Some Noob Questions, And Need Opinions.

Panic AK

Still Fresh
Mar 18, 2012
I've been a portable whore my whole life, I've owned pretty much all of the mainstream systems, and then some. With the PSP I really started to get in to the hacking/homebrew/emu scene. Eventually that fell of the wayside. But with all the talk of the NeoGeo X lately, my interest in emulation has fired back up, and introduced me to the world of open handhelds.

So for the last two days I have crammed my brain with as much information about open handhelds that I could find. I'm ready to make a purchase, but I just can't decide which system would be best for me.

So here is what I'm wanting to get out of a machine, and I hope someone that knows a little something can offer their suggestion, or at least a little insight. I want a machine that will best play my collection of ROMS, I want to be able to put all my old ROMS on to a single device, and have them any time I'm feeling nostalgic. I want something that can handle up to SNES, Genesis, NEOGEO, MAME, and GBA (In order of importance). I don't need anything that plays 3d games, I want a purely retro 2d game machine (probably nothing older than Gameboy). I don't care about video playback, or any other features like that, just games. Like I said, I am familiar with emulating, and installing CFWs, so user friendliness isn't too big of an issue. Community support is also a big plus. 150 bucks is my max limit, but prefer around 100. Also, nothing that looks like a PSP.

I have read a lot of good things about Caanoo, but no d-pad is pretty much a deal breaker for me, unless someone that has used it can comfort me on how well it actually works. I love the look of the Dingoo/Gemei systems, but with my limited knowledge, they are still confusing to me, and I also seem to find mixed review on them regarding their reliability in both emulation, and hardware quality.

If anyone can offer any type of insight, system suggestions, or even point me to a good resource of information, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks so much!
Ok well I'm not particularly knowledgeable about any of these consoles so just giving a heads up, but...
The GP2X, Wiz and Cannoo (all made by Gamepark Holdings) all seem to fit your bill. Sure there are other portable emulators out there, notably the "Dingoo" and just a plain ole PSP. Although many people swear by the Dingoo, the build quality is OK and the emulation is SO/SO. A good number of consoles are emulated with satisfactory quality, but it's a little touch and go with some emulation and you essentially get what you pay for. Not bad but not good enough for some people. An old hacked PSP (look up hacking a PSP, it's literally as easy as dragging a file) is a common vote around forums for a CHEAP + GOOD portable emulator, and honestly the only thing I have against it is that I think PSP's are ugly and the joystick is garbage. Another plus side for PSP emulation is there's a huge community therefore a lot of support.
The GP2x, Wiz and Cannoo all run the emulators you mentioned, and although they have different specs they generally run emulators quite well. The GP2X is the oldest in the line and as such it seems to run the games marginally slower or with more hicups than the other two consoles. It also has much less support than it once did, as Gamepark Holdings has essentially been dead for some time and this console came out a good many years ago. The Wiz has a D-pad which many people consider much better than the GP2X (and supposed better quality build) but the GBA micro styling and thus small form factor turn off a lot of players. It is generally well supported.
The latest model is the Cannoo and it boasts the best specs of the three. The community is as of now small but still active, and there were a good many updates and improved emulators for this thing before the community died down. It is generally easy to find emulators for this console and the build and emulation quality is very apparent. 
PS: Try not to get a GP2X F300 a.k.a. "Voca Master". It is one of the cheaper models but it is sporadically supported and very few people have them. They were intended as language learning aids and game emulation is not their main focus (or so I hear). They seem to run well enough, but like I said software is somewhat difficult to come by.