Tony Jih’s RG350 Handheld Prototype

For the past few months speculation has been rife on Tony Jih’s forthcoming RG350 handheld over at the Retro Gaming Handhelds discord server. Finally we have some photos of the brand new open source dual analog device!

Update: 18th September. Now available at Aliexpress!

We’ve known for some time that this handheld will be powered by the JZ4770, which is the same CPU as found in the GCW Zero. It’s a fairly substantial upgrade over the JZ4760/B that we’ve been force fed in a myriad of handhelds over the past year or so (RS-97, LDK, RG300 etc) – allowing for much better SNES emulation and a larger selection of playable PS1 titles too. In fact, photos of the desktop also show icons for an N64 emulator, but based on the GCW Zero performance I would only expect a small handful of N64 titles to be playable.

Yesterday Tony finally leaked some engineering sample images, which show the device in all its glory. The dual analog device will contain a 3.5″ 320×240 IPS display at 60hz, a 2200mah battery, 4 shoulder buttons (L1, L2, R1, R2) as well as L3 and R3 on the analog sticks. The machine will also have 512MB of DDR2 RAM, HDMI output and (dual?) USB-C charging and data transfer ports.

DIYGameModz also uploaded a video of the device in action playing Metal Gear Solid via the PS1 emulator today.

The handheld will of course be running some variant on OpenDingux, most likely RetroFW so development for the machine should be red hot right from the outset.

Reactions to the reveal are mixed, and some criticism comes from the fact that the D-Pad takes second rank after the left analog stick. Whilst this is a layout that should be familiar to those with modern consoles, the majority of the games played on a device like this will rely heavily on the D-Pad and the placement of it looks less than ideal.

Whilst it’s nice to have an IPS display in here, it’s also a shame that we’re stuck with 320×240 again. Maybe most people don’t mind it too much, but for me GBA scaling on this resolution doesn’t look good.

The RG350 is due to be released later this year. Initial rumours stated by Christmas, but now we’re being told it could be sooner.

It looks as though the manufacturer and/or distributor will be Anbernic – who do have a shop on Aliexpress, so it’s probable that it’ll be available there once it’s released. The price is said to be under $100, so I would expect to see it for a cent or two less in the initial days or weeks.

Update: September 18th. The RG350 is now available at AliExpress!

17 thoughts on “Tony Jih’s RG350 Handheld Prototype”

  1. Have mine for some days now… not bad. Updated to firmware 1.5.
    Lower D-Pad sucks, agreed. Found that you can plug a gamepad to the usb port (use a usb-c to go adapter).
    It needs to be direct input, not x-input. the 8bido wireless dongle works fine.
    was totally happy about that and wanted to plug the device to my tv set… doesn’t work yet, some say hdmi out will be activated in future firmware versions. i sure do hope so. how many devices out there promised something for future firmware versions that never came.
    had some ps1 images tested with different versions of psx4all, the later ones accept the analog stick as dualshock.
    they all worked perfectly. no framedrops, cpu time up to 90% for a few seconds, but was below 50% most of the time with a stable 60 frames non-drop output.
    all in all i’m very happy with the device.
    input lag and sound lag are excellent, screen resolution could be better, but it’s ok for a mobile device.
    classic gameboy looks perfect at 1.5x scaling, snes scaling is fine, megadrive is fine..
    not sure, but i think if the screen had more pixels, emulators like psx4all would have more cpu inpact.
    (or does the device render in 720p and scale down? we’ll see when hdmi out works)

  2. I agree with most of you guys: for emulation D-Pad should be always first.

    Second point is I think I would have prefer a Game Boy for factor like RG-300: the GBA form factor like this one seems nice but reaching shoulder buttons seems difficult like on LDK Game horizontal.

    But the real good new is the JZ4770 instead of JZ4760: gpsp should work fine for all games this time (including golden sun and yoshi’s island) + snes should be good too.

    This is the most important as with JZ4760 gba and SNES are still quite hit and miss right now…

    Also good to see an IPS display on an RG device…display is the only downside of RG-300 if you don’t consider the CPU limitations.

    So I see some good (it should push more device with JZ4770 + IPS screen seems standard now) and some bad (button layout and form factor are worse that RG-300 in my opinion).

  3. Honestly I love it, as others have said about the d-pad yes it’s a bit weird considering for most platformers it would need to be held at a squint BUT I think I could get over it as a majority of modern consoles use this layout and due to all the extra buttons I’d be mostly playing 3d games on this. The analog sticks would be better suited with something like the ps vitas, not stupid and small plates like the 3ds or psp, those always annoyed me, but enough that they stick out and can be pressed in for the l/r3 inputs, ps vita would be perfect. These are both minor annoyances though, this is everything I’ve always been looking for in a handheld emulation beast!

  4. Yeah, the dpad and analog need to be switched, and select/start should be placed elsewhere… I like the SoC and form factor, but, I’m worried I would accidentally press start often and the dpad position is just unfortunate.

    I’d be interested in this just for better snes and ps1 emulation compared to your typical RG300/RS97/LDK etc, but the layout may be a serious problem considering the majority of games I play on these devices are more suited to a dpad.

  5. I don’t get why people hate the d-pad placement so much. I’ve used lots of gamepads with asymmetrical designs like that and they were never uncomfortable.
    However, I also don’t mind the LDK’s shoulder buttons, so maybe I’ve just got weird hands.
    Anyway I’m glad we’re getting handhelds that are a bit more powerful now. Fullspeed PSX? Count me in.

  6. I may pick one up depending on reviews. The dpad is a tad annoying, but I could get over it. My GCW Zero is great and these buttons/joysticks look like they’d be better quality.

  7. Really disappointed. I just do not like the form factor or button layout. Those thumb sticks stick out way too far and make it unpocketable in my opinion. I really wish we could have had PSP or 3DS style sliders instead. Hell I’d take no analogue sticks over this.

  8. mixed feelings about this one. it’s near perfect in every regard but man they really screwed up by not putting the d-pad up top. On one hand I hope this fails so they learn their lesson, on the other hand I hope they sell enough of these to raise the money to make a revision model with a proper d-pad placement. but I am glad it exists though and I might even pick one up if reviews say the d-pad isn’t too uncomfortable.

  9. Good SOC, but the device is way too small. 5.5′ or 6′ please. And as was stated above, the screen res needs to be at least 1024×600 to be useful.

  10. Lower d-pad…….. why.
    Well, at least from playing with joycons, I can say that a d-pad not being in the same place as ABXY isn’t a problem. But it’s kind of on the edge of this handheld, where the Switch has more space to grip.


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