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

what's a good place to get modded/Pandora batteries for the PSP these days?

You don't need a pandora battery any more. You can softmod your PSP without hardware hacks.

take a look at the rs97, an Opendingux handheld for 45 dollars

Now that is slick. I already have at least half a dozen handhelds that will do the same (or more), but for $40, I just might have to get one anyway. It's so nice to see devices like this get picked up by the community and go from "cheap china gadget with borderline-unusable firmware" to "totally-usable and very promising handheld with FOSS OS/emulators in only a couple months. There's already a news/repository site up for community software development and hardware mods.
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That's a horrible site that's a pain to use (autoplaying music and disappearing content) but it's very cool that they've unlocked the potential of this device this quickly. Did this ever happen with the original K101? I always thought that was just a GBA clone, albeit in a nice format and with a better screen that almost any original GBA, and included a card that gave you disappointing emulators as well. Perhaps a thread here to post news about it would be a nice thing to have.

In terms of performance it's got a MIPS core clocked at nearly 600MHz. Based on some old videos of the Dingoo A320 (which has a MIPS CPU clocked slightly slower, but still quite close) PSX emulation will be painfully slow for anything action oriented, but CPS1/2 and picodrive work well, but maybe things have become better since then.
The chip in the A320 only ran at 360MHz stock and could be overclocked up to about 450MHz. The chip in the RS97 is specced for 600MHz, but the factory firmware downclocks it to 528MHz. According to the dingoonity thread, it can be safely overclocked up to about 625MHz. Max-for-max, that's almost a 40% increase. Not too shabby, but you're probably right that it's still not enough for decent PSX emulation.

What I don't understand is why none of these Chinese gadget factories make a gaming handheld with the BCM2837. I mean this form factor with this screen with the power and software library of the RPi3 would be an absolute killer.
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