It was previously rumoured that the Super Retro Game handheld released back in November was a prototype. There were plans to release the official device complete with a real d-pad at a later date. Although nobody seems to know (or is willing to tell) the real story behind this device, it looks as though the d-pad version has finally been released. Sort of.
On one of the official PowKiddy stores on AliExpress, this listing recently went up. It’s the Super Retro Game aka the Pandora Games Mini (re-branded as the PowKiddy A19). Take your pick of names. And it ships with a separate d-pad.
It would be reasonable to assume that these are the same units available since November and PowKiddy are just reluctant to disassemble units to retrofit a d-pad. But there have been hardware revisions since then that fix bugs and add features. Bluetooth now works, and there is a built in (highly dubious) marketplace from which you can directly download ROMs. I’m not sure why they decided to ship the d-pad seperately instead of fitting it. But this is a win-win for PowKiddy. Not only can they add $7 to the price, but they can also blame the customer’s meddling if a unit ends up being defective. I am being cynical, but only half.
If you already have the unit, you can also purchase the d-pad seperately for $7. Take your pick of black or turqouise, and be careful!
Cynicism aside, the Super Retro Game handheld isn’t a bad machine. If you’re in to playing Arcade ROMs you could do worse than this quad core 1.3Ghz Android powered machine. The six face buttons are perfectly placed for Capcom fighting games, and the user friendly interface makes it a good choice for the not so tech savvy and younger gamers.
You can grab the “new” version of this handheld from AliExpress right now, and it’s available in three colours.