The PocketGo S30 Handheld Looks Like An 8BitDo Controller

Hot off the press comes another handheld from the makers of the PocketGo series, the PocketGo S30. If the S30 looks familiar, it’s because there’s a line of controllers from 8BitDo that the S30 is based on. Word is that the designer of those controllers also had a hand in the design of the PocketGo S30.

I’ve known about this handheld for a while now, but until today I hadn’t seen the final renders and videos of it in action. The specs of the PocketGo S30 are a little different to other recent handhelds too. Let’s have a look at what we know so far.


It is highly probable that the S30 will be powered by an AllWinner A33 (aka R16). The prototype units have been built with this CPU already, and it’s the same chip found in the NES Classic. The A33 is an efficient ARM Cortex-A7 chip from 2014 with four 1.2Ghz cores and a Mali400 MP2 GPU. Whilst this chip is leaps and bounds faster than the JZ4770 found in the RG350 and its kin, I believe it doesn’t perform quite as well as the RK3326 in handhelds such as the RG351P. The S30 is currently configured with 512MB of RAM.

PocketGo S30 8BitDo Controller

The LCD is a standard fare these days. 3.5″ IPS with a resolution of 480×320.

The PocketGo S30 handheld is apparently running the same OS as the PocketGo V1, with a new front end. It’s a proprietary OS designed to be as simple to use as possible for the end user.

Pocket Go S30 Retro Handheld

For anyone not keen on EmuELEC or OpenDingux, this handheld might be for you. You can easily load ROMs to the device either by sticking the SD card in to your PC, or by connecting the device with a USB cable. No special software is required to access the contents of the SD card, it can be read and written to natively in Windows. I guess this either means there’s an NTFS partition on the card, or the OS has been built with this in mind. There is also what looks to be a single settings menu which apparently unifies all settings throughout the device.

Settings screen of the PocketGo S30

So a full specs round up:

  • AllWinner A33 (quad core 1.2Ghz)
  • Mali400 MP2 GPU
  • 512MB RAM
  • 3.5″ 480×320 IPS
  • Single MicroSD for OS and ROMs
  • $69.99


Stacked shoulder buttons are something that people have been asking for a long while. Just like the S30 controller on which it is based, you can see that the L2/R2 buttons sit neatly underneath L1/R1.

PocketGo S30 stacked shoulder buttons

This is a really nice design, although it does seem that the secondary buttons are a little wobbly on the prototype video. Hopefully this will be remedied before mass production.

The front of the device contains a SNES like D-Pad, ABXY and Start/Select buttons. The single analog stick on the left might raise some eyebrows, as the current trend seems to be for two. Up on top there’s a USB-C charge and data port, a digital volume rocker and a Power button. The bottom of the unit houses the microSD card, a headphone socket and what looks like three LEDs.

PocketGo S30 MicroSD card


Confirmed systems/emulators on the stock system include:

  • NES
  • SNES
  • GBA
  • GB
  • GBC
  • PS1
  • PSP
  • Master System
  • Mega Drive (Genesis)
  • Dreamcast
  • Neo Geo
  • MAME

The video also shows N64, but N64 is still in testing and is currently unlikely to ship with the handheld unless performance can be improved.

N64 Emulator?


Yes, I believe so. The Miyoo factory doesn’t have the best track record, but supposedly things have been done differently this time. The proof will be in the pudding as they say, but I am open minded. I will hopefully be getting my hands on a PocketGo S30 handheld in the next few weeks and will share my honest opinions then.


You might be aware that there are a lot of AllWinner A33 devices (not handhelds) already available with Android running on them. The manufacturer is considering the possibility of adding more RAM and giving the option to run Android too, though it will be an older version. The current configuration is 512MB RAM, but it may be possible to bump it to 2GB at an extra cost. With that in mind, would you be interested in running Android on this handheld? It would likely mean a bump in price to accommodate more RAM.

The results of this poll will probably have no effect whatsoever on what the factory actually do. It’s just for fun.

This poll is now closed, the results are as below:

The PocketGO S30 handheld is now available to pre-order for $59.99 at retromimi. This will be the 512MB RAM version with AllWinner A33 and custom Linux based OS.

I will be putting up a post about this device in the coming days, but it should be known that the software on my prototype unit still needs work. It is stable, but there are some scaling issues and performance of the later emulators leaves room for improvement.


62 thoughts on “The PocketGo S30 Handheld Looks Like An 8BitDo Controller”

  1. Its outrageous that you cannot remap buttons in FBA for fighting games….. major mistake. Don’t they test these things out with gamers? Just let 10 people who actually like retrogames play the device before shipping it, its that simple.

    • Yes, i agree with you ! it’s really a shame because it is very pleasant to play. I prefer it to my Retroid Pocket 2 and my RG350, the grip is much better and reminds so much the comfort of the 8bitdo controller…really pity and frustrating!!

  2. Hi,
    have received mine and it is a nice machine. however I have a standard problem: how to configure the buttons with FBA and MAME ????

  3. I have another questions about this PocketGo S30! Can it play video and music files? Also, is there a recommended hard carrying case we could purchase for it?

  4. Does anyone have the actual dimensions and weight? Seems like that would be the most important info instead of just eyeballing it. Is it really the same size as an 8bitdo snes controller or not?

  5. Just purchased one for myself and another as a belated Christmas gift for my brother in law. I waited two months for my Retroid Pocket 2 to ship before I finally cancelled after the 3rd batch was shipping and my units were still in holding.

    Hopefully this company has better customer service and throughput.

    • Eww. Should have kept your retroid pocket order. Unless this get a major upgrade in OS. Retroid pocket blow it out of the water. I have both.

  6. To the creators of the PocketGo S30,

    Okay, I like the specs of this device, the color scheme and it’s design modeled after my favorite video game console the SNES. I also rather much have it Linux based than Android. I actually hate Android interfaces on these handheld gaming devices so I’m with you on the Linux interface. If you guys could, create one just like this but give us a 5 inch screen display instead of the traditional 3.5 inch display.

    Also, this suggestion isn’t that big of a deal as having a screen too small. Give us more color options. I would love to purchase one of these in pearl white with white crystal buttons.

      • That sounds great! Just ordered one, looking forward to mine being mailed. I can care less about PSX. As long as it can run GBA, 16bit and below consoles well I’m good. I don’t know whether GBA is 16bit or 32bit, long as it runs smoothly.

  7. Not a huge fan of this form factor. Does anyone else think that the PG1 was great and just needed a better processor/screen? Would love to see a stronger chip in something that looks similar.

  8. Dear Makers of this device,

    Please do this device, but with a few minor alterations.
    1. A widescreen LCD for widescreen systems and Android. It doesn’t need to be super high resolution(1024×600 would be great, but 1280×720 would optimal)
    2. Please do the updated specs(2GB) and the Android support!
    3. While a touchscreen would be nice for Android(and digitