc) mobile console for retro gaming.. whats hot these days?

ie: I actually like the caanoo more than it deserves; the gp2x variations where awesome at the time, but just don't hold up (especially the touchscreen edition with the dodgey "d-pad"); the gp32 itself is still fun, but mine eat SMCs like no tomorrow, so I just don't touch 'em anymore. Etc etc. I've stuck r-pi's into Lynx's old shells for fun and all that (too big, too rare to carry around all the time, etc).

For myself, I tend to carry around one of my Wiz machines still; its small, and relatively disposable, and yet.. its just powerful enough to do the job; the OLED screen (if its hasn't consumed itself yet), is still holding up pretty well; theres a number of design flaws in them, depending which incarnation you had (those beta units were atrocious!), but nothing so severe as the old Tapwave's, which had all kinds of soldering issues...

(and if I want really disposable, as in, easily replaced because I'm going to a high risk worksite or somewhere with higher chance of theft, then I take a PSP; I've still got the modded battery, that you just stick into a PSP and it lets you reflash the FW; a CFW PSP is, even after all these lojng years, still a really good piece of kit; great native game library, decent PSX support from Sony proper, and a huge hellpile of indie and emus; again, cross compiling was a real pita, and I've long since stopped supporting my own ports and code on the platform, it still makes a good book reader of sortsd, a decent video player, and all that. And dirt cheap!)

So, for me, I carry around a Pandora in that bulky case ED was selling for awhile; but when not that, I carry around a Wiz. But the software is old and cranky and reasonably hard to come by, and I got sick of cross compiling junk to it, like everyone else, looong ago.

So... what do people use _today_? Or do we all still dust off our old units and use them.. a kind of meta-retro; retro on new-retro? :)

jeff

edit: (and yes, I'm dodging things like the GPD Win; I'll wait for a Pyra, since I've seen the GPD is a pricey bastard; but I'm deliberately trying to look for a dumber/cheaper option, like the old Wiz/Caanoo sort of form factors, but with the expected chipset increase.)

edit: (and avoiding 3d printing a typical retro-pie type solution; looking for something purpose built; I've built my own handhelds, and also the r-pis are amazing for some things.. I'm not a fan of the boot time or performance even for all emus, especially when you're on the tiniest of the r-pi's..)

edit: (if you're curious about zikzak, which is unlikely, but still, I'm rambling from sleepdep .. I never did bother to make a handheld version of it, but it would not have been hard; I just was more interested in building VGA and HDMI, than an LCD controller; the stm32 I used for GPU actually has an LCD controller built in, you see, so it'd be easy. But right now I'm working on FPGA generating HDMI .. much more amusing.)

* yes, of course, I still carry around various Pandoras; still has a hawt sound system, and its way too personal to stop using :) :)

(yes, I still lurk; I just don't have free time from 7:30am to 11:30 pm :p)
 
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rygD

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I use a variety of Game Boys or something from the DS family, probably as expected. I am still fond of the brick, but the later GBs are more pocketable. The micro is tiny (but GBA only), so even easier to take with you. If you don't want to bother with cartridges, get an Everdrive or flash cart.

There are small open devices that have been talked about here, so if I we're going to go smaller I might consider one of those (a recently discussed one seems too tiny to actually use, but still cool). The one I am interested in is actually designed to teach programming and to be interested in other projects, so it has arms and legs and even hats. Forgot the names of both atm. I will link you to the threads in a few.
[doublepost=1518500686,1518500497][/doublepost]This is the one I kinda want to get.
https://pyra-handheld.com/boards/threads/pokitto-handheld.82281/
[doublepost=1518501221][/doublepost]https://pyra-handheld.com/boards/threads/cool-stuff-thread.80063/page-3#post-1431295
 

skeezix

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Neat, and cute; sort of like my own homebrew machines :)

I was never a Nintendo kid, so have no attachment to the GBAs and such; we have an original GBA ("game girl" we call it, for my oldest daughter :), and a clamshell GBA SP; but not much of a library for them. Course, GBA being essentially a suped of SNES, makes them pretty slick .. was just never my thing :(

