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GameForce Chi RK3326 Two Weeks After Review

I reviewed the GameForce Chi (RK3326) two weeks back and my score of 8.3/10 still stands. When it comes to RK3326 devices I'm only using the RG351V and GameForce with regularity at this point.  https://www.retrokezins.com/2021/05/review-gameforce-rk3326-handheld-chi.html While my score remains the same I do have to say I am definitely pleased with my purchase.  I made a couple minor tweaks to the system including adding some padding behind the face buttons which was suggested by others in Discord which has mostly eliminated the button travel issue and added some Vita style thumb grips. I still have future plans to work on the LEDs a little bit and add Vita thumb-sticks (haven't gotten around to that yet) but nothing major planned.  You can purchase the GameForce at GameForce.fun .  GameForce Guides:  So far I've only seen one good guide for the GameForce over at Retrogamecorps.com and it will likely be the definitive guide that covers all the basics:  https://r

GameForce RK3326 Almost Ready For Sale

UPDATE:  https://www.retrokezins.com/2021/05/gameforce-rk3326-order-site-up.html I've been hyped for the GameForce RK3326 for a while now. From the sounds of the chatter on the topic, it looks like it will be on sale very soon. It will reportedly be available at the URL gameforce.fun .  Screenshot from Discord While this handheld is a little late to the RK3326 chip game it still has a few things going for it including form factor (it looks very ergonomic), unique look, light up buttons you can turn on or off and it will be the only not vertical RK3326 with a 4:3 screen. The last I heard the screen was plastic laminate not glass but the price was rumored to launch at $89.99. Hopefully it sticks to that price range.  Over the past few months they've tweaked the build a bit with a different d-pad. Another reason I'm highly interested in this handheld is that it was designed and put together by an individual (Gao Feng) not a company so it will be nice to support a m

3 Obviously Not Great SBC Handhelds I'm Tempted To Buy Anyway

I find it pretty unlikely that this "Chicken Boi" as it has been coined by gamers on Reddit would actually be any good but it's ridiculous enough that it might make a nice addition to the collection.   https://www.reddit.com/r/SBCGaming/comments/m1fxqz/has_anyone_pulled_the_trigger_on_the_chicken_boi/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share These type of consoles/personal fans have been around a while. I haven't pulled the trigger on buying one but I'm sure I will eventually.  This one I honestly don't know anything about. It looks cheap and probably is not very good but the design is kind of interesting. I don't think I'd pay $30+ but if I ever see one for $15 or less I'll get it just to check it out.  

Anbernic RG351V Hanging on 0% Save State and Crashing (Stock Firmware) Semi-Fix

Update to the problem below courtesy an easy but overlooked fix brought up in the Reddit forums. It was as simple as running all the resets in the Danger Zone settings. Now saves games fine on the external. *There are reports of losing files this way and issues I didn't have so make sure to make a backup of the stock SD image before trying this.  I'm enjoying the day I've had with the RG-351V so far but have run into some issues with the stock firmware so far. I like to test everything out on the stock setup before moving over to custom firmwares.  One issue I came across was when attempting to save state in games is the save state would hang at 0% and then crash the system as soon soon as you close content and exit RetroArch (particularly with GBA).  In game saves would also not take.  What I discovered was that this only occurs when running games off the external micro SD slot. If you run everything including all ROMs off the internal, that issue g

Another Positive RG351V Review

https://youtu.be/PdPS4O7YzAo Retro Dodo posted their review of the 351V today and it's mostly positive as expected. Click the above link for their review on YouTube.  I disagree with their stance that the console doesn't look that great from the front but do agree that the reset and power buttons look way too small.  My unit is still in shipping limbo and has been for 8 days now so I have no idea when I'll actually get my hands on it... I noticed they've been showing up on places like BangGood the last few days for as low as $97.99. Not sure if those prices can be trusted being that the 351V just came out this week at $108.99. 

Another Look at the RG351V

Update 3/16 (Following YouTube links shows off quite a bit of RG351V gameplay testing): https://youtu.be/yRbgC1o8_rw Videos should start rolling in over the next few weeks on the RG351V. It looks like mine shipped out this morning so hopefully I'll get it soon.  While the RK3326 is getting a bit played out,  the exciting news is that we finally get one with a proper 4:3 screen.  For the record, I ordered the wood aesthetic version just because it's so strange.  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zqQAr_EiAv4&feature=youtu.be

Anbernic Sets RG351V Base Price at $108.99

In addition to the countdown ticker, Anbernic has set the base price for the RG351V at $108.99. The price isn't too bad and lands within the range of what was expected. The Anbernic.com countdown indicates it will be available for order on Monday.  While not a big hardware upgrade by any means, the 351V brings back a proper 4:3 screen (the same screen from the 350M), dual micro SD slots and a vertical form factor making is far more suited for retro gaming than the 351P/M was. 

