HardKernel Are Back With The Odroid-Go Advance

Back in 2018 they released the Odroid-Go as a celebration of their 10th year as a company. Now, two years later Hardkernel are back with the Odroid-Go Advance.

Aside from also coming in kit form, the Odroid-Go Advance shares very few similarities with their first device. HardKernel have massively ramped up the power with a RockChip RK3326, a SoC with four 1.3GHz cores and 1GB of RAM. They’ve also added a couple of shoulder buttons and an analog stick, as well as six buttons underneath the LCD. The Odroid-Go Advance promises much better emulator performance than their previous machine, and their recent video on YouTube even shows some PSP emulation. (2:16 onwards).

The device runs Ubuntu 18.04 with kernel version 4.4.189 and the EmulationStation front end. The 10pin GPIO is present just as it was on the original Odroid-Go, and there’s also a UART port on the right hand side. It looks as though you’ll need to solder your own connector if you want to use it though.

odroid-go-advance

The screen is a 3.5″ 480×320 TFT panel, which is slightly disappointing. Not all TFT panels are made equal though, and developers are saying that the LCD is actually very good.

It would also have been nice to see 4 shoulder buttons and another analog stick, but make no mistake – this is a groundbreaking handheld. The RK3326 will offer vastly superior performance compared to the latest round of Chinese handhelds, and with PSP emulation already on the list the mind boggles at what else might be possible. In fact latest videos demo some N64 games running at full speed. What else? Dreamcast, perhaps?

The most suprising thing about the release of the Odroid-Go Advance is the price. At just $55 before shipping it sits comfortably within the usual price for a device like this.

The Advance is DIY kit just like its older brother, but that shouldn’t put anybody off. Putting together the original Odroid-Go was child’s play and looking at the parts list this thing looks just as easy.

odroid-go-advance-parts-list

The Odroid-Go Advance will be available next month from the HardKernel shop. You better believe I’ll be first in line to get one.

18 thoughts on “HardKernel Are Back With The Odroid-Go Advance”

  1. After getting burned on my RG350 when the screen went bad and Retromimi refused to respond to my emails about it, I’m *done* Chinesium handhelds.
    I’ve had my GCW-Zero for almost 6 years now with no problems other than having to replace the battery.
    Luckily the Odroid Go Advance appears to be made in South Korea, which hopefully means better QA/QC than the drop-shipped-direct-from-the-factory-right-after-they-assemble-it Chinesium handhelds.
    When it comes to QA/QC, the GPi case is the gold standard. Mine’s had zero problems.
    I’m also one of the lucky Pocketgo 2 owners with no issues with screen, dpad, or buttons. I guess they decided to clean the excess flux off the mainboard on mine and put it together properly or something.
    Next one I’m getting is this Odroid Go Advanced and then I’m *done* with these things.
    I wish we would start making these things in America again. Sure, they’d be more expensive but at least they’d have proper QA/QC done on them.

    Reply
  2. Hi! I’m Steve Laminger from Tech Toy Tinker, one of the developers working on this. I’m a part of the retro arena development team, as well as the Creator of Slash TV Android OS and of ROTT(RetroPie on the Tinkerboard), and now also a member of the lakka team(retroarch).
    I just received my developer kit this afternoon. I will pop by and update people from time to time on progress. I can also be found at the tech toy tinker fb group named tech toy tinker retro gaming, or I can be reached via the website which is also techtoytinker.com
    Feel free to email me with any bugs, ideas or comments.

    Reply
  3. My first Odroid came with a clearly defective rear shell. After shipping back the entire unit at my expense, I was sent a replacement that literally had holes in it. The third unit I received plays like absolute garbage, has terrible fit and finish, and a blown speaker. The only good thing Odroid has going for it is it’s ability to quickly suspend and restore play sessions. I won’t be going near this one.

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  4. Noone expected to see SCUMM or PC Engine running on the first odroid but the developer talent took that console pretty far.

    This has the potential to be further reaching than the original odroid and bring in even larger groups of devs.

    I mean no disrespect to the dingoonity members but there are few active English speaking developers for the Chinese handhelds.

    If this can do psp it can do Dreamcast.

    In terms of the buttons, not too big a deal for me.

    Reply
  5. A potentially amazing DIY-product, I am a big fan of Hardkernel, although I think it will be inferior to RG350 and PG2 in gaming aspects.

    On devices this powerful (capable of n64 emulation), instead of a second analog stick I would rather see a second d-pad. Which would map nice to N64’s c-buttons, with the added benefit of being exact (compared to an analog stick), meaning it can be used to remap many things while not compromising the “steering” of the left hand. Hopefully it could also cover for a second analog stick in many cases without to many drawbacks.

    It has a much more powerful soc, but for gaming it’s still crippled and can’t really use the power, unless it actually can do dreamcast well (but that seems like a longshot). I would say this product is more for tinkering and secondary for gaming. Although it has the benefit of easily supporting 2-player games with just an extra usb controller.

    I already have the odroid-go for tinkering and for gaming I am thinking of buying the pg2/playgo. (The only other handheld gaming units I own is a newly rediscovered gameboy color 🙂 )

    I still haven’t made up my mind if I will buy it, but I am afraid it would be left unused and just add more debt to my eco-minded conscious. For anyone that likes tinkering with a gaming device and doesn’t already own the original-go it seems like a really nice buy though.

    I am hoping the go advance will act as a catalyst to grow a developer community around this soc (which is quite new and capable), and hopefully, eventually lead to a properly designed gaming unit 🙂

    Reply
    • Instead of a second d-pad that most people will think is pointless, wouldn’t it make far more sense to ask for a six face button array? That way you can get perfect arcade and Genesis/MD playability and have all the necessary separate buttons you need for N64 while still having room for a 2nd stick.

      Reply
      • A second d-pad would still allow you to play the vertical arcade games (I guess not that many).

        Sure, 6 buttons and an analog stick on the right hand side would be amazing. L2 and R2 goes without saying, then ofcourse also the L3 and R3 on the a-sticks. And while at it throw in an 8-way d-pad on the left hand side, instead of the regular 4-way. We are then talking about quite a big handheld. But I would be interested in something that has that high input compatibility, given that it also has the power to emulate Saturn and N64 which requires that.

        Reply
  6. I had the Odroid Go, good little console except the screen which was of poor quality, as far as I see they make the same error again …

    Reply
    • A second set of shoulder buttons would be so cramped though, remember this isn’t an ergonomic full-sized controller, it’s a small portable device. Same with the 6 face buttons, where would you find the room for those without making it cluttered and uncomfortable to use?

      Reply
  7. That’s an incredible price for what it’s capable of, especially compared to the current batch of Chinese handhelds, but that control scheme makes this a no-go for me.

    Reply
    • The way I look at it is, the only thing this can do that other handhelds cannot is PSP. And I guess there’s a possibility of Dreamcast in the future as well. For those consoles, this control scheme is perfectly adequate. In fact it’s adequate for everything except a portion of PS1 and Arcade titles. I can live with that.

      Reply

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