• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

The NeoGAF Open Handheld Thread

Bullet Club

Member
Oct 24, 2017
9,968
23,184
1,200
This is a thread for news & reviews about open handhelds, that are nearly always from China, that can be used to play emulators and homebrew games.

The occasional el cheapo Famiclone will be posted about as well.

The first handheld to kick off this thread looks pretty funky.

LDK Game Open Source Handheld

A handheld that runs OpenDingux/RetroFW. LDK stands for Little Dragon King, which is a cool name.

Price: US$55 from places like AliExpress
CPU: Z4760B MIPS CPU Clocked at 528mhz-740mhz
Memory: 128MB DDRII RAM
Storage: 16GB
Battery Life: 4 hours







 

Redneckerz

Banned
Jun 25, 2018
3,607
3,186
505
The stillness of time.
I knew of LDK, OpenDingux, but not this little device. Spec wise it does seem to fall into similar devices running Dingux (That Ingenic SoC was also used with Dingoo i remember)

Pretty cheap, i have to say. And Dingux is a mature system, too. Is there some more info out there, or rather, a list of similar handhelds? I know a few, but obscure handhelds are also my forte.

Like the Powkiddy X18. A GPD XD Clone with Mali T720 MP2. Basically entry level phone stuff, but modern feature set. Bullet Club Bullet Club
 

kingbean

Member
Jun 27, 2016
2,506
2,836
720
If they made one of these with an IPS screen I'd be way more tempted. Very cool none-the-less.
 

Bullet Club

Member
Oct 24, 2017
9,968
23,184
1,200
There's a new version of the RS-97 AKA Coolboy AKA Coolbaby AKA Data Frog AKA other weird names out, with some case improvements/additions and more importantly, it looks like the default firmware and emulators are much improved over the old version. Now all it needs is some CFW.



I've got the first version of the RS-97, it's pretty good with custom firmware. The form factor is nice, it's the old Revo 101 GBA clone case. The dpad is a bit squishy but not too bad.

In other news, the Bitt Boy version 3 should be out next month.

And in err...other other news, OpenDingux is now available on the RetroMini AKA RS-90. It's not as powerful as the RS-97 but it is cheaper (US$28) and has a nice GB form factor.




 

Bullet Club

Member
Oct 24, 2017
9,968
23,184
1,200
Might be interesting to list the specs of all the current handhelds, the Retromini has a JZ4725B SoC.
Alright, I'll just screencap the Obscure Handhelds list.





So off that list I have the RS-97 and a Pocket Sprite. Got a few others as well like the GP2X Caanoo & a weird Android one that looks a bit like a big 360 control pad.

Memory wise i have read 32 MB DDR2 (Or was that the LBK?) and 64 MB SDR
RetroMini has 32MB RAM + 256MB storage. The LDK & RS-97 have 128MB DDR2.

The screen on the RetroMini is old Gameboy Micro stock.
 

Spukc

Member
Jan 24, 2015
15,254
14,257
830
eww man just eww

i own some clone consoles.
gb boy colour
revo k101+
modded non backlit gba with 101 screen
and a front lit mod gbc
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Bullet Club

Shifty

Member
Sep 25, 2015
8,159
7,486
755
the planet Thra
Colour me most interested- I do love that old-school game boy form factor.

I've had my eye on a PocketCHIP for a while since they have Pico-8 support out of the box, and the ability to program directly on-device is appealing even though I know it'd ultimately be uncomfortable and annoying compared to a proper keyboard:



They seem to be back in business now, but their shop temporarily folded around the time I was looking to buy, so I ended up getting a 7in novelty laptop instead. Kind of expensive for what it is, but the ones in the OP look much more reasonable,
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Bullet Club

Bullet Club

Member
Oct 24, 2017
9,968
23,184
1,200
This is what the new Bitt Boy looks like:





Specs:

CPU: Allwinner F1C100S
RAM: 32MB
Screen: 2.4" IPS 320x240
SDCard: supported up to 128GB
Battery: 1000mAh Internal fixed
Dimensions: 12.3cm x5.6cm x 1.4cm
Weight: 100G

LDK prototype:



This is how the Game Boy Classic should be if ever
I've got one, it's a nice novelty device but it's way too small.

Any new GB should be Pocket sized and come with a cart slot as well as built in games. And Nintendo should release new games for it.
 

Rodolink

Member
Aug 19, 2013
1,461
563
700
rodolink.wordpress.com
This is what the new Bitt Boy looks like:





Specs:

CPU: Allwinner F1C100S
RAM: 32MB
Screen: 2.4" IPS 320x240
SDCard: supported up to 128GB
Battery: 1000mAh Internal fixed
Dimensions: 12.3cm x5.6cm x 1.4cm
Weight: 100G

LDK prototype:




I've got one, it's a nice novelty device but it's way too small.

Any new GB should be Pocket sized and come with a cart slot as well as built in games. And Nintendo should release new games for it.
Oh damn, that's sleek design. The new BittBoy.
The other one is nice as a novelty as you said. maybe a GB classic should be like a little smaller than a GB Pocket. But doubt it'll have slot for new catridges, since the other classic consoles don't.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Khalid M.