GameForce RK3326 In Mass Production

Pretty interesting read over at Obscure Handhelds concerning developments with the GameForce RK3326. (LINK BELOW) The last price I heard on the console is $89.99 which puts it in the range of other RK3326 handhelds. At this point there are quite a few.  It appears there will be 3 color variants. It's a weird looking console but honestly I like the design a lot.  It looks like it will be very comfortable in the hands and has a nice screen size. This device has been on my radar for a while and is a Day 1 purchase for me.  https://obscurehandhelds.com/2021/02/the-gameforce-rk3326-handheld-looks-like-a-gba-descendant/

New RG351V Ad Photos Appear on Amazon

Anbernic should be releasing the RG351V within a few weeks. We already know 3 colors will be available. A few ads here and there have been popping up for the console although there's no price yet and it's not for sale. Someone pointed out the Amazon link in Discord but I decided to not post the link here as the description includes wrong spec info.  Either way it's nice to see more marketing material appear for this highly anticipated vertical console. I definitely like the look and the more appropriate 4:3 screen. It appears to be the same screen that is on the 350M. I wish the left thumbstick had been placed a little further to the right design-wise but everything else looks pretty good.  The photos appearing on Amazon show the wood grain style and the grey models. Hopefully I can get my hands on one soon.  

Who is PowKiddy?

*If anyone has any interesting information about the company to add, feel free to comment below. I'd like to update information as much as possible.  A lot of the manufacturers of retro consoles out of China are sometimes difficult to track down specific or accurate information about but fortunately it has become more available in recent times.  "PowKiddy" aka Shenzhen PowKiddy Network Technology Co., Ltd. translates into "Overlord Boy" or "Overlord Kid" in English, a character created by the company owner inspired by comics.  In its current form as a manufacturer, distributor and wholesaler the company appears to have formed in 2017 although I suspect it may have existed as a different company prior to this. It's often difficult to track down information on some handhelds as the lines between who actually designed or manufactured a handheld becomes blurred as they are distributed.  They appear to have between 11 and 50 employees based

Anbernic RG351V Screen Looks Great

The Anbernic RG351V will be available within a couple weeks along with the GameForce RK3326 which are probably the two handhelds I am most interested in getting my hands on at the moment. There will be 3 colors available but I think I'm going for the wood grain aesthetic myself just because that's not usual.  https://www.anbernic.com/ Screenshot from @ DIYGameModz on Twitter

Picked up Another Powkiddy V90

For the price its hard to beat the Powkiddy V90 in the $30-$40 range. Figured I'd pick up the red version (looks orange to me but that's fine).  This system does have a little screen tearing here and there and minor issues but for the price its well worth it.  Its pretty easy to upgrade to a different firmware as well.  Due to the price i have this one reviewed as an 8.3/10 at $35.  Real shame they don't make an upgraded premium version of this one though with a better shell. The d-pad, buttons and shoulders are crisp though and worth every penny if you pay under$40.  https://www.retrokezins.com/p/reviews.html I haven't done a new full review write up on this one considering how old it is but I might at some point. Some people smack talk the quality but I haven't seen anything in the 30-40 range that beat it.   What Others Are Saying: https://retroconsoletalk.com/powkiddy-v90/ Retro GameCorps on YouTube: https://youtu.be/3BHkqP7BhSY

Retroid Pocket 2 vs Anbernic RG351P: Definitive Analysis

The Retroid Pocket 2 and Anbernic RG351P have been out long enough for me to give both extensive time and a definitive opinion of both. When I score devices,  I keep price and $ for $ value always in mind so I no longer use price as a category. The RP2 is slightly cheaper than the RG351P. The 351P has more out of the box appeal but the RP2 catches up to it in many areas if you are willing to put in some work. If you are a complete beginner to these kind of devices,  the 351P may suit you a little better.  I originally scored the RP2 a 8.5/10 and the 351P an 8/10. Community support and new developments during the first 6 months to a year of any new open source style system definitely has some big effects... Going Head 2 Head:  Retroid Pocket 2 = 8.5/10  RG351P = 7.4/10 What really drags the 351P down is the screen size, lack of built in WiFi and battery performance. If it weren't for those three issues it might have been a LOT better.  SCREEN   Retroid Pocket

microByte Retro Handheld Crowdfunding Goes Live on Crowd Supply

Micro systems seem to be getting more and more popular these days. While I'm not totally sold on a 1.3" screen, I'm hearing the screen is extremely sharp which could make up for that. I normally don't take too many risks over $50 in the SBC Gaming realm but this one comes in at $45 so might be worth the risk. A premium model pledge is $60.  What does grab my attention is the 6-7 hours of GAMEPLAY you can get out of the battery and the open source spirit of the project.  It looks like this tiny handheld console will easily handle NES, Gameboy, GameBoy Color, Game Gear & Sega Master System. Atari Scummvm emulators  are currently being developed for this open source console.  Check out the link below for more info:  https://www.crowdsupply.com/byte-mix-labs/microbyte

Android Arcade Pad on BangGood

*Updated (Found What It Is): https://youtu.be/h5L5_UN5ixg I have no clue what this device is but it just started popping up on places like BangGood. At the price and the look of it I'm assuming it's complete junk but I'm still curious about this little handheld "tablet"?  Seems to be unbranded which is never a good sign.... [US$56.99]Arcade Pad 168 Games 7 inch 16 bit Handheld Game Console Android Tablet Handheld Retro Game Players Video Mini Games Console Video Games Equipment & Accessories from Consumer Electronics on banggood https://banggood.app.link/8xBzkplKvdb

PocketGo S30 Support Increasing..

I was NOT a fan of the PocketGo S30 out of the box but community and developer support is starting to pick up speed quite a bit. Between this and the work Retro Game Corps is doing with the S30 I'll likely have re-evaluate my thoughts on the system some time in February. Hit the link below for some information on updates in the works... https://youtu.be/zYJwDwIIvkg

Anbernic RG351V In Production?

I've only heard rumors that the RG351V (Vertical) was in the works via vague rumors but nothing solid.  Russ from Retro Game Corps  just posted some images on Facebook he discovered. It looks great with the 4:3 aspect ratio. Definitely an improvement on the 351P/M for retro gaming. Hopefully it comes WiFi ready with other improvements.  I assume Anbernic will be making announcements soon.  *Updated Info:  Specs: (From RGC) RK3326CPU 640x480IPS fully fits 3.5-inch 4:3 screen Dual RL12, dual OTG interface Dual TF card (internal card storage system, external card storage game) Built-in WIFI 3900~4000mAh polymer lithium battery

Top 10 Retro Handhelds From 2020

My Definitive Top 10 Retro Handhelds List  Now that the dust has settled from 2020 and I've had time to think,  here are my personal picks for the best handhelds of 2020: #1   Retroid Pocket 2 #2   RG350P #3   RG350M #4   RG351P #5   PiBoy DMG #6   RGB20 #7   RG350 #8   RG280V #9   RK2020 #10 Odroid Go Advance  While the Retroid Pocket 2 turned into my favorite after putting a LOT of work into it, the company of the year was definitely Anbernic who had 5 of my 10 favorite handhelds of the year. If you aren't looking to put a ton of work into things, the RG350P (or M) or 351P (despite the funky screen size) would be better options.  This list is not necessarily the best for everyone. These were my personal favorites in order.  You can order a Retroid Pocket 2 here:  https://www.goretroid.com/ *I have no affiliation with this link.   

Anbernic RG351M Is Up For Sale Now $139.99

The RG351M finally came up for sale on more than one site for $139.99. Not far from my guess of $145 but I think its too high. I'd like to pay $120.  https://twitter.com/RKezins/status/1344843571346735104?s=19 https://retromimi.com/products/rg351m

Dr. Mario (Gameboy) Turns 30 in the US

Dr. Mario (Gameboy) was released 30 years ago on December 31, 1990. That definitely makes me feel old. I remember buying this at the K-Mart in Blacksburg, Virginia when I was 13. Sadly a K-Mart that hasn't existed in a long time. Unlike a lot of puzzle games at the time, Dr. Mario had an easier learning curve and great background music.  Dr. Mario was a simple on the surface real-time action puzzler (puzzle) game. It was basically a falling block matching game in the spirit of Tetris which really was the game that started the portable puzzle game craze.  While it's generally a pretty safe family friendly game today, the game was quite controversial when it came out. The US was still heavily winding up the war on drugs propaganda and anything remotely connected to drugs was often attacked by special interest groups.  https://www.mariowiki.com/Dr._Mario_(game)