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Modern Retro Handheld Game Players thread


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7 minutes ago, watusi said:

Just picked up an RG353V too. Pondering between ArkOS, stock and Jelos. Seems to be a vague opinion that stock is much improved this time round and that ArkOS and Jelos and much the same as each other.

 

Which way to go?


I settled on JelOS. I tried Ark but all of the themes looked shite and it felt a bit janky.

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Sadly Jelos has decided to go source code only.  So unless you like compiling from source I'm not sure how installing or updates will go.  Cannot find a good link via mobile but if you follow Retro Game Corp on YouTube he's got a discord screen shot.

 

I didn't have much choice for 353P (no AnberElec) as I find ArkOS takes too much tinkering.  Shame really, I get the reasoning but no-one will end up using it.

 

Hopefully someone will just make custom images or fork it.  As far as I know every other custom firmware gives you images or some kind of installer.

 

Speaking of tweaking I'll try and post up some impressions of my Odin Lite now I finally have it working as I want.  Daijisho is a fantastic front end, plus they pushed a firmware update to finally lock all models to 60hz (from the weird 61hz on some screens).

 

Just need to find some none shitty screen protectors (got some that fit, but they aren't tempered glass so give screen that weird smeared look).

 

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7 hours ago, Moodmon said:

Speaking of tweaking I'll try and post up some impressions of my Odin Lite now I finally have it working as I want.  Daijisho is a fantastic front end


Daijisho looks incredible, and appears to remove the layer of jank that Android-based handhelds tend to have. I’ll be putting it on my Retroid Pocket 3+ when it arrives (which should be very soon).

 

It’s a shame about JelOS, but as you say, I’m sure there will be a fork of some kind. You would like to think OTA updates wouldn’t be affected though?

 

351Elec/AmberElec was always my favourite on the RG351, so hopefully they’ll release a 353 version soon.

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BC399C5C-989C-44B6-868B-414FBACBB797.thumb.jpeg.82faf18219370f1bdced3e3bdb24821e.jpeg


Received my clear blue Retroid Pocket 3+ yesterday! First impressions are very good - it feels great to hold, and the display is gorgeous. It’s basically an iPhone screen (4.7”, 1334*750 res), so there are larger (and more expensive) displays out there, but it looks lovely. I tried some PS Remote Play which was smooth and sharp, and the size was fine. Certainly preferred it to sitting in bed with the Steam Deck.

 

I’m used to Linux handhelds with everything done for you though, so the amount of (potential) setup required on Android is pretty daunting. Thankfully Retro Game Corps has a fantastic (if a little long) guide, so I’ll follow that when I get the chance and get Daijisho on there.

 

Did try some PSP at 2x res and it ran perfectly and looked stunning, so excited to get going with that. It’ll probably be my new Hot Shots Golf machine :hat:

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Pissed about a shift being cancelled with just over 72 hours notice (benefits of being self employed) so might as well make a big ass post about my babies.

 

28enwhl.jpg

 

Top then left to right:

 

Steam Deck, Odin Lite, 351MP, 351P and 353P

 

My first one was the 351P, it is vastly inferior to all the others.  Screen feels a much lower resolution.  Being plastic is a plus, I find the 351MP great but really don't like the extra heft of cold metal on a small portable.  Hence the 353P, best of both worlds (same screen as MP I think, in plastic and even has stacked shoulders rather than in-line).  Go to OS is AmberElec, but as mentioned got Jelos on the 353P.  I don't find the 353P any faster than the other Anbernics, don't suddenly expect DC/N64 etc to be super smooth.

 

Steam Deck is a beast.  Both in size, ease of use and sheer power.  It eats pretty much anything you could want emulation wise (BotW Wii U is playable at 40fps when the shaders have cached a bit) and it does PC stuff that has no business being portable.  I don't think the screen is fantastic (it's good but not 10/10) and the battery is okay.

 

Both these are in direct comparison to the newest one, the Odin Lite.  Paid about £70 in customs so make sure you budget for that.  I think they get shipped pretty much immediately now, so you shouldn't have the long wait I did (ordered August delivered November I think).  Screen is miles better than the Deck (if it looks smudged that is the screen protector).  Battery life seems better, whether that is because you cannot play Doom, Yakuza or Ghostrunner on it is a different matter.  

 

I have no major issues with the controls.  Buttons and d-pad are fine.  Not sure if the stacked triggers get caught or if I'm not pressing them down hard enough (they have more travel than you think they do).  No issues with the sticks.  It has two small buttons near the grips, which are fine but feel like an afterthought.

 

First time setting up an android device.  Good luck, get a guide and follow it.  Grab your emulators individually, maybe stick a front end on (I'm now in habit of using Dajisho for retroarch stuff and individual emulators for higher end stuff - it launches through Dajisho but doesn't seem to pick up my settings or save states).  There are some very good emulators designed for android, one of the reasons the Odin performs so well.  Everything up to DC/N64 is no problem (minor grumble with PSX Soul Reaver slowing to 5 fps on transparencies with a 1080p upscale via Duckstation).  PSP is great (Outrun always seems to have issues on the portables I've tried but the big PSP tests are the GoW titles and they run fine).  Only tried Outrun on PS2 (of course I did) and even with tinkering it isn't happening.  Gamecube depends on game.  Rogue Squadron 2 is a big hard nope, Metroid Prime is okay but don't expect a locked 60 fps.  Pretty much everything else I tried (Zelda TP and WW, Luigi's Mansion) was fine.

 

I'd recommend Retro Game Corps videos and website for more details, seems I just pick the awkward stuff.  A chunk of PS2 games and a lot of GC games are fine.  Didn't mess about with the widescreen WW hack but it is not supposed to be an issue.  I don't have a lot to test but it will run native android games.  Did try Genshin Impact with the Odin screen/button thing (that lets you set area of screen to button or stick - I forget the technical term).  Genshin runs okay, could not get the stick to control right instead of using the touch screen but I didn't tinker that much.

 

I'm more interested in PSP, DC/N64 and below.  For that use case Odin is great.  Yes most don't make use of the widescreen but the screen is much better than anything else I've tried.  Bonus they have finally fixed some displays being 61hz rather than 60, causing some issues if you noticed it.  Latest firmware fixed it so everything should be 60hz.  It's much more portable than the deck, just a shame the customs charge puts it close to cheapest Deck price.

 

Now it is setup I think I'm be far more likely to take the Odin abroad over anything else.  It fits in just the right place for extended play in an airport/on a plane and the smaller size makes it much more baggable.  Plus I wouldn't beat myself up too much over losing/damaging it over the deck.

 

351P aside they are all good, and I'd recommend any of them.  I'd also give a shout to https://droix.co.uk/ as they ship from UK, usually next day and no customs if the Anbernics tickle your fancy,

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1 hour ago, Moodmon said:

First time setting up an android device.  Good luck, get a guide and follow it.  Grab your emulators individually, maybe stick a front end on (I'm now in habit of using Dajisho for retroarch stuff and individual emulators for higher end stuff - it launches through Dajisho but doesn't seem to pick up my settings or save states). 

 

 

It should work really well with RetroArch for doing this sort of thing. 

 

A gotcha on RetroArch is that you have to keep saving your configurations for platform, folder or game ... it doesn't save anything automatically. 

I found that you should have some button shortcut to quit it as well to go back to Dajisho. It then saves where you last were as a quick save state and loads back there again. If I swipe away instead it mucks up.

Really worth going through the Retro Game Corps guide just for RetroArch. Or go through it again. It's a bloody nightmare to set up right. 

 

For other emulators, it's pot luck how nice it plays with something like Dajisho. But what I've got set up all now start loading the game from scratch and there should be some menu there to load a state from there. If I need to do anything more complex like faff with settings, I load the app direct. 

 

AetherSX2 wasn't working for a while but seems fine now. I've been having a number of issues with Dolphin MMJR, including getting in from a dashboard, and I've hooked up the official one to Dajisho now. Citra was acting up to back when I was using Launchbox but also seems better, but after having to convert everything from cia to 3ds for Dajisho... but sucks in its own way for not having save states. 

 

Not sure with PS2 on Lite. I'll have a poke around and report back with some common settings that really help. Make sure you have a very up to date AetherSX2.

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2 hours ago, Moodmon said:

My first one was the 351P, it is vastly inferior to all the others. 


I think this is a bit unfair! It’s vastly inferior if you’re expecting to play anything beyond PS1, but it’s wonderful for GBA, and other handheld formats (GB/GBC/GG/NGPC). It’s also fine for 16-bit and PS1 stuff with RGA scaling, and the frontend options are excellent (with hardly any setup required).

 

It’s way cheaper than all the others too, so it’s still a really good, low-cost option.

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I feel I need to share what I currently have too then :)

 

  • Modded Vita
  • Modded 3DS
  • RG351V (shortly to be sold on here)
  • RG353V
  • Miyoo Mini V2
  • RG353P - on order - so I can keep SNES/PS1/GBA to this device and GB/GBC to the RG353V
  • Steam Deck

 

I love them all in their own way. I am really tempted to get either an RP3 plus or an Odin Lite (long wait on I expect) to cover off some other systems but really the Steam Deck probably fills that gap.

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AetherSX2 top tips that I use for Odin Pro PS2

 

Vulkan renderer. There should be another thing to switch on for threaded drawing to a backbuffer too that is Vulkan only.

 

Disable Hardware Readbacks can make a massive performance improvement. I've not seen anything go wrong yet.

 

If you're upscaling, and most things should do x2, you can turn a bunch of the other filters off too for an extra boost. Fractional upscaler now too might let you tweak to get it running.

 

75% EE Cycle Rate and Mild Underclock, unless you have bother and whack them up. Multi threaded VU1 and Instant VU1

 

Most games work great now. I'd expect Lite to mostly keep up with Pro (and improve in future if they tweak to its newer hardware). 

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If we are doing this.

 

Steam Deck 

RG353VS 

Modded 2DS (wedge) 

Modded 3DS XL 

Modded Vita 

 

Sold my 351M as needed some funds. I do want the RP3+ but Droix currently want £200 for it, which is way over the odds it feels. 

 

When eventually I can afford it I will also get a couple of the older systems. 351M (again) Miyoo Mini v2 etc 

 

I love all these devices and want a collection 

 

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That's the RP3 not the RP3 plus at droix too. 

 

It does get addictive I've been through a load of old models over the years, starting with the Dingo A320 back in 2009.

 

I think the Miyoo Mini V2 is my favourite (which I bought off you Brad!), its just so cute.

 

I also have an Analogue Pocket on order but I'm tempted to cancel that. Too much ££ for something which is very niche.

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2 hours ago, Paulando said:


I think I’ve had a quick go of the PS2 version, but I’ll have to check out the PSP one!

The PSP one came later and the big difference is that it's got a better single player mode. It's basically an RPG with tennis instead of battles. 

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Is anyone able to help me breathe new life into my GPD XD? It is still set up as it was delivered to me, with the weird Korean Happy Chick download centre (no longer live) and a bunch of basic android emulators and other apps I won't use. 

It still runs stuff OK but ideally I'd want a more upto date front end (Retroarch)? 

Other than adding Roms I'm a complete novice so any help from the many experts on here would be gratefully received 👍

 

Edit: if it helps, it's running Android 4.4.4.

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23 hours ago, Paulando said:


I think this is a bit unfair! It’s vastly inferior if you’re expecting to play anything beyond PS1, but it’s wonderful for GBA, and other handheld formats (GB/GBC/GG/NGPC). It’s also fine for 16-bit and PS1 stuff with RGA scaling, and the frontend options are excellent (with hardly any setup required).

 

It’s way cheaper than all the others too, so it’s still a really good, low-cost option.

 

It was my first Anbernic, it is how I got up to speed on how to tinker and use retro handhelds.  The screen sadly is much inferior to the others.  Put it next to the MP and the lower res is very noticeable.  You don't notice if it is all you have, screen is a straight upgrade.  I get it being great for GBA, but I'd honestly rather have bars than deal with the screen. A 4:3 screen that's 640*480 is much better for what I'd play on it (up to 16-bit and maybe some PS1 stuff) and the quality is much better.  I'd rather spent another £15 on a 351V or another £25 on the MP.  Look at my pic, the 351P looks washed out compared to everything else.

 

You are right, I probably am being too harsh.  It is in no way a bad console.  There are just so many options nowadays for good prices I cannot recommend it outside a dedicated GBA player.  Performance is pretty similar all the way up to 353P, I just don't like the screen.

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On 01/12/2022 at 19:19, Stoppy2000 said:

If I wanted one of these for predominantly 80/90's arcade emulation and a bit of Amiga playing what would be the best option at the moment? I have the RP2 but it struggles with the likes if Chase HQ and Outrun for some reason...


The Anbernic 353 devices handle this stuff no problem - 353V, 353P, 353M. All pretty much the same internally, so whichever shape you prefer.

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Don’t know how many people have one, but running into weird issue on my Odin Lite.

 

The d-pad has a weird issue.  It works fine as long as you release to neutral briefly after each movement.  If I play like I usually do (sliding my finger across without releasing it) it eventually stops registering inputs.  I was trying Gradius Collection on PSP, and ship would periodically stop moving (normally stops moving left first).

 

I go into the game pad settings to see what is happening.  Again it registers it fine, the buttons are not broken.  Holding the dpad down in any direction and eventually it stops registering any input at all - until you release to neutral then it is fine again.

 

I am not sure if this is a software bug, a hardware bug or if it has been like this all the time and I’ve never noticed (only tried the bare minimum of dpad games).

 

Really annoying as using the example of Gradius it only has to happen once for you to get bodied.  I’m totally blaming the pad and not me for being shit at it.

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10 hours ago, Moodmon said:

Don’t know how many people have one, but running into weird issue on my Odin Lite.

 

The d-pad has a weird issue.  It works fine as long as you release to neutral briefly after each movement.  If I play like I usually do (sliding my finger across without releasing it) it eventually stops registering inputs.  I was trying Gradius Collection on PSP, and ship would periodically stop moving (normally stops moving left first).

 

I go into the game pad settings to see what is happening.  Again it registers it fine, the buttons are not broken.  Holding the dpad down in any direction and eventually it stops registering any input at all - until you release to neutral then it is fine again.

 

I am not sure if this is a software bug, a hardware bug or if it has been like this all the time and I’ve never noticed (only tried the bare minimum of dpad games).

 

Really annoying as using the example of Gradius it only has to happen once for you to get bodied.  I’m totally blaming the pad and not me for being shit at it.

How long do you need to hold down for?

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Hopefully that gives you an idea.  Left is being held down all the time at the end. It seems to be if it hits multiple directions it decides to stop registering.

 

I'm going to try and get it open to see if something is wrong, I'd say it was the way I'm using it but I've never had this problem with any d-pad before.

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37 minutes ago, Moodmon said:

 

Hopefully that gives you an idea.  Left is being held down all the time at the end. It seems to be if it hits multiple directions it decides to stop registering.

 

I'm going to try and get it open to see if something is wrong, I'd say it was the way I'm using it but I've never had this problem with any d-pad before.

 

I'm not seeing any such bother. I'm on latest firmware. It's a pro but I doubt it'll be much different to lite in this regard.

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