Bullet Club

Member
Oct 24, 2017
9,968
23,184
1,200
But doubt it'll have slot for new catridges, since the other classic consoles don't.
True, but Nintendo do like having 2 current systems and a cheap updated GB that can play all of the old games plus new 2D games could be a way to do it.
 

Khalid M.

Member
Nov 8, 2018
1,067
1,231
515
Bullet Club Bullet Club Damn, that must be the best open handheld design I've ever seen. I'm tempted to pre-order it now. But does it support PS1 games and can you go full screen with games?
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Bullet Club

blly155

13 year old console warrior. Put me on ignore.
Aug 3, 2014
12,285
5,867
845
whoa i need one of these bitt boys.
 

Bullet Club

Member
Oct 24, 2017
9,968
23,184
1,200
Does that new BittBoy have HDMI out?
It has TV-out but I don't think it's HDMI.

It should be remembered that the SoC in these aren't that powerful, so some SNES and PS1 games won't run that smoothly.

It is fairly cheap though, coming in at US$40 or less at some places.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rodolink

Vitacat

Member
Oct 20, 2011
4,296
271
685
Just received an LDK Game today. Bought on Aliexpress (PZZY Trading CO., Shenzhen Store) for slightly less than $50 with FREE shipping. Order placed May 11, shipped immediately, and arrived May 25 (USA).

LOVE IT! Controls are very good, screen is great, installed RetroFW and it can play a ton of games very well. Just have reasonable expectations: complex SNES games can require frame skips, and you're not gonna be plating PS1 games like Tekken 3 full speed. But in general, things run very nicely.

QUESTION: how do you exit the GBASP emulator? So far I can't find a way, so I just turn the system off and on to exit, which is kinda dumb but it works... Hopefully there's a button combo that I'm missing?
 
Last edited:

Bullet Club

Member
Oct 24, 2017
9,968
23,184
1,200
how do you exit the GBASP emulator? So far I can't find a way, so I just turn the system off and on to exit, which is kinda dumb but it works... Hopefully there's a button combo that I'm missing?
I haven't used that emu but I think you press X to bring up the menu and can exit from there.
 
Last edited:

Bullet Club

Member
Oct 24, 2017
9,968
23,184
1,200
I was hyped about it, but the screen is really bad, it doesn't show the complete resolution of games, so you cant really read the texts and stuff.
I tried playing Phantasy Star on it. I didn't play for long.

It's alright with platformers though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rodolink

Vitacat

Member
Oct 20, 2011
4,296
271
685
Try holding start or select with one of the buttons, it might be R.
Nope, none of those...

HOWEVER, I did find what it is. There are 2 small black square buttons on the left side of the device. The bottom one (usually is Suspend toggle) brings up the menu in the GBASP emulator - there you can save states, exit etc.. This also is true for SMS and FBA (not the FBA320, but the FBA next to it in RetroFW), and maybe others...
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Bullet Club

Bullet Club

Member
Oct 24, 2017
9,968
23,184
1,200
DIY Retro Gaming Handheld Is As Fun To Build As It Is To Play



This is the GameShell, a retro gaming handheld that I built from a kit. I clipped and trimmed the plastic pieces, inserted the circuit boards, connected the wires and snapped it all together. It plays old games, emulated titles and homebrew software. It’s pleasing that something I built does those things.

The folks at Clockwork did most of the work, to be fair. They created the ClockworkPi, the small development board that powers the GameShell. It’s a small chip powered by a quad-core Cortex-A7 CPU, a Mali GPU and 1GB DDR3 memory. It’s got Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, a micro HDMI port to output to a monitor and a slot for a micro SD card for storage. It’s an excellent base for a modestly-powered portable emulator box.

Along with the ClockworkPi, the GameShell also has a 8cm TFT RPG display that runs at 60 frames-per-second. There’s an input board with a directional pad, ABXY buttons and a couple of additional inputs. There’s also a tiny two-channel speaker, a 3.7V 1200 mAh rechargeable battery and an optional row of five additional buttons that can snap onto the back of the GameShell’s case.

I mention these components separately, because that’s how they are assembled. Here’s what comes in the GameShell kit.



It looks like a lot, but it’s really simple. There are four main modules encased in their own plastic housings—the ClockworkPi, controller pad, display and battery. Once assembled, cables connect the ClockworkPi to the three other units. They are stacked within a Game Boy-esque plastic housing, two on two. The speaker bar is plugged into the main bar, and the unit is snapped together.



It’s a simple build that’s hard to screw up. If one were to say, bend the pins connecting the main board to the controller, that might make it harder to get it working. Also, from what I have heard, the screen will not survive being run over by a 213kg motorised wheelchair. But that’s what replacements were made for, right? OK, I made a few mistakes, but those were on me, and eventually I wound up with a nice little handheld that I could probably strip down to component parts blindfolded.



Once assembled, the GameShell is a tiny handheld Linux device. The 16GB micro SD card that comes with the kit is preloaded with Clockwork OS, based on Debian 9 ARMhf and Linux mainline Kernel 4.1x. It comes loaded with popular emulator front end RetroArch, and can run up to Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis games quite capably. There’s a standalone emulator for the original PlayStation, which can be hit or miss.

It comes loaded with the original Cave Story. There’s a free version of Doom on it, because any gaming system has to run Doom in some form in order to be validated. It even has a built-in music player, which I will never use.



With its Game Boy look and feel and its pleasantly responsive controls, the GameShell is nice to play games on. I feel like game makers and electronics hobbyists will get the most out of the system. It supports Preset C, Python, Lua, JS and LISP programming languages and supports a slew of smaller-scale game engines, including PICO 8 and LOVE2D. It’s open source hardware, so users are free to take it apart, wire it to other devices and fiddle to their hearts’ content. The studded backplate used to connect the optional five-button input bar to the back of the GameShell is even Lego compatible.



There’s a lot to do with Clockwork’s GameShell. I don’t know if I will ever build a game or program the GameShell into a television remote, but I will always be proud of this quirky little piece of hardware I put together.

Source: Kotaku
 

Rodolink

Member
Aug 19, 2013
1,461
563
700
rodolink.wordpress.com
DIY Retro Gaming Handheld Is As Fun To Build As It Is To Play



This is the GameShell, a retro gaming handheld that I built from a kit. I clipped and trimmed the plastic pieces, inserted the circuit boards, connected the wires and snapped it all together. It plays old games, emulated titles and homebrew software. It’s pleasing that something I built does those things.

The folks at Clockwork did most of the work, to be fair. They created the ClockworkPi, the small development board that powers the GameShell. It’s a small chip powered by a quad-core Cortex-A7 CPU, a Mali GPU and 1GB DDR3 memory. It’s got Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, a micro HDMI port to output to a monitor and a slot for a micro SD card for storage. It’s an excellent base for a modestly-powered portable emulator box.

Along with the ClockworkPi, the GameShell also has a 8cm TFT RPG display that runs at 60 frames-per-second. There’s an input board with a directional pad, ABXY buttons and a couple of additional inputs. There’s also a tiny two-channel speaker, a 3.7V 1200 mAh rechargeable battery and an optional row of five additional buttons that can snap onto the back of the GameShell’s case.

I mention these components separately, because that’s how they are assembled. Here’s what comes in the GameShell kit.



It looks like a lot, but it’s really simple. There are four main modules encased in their own plastic housings—the ClockworkPi, controller pad, display and battery. Once assembled, cables connect the ClockworkPi to the three other units. They are stacked within a Game Boy-esque plastic housing, two on two. The speaker bar is plugged into the main bar, and the unit is snapped together.



It’s a simple build that’s hard to screw up. If one were to say, bend the pins connecting the main board to the controller, that might make it harder to get it working. Also, from what I have heard, the screen will not survive being run over by a 213kg motorised wheelchair. But that’s what replacements were made for, right? OK, I made a few mistakes, but those were on me, and eventually I wound up with a nice little handheld that I could probably strip down to component parts blindfolded.



Once assembled, the GameShell is a tiny handheld Linux device. The 16GB micro SD card that comes with the kit is preloaded with Clockwork OS, based on Debian 9 ARMhf and Linux mainline Kernel 4.1x. It comes loaded with popular emulator front end RetroArch, and can run up to Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis games quite capably. There’s a standalone emulator for the original PlayStation, which can be hit or miss.

It comes loaded with the original Cave Story. There’s a free version of Doom on it, because any gaming system has to run Doom in some form in order to be validated. It even has a built-in music player, which I will never use.



With its Game Boy look and feel and its pleasantly responsive controls, the GameShell is nice to play games on. I feel like game makers and electronics hobbyists will get the most out of the system. It supports Preset C, Python, Lua, JS and LISP programming languages and supports a slew of smaller-scale game engines, including PICO 8 and LOVE2D. It’s open source hardware, so users are free to take it apart, wire it to other devices and fiddle to their hearts’ content. The studded backplate used to connect the optional five-button input bar to the back of the GameShell is even Lego compatible.



There’s a lot to do with Clockwork’s GameShell. I don’t know if I will ever build a game or program the GameShell into a television remote, but I will always be proud of this quirky little piece of hardware I put together.

Source: Kotaku
I just wish it had a bigger screen. Bit it's a great design. I like the knobs on the side.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bullet Club

Bullet Club

Member
Oct 24, 2017
9,968
23,184
1,200
Looks like a reasonably priced handheld that can play PS1 and possibly N64 will be out later this year, the RG350.



It was the same CPU as the GCW Zero (JZ4770) and 512MB DDR2 RAM. It has 4 shoulder buttons.



It looks a bit goofy and some might not like the positioning of the d-pad. At least it's an upgrade on all of the JZ4760 devices.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rodolink