(I like the Neo Geo Pocket Color, but just got rid of mine; getting tired of having to mod everything to make them actually usable, so I let it go .. but that was a nice little machine in a way.)
 

rygD

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On that last one, Zoolander called and said he wants his GB back.
[doublepost=1518501451,1518501284][/doublepost]
Neat, and cute; sort of like my own homebrew machines :)

I was never a Nintendo kid, so have no attachment to the GBAs and such; we have an original GBA ("game girl" we call it, for my oldest daughter :), and a clamshell GBA SP; but not much of a library for them. Course, GBA being essentially a suped of SNES, makes them pretty slick .. was just never my thing :(

(I like the Neo Geo Pocket Color, but just got rid of mine; getting tired of having to mod everything to make them actually usable, so I let it go .. but that was a nice little machine in a way.)
If you wanna skip modding ignore my GB recommendation unless it is a pocket or light. GBA SP is going to get you further, as it is backwards compatible.
 

ible

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i'd like to build something with an ESP32 in it, and good battery life (maybe even replaceable rechargeable AAs.). but i have no experience doing that sort of thing from scratch (though i still play with the bitbox from time to time, so i have some software abilities).

i have a GB, but rarely play it. i'm waiting for my children to get older...
 

Askarus

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I used the Dsi with a flashcard a lot before I had a Pandora.
It can also act as a media player and is pretty small.
 

matzesu

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When my Pandora was on Service by EvilDragon, i used my DS Lite whit my Flashcard as a Poket Gaming Mashine, whit some DS Games in a Mints Box and a GBA Game in the Game Slot, worked perfektly, expect that i ditnt found out how to run DS Games from this Flashcard, but its runs a lot of Homebrew and Emulators up to SNES (not as good as the Pandora, but usable)..
Since i have the GBA Everdrive, its also great for GBA Games, but i wouldnd put it in my Pokets whit the Everdrive as this Flashcard is quite big..
GBA Micro, the same, but whitout DS Games..
 

Eight Bit

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I have a custom fw psp 1000 laying around that serves this purpose. They're really nice and very cheap nowadays and beside the pretty big native software library they're fast enough to play an abundance of games on emu's too.
I just toss it in a bag with other stuff as it's a reasonably sturdy device and battery life is good because I don't use the UMC drive for playing games. I only use it to make images of discs I dig up.
Another big plus is that it uses the same charger as my Pandora :)
 

matzesu

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Handhelds whitout Clamshell arend that tought enough for me, i had a Revo GBA, which was a pretty cool GBA Clone, big brigh screen, tv out, worked great for GBA Games, but my Screen broke when i carryed it in my Poket, so i went back to the Pandora for every day carry..
Thanks to the Everdrive GBA, and its aktuall firmware, its runs GB and GBC Games out of the File Manager, whitout the need to pick first the emulator..,..
 

Kippykip

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GBA Micro with a flashcart, or use a hacked PSP with emulators etc (I prefer the latter considerably, although takes more pocket space)
 

matzesu

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Interessting Device, but use this also the same not protectet screen as the Revo ??
PSX Emulator on a Handheld Shell that was originaly ment for GBA Games sounds interesting..
 

rygD

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Handhelds whitout Clamshell arend that tought enough for me, i had a Revo GBA, which was a pretty cool GBA Clone, big brigh screen, tv out, worked great for GBA Games, but my Screen broke when i carryed it in my Poket, so i went back to the Pandora for every day carry..
Thanks to the Everdrive GBA, and its aktuall firmware, its runs GB and GBC Games out of the File Manager, whitout the need to pick first the emulator..,..
I figured original Nintendo hardware from GBA or earlier would stand up to your abuse. They are pretty tough.
 
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I also use my PSP Go wehn I have to take public transports. It's loaded with emulators and PSP games. It's very small, fits in any pocket and had a nice crisp screen.
Technically, GBA Micro is smaller I think, but not by alot, plus the PSPs can emulate GBA pretty decently.
 

matzesu

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But playing GBA Games on its original Hardware is better than Emulation..

The Micro is about the same sice as a Switch Joycon

I have also a GB Collor, which also works great whit the GB Everdrive, it’s also cool to play the Romhack „Super Mario Land 2 DX on a real Gameboy..
 
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