I thought it might be useful to give a rundown of what’s happening currently. What’s available, what’s coming soon, what’s never coming out etc.
Let’s start with….
Never coming out
The RetroPlus. It was supposed to be using the shell of the RetroMax, but with the ability to play games from many old consoles (instead of just pre-loaded NES titles). Development fell through when Data Frog began testing their console and realised that the Actions Semiconductor ATJ2279 that they’d chosen to power the device was garbage. Apparently they couldn’t even make Doom run on it, and it looks like the device is now abandoned.
GPD are going to release a Switch like device, a tablet with a detachable controller on each side. I have a hunch that this thing will not be very successful, assuming that it’s just an Android or Windows (more likely Windows given their recent output) tablet with controllers on each side. Currently there are no specs available, just a few photographs of what is assumedly a prototype unit.
There’s no word on release date yet.
The RG350 is technically already out, but Anbernic (the manufacturer and/or distributor) decided to only release 60 or so units on Aliexpress initially. I’m not really sure why they took this approach other than to perhaps to gauge the market size for first mass production run and assess any reports of problems in the first batch. The RG350 is a new collaboration from the RetroGame RS-97 manufacturers and the developer Tony Jih. It runs the 1GHz Ingenic JZ4770 and has all sorts of other bells and whistles that you can read about here.
It looks as though there are going to be 3 colour variants and it’ll be widely available for about $80 in early October on AliExpress.
GKD350H (aka RG350H)
The sneaky rival to the RG350, apparently distributed by GameKiddy. It features an as yet unannounced MIPS processor which the manufacturers are steadfastly claiming runs at 1.5GHz (I still think they’re lying). Pictured below in what has been unofficially named the “Yellow Snow” colour variant, little is known about this device aside from the fact it will run Open Dingux and will be available any moment now.
There are also a few videos on YouTube from channel TigerPlay TV demoing this device.
The New PocketGo
Perhaps not it’s release name, the New PocketGo is the successor of the BittBoy and more recently the PocketGo. It bears a strong resemblance to the GCW Zero but has some extra face buttons and the addition of L2/R2. You can assume this is going to go head to head with the RG350 as it runs the same SoC and will likely support all the same emulators and ports. Rumour has it that it will be cheaper than the RG350.
Quite a few pre-release videos of this device have turned up on YouTube in the last few weeks, mostly courtesy of the channel Game DoDo. No word on release date yet.
You can always check this page for a list of currently available consoles. The cream of the crop at the moment in my opinion are the IPS version of the RG300, the new IPS Anniversary Edition of the RS-97 and the PocketGo.
If you’re after something with more grunt, then the GPD XD+ is still an excellent choice but be prepared to pay around $200 for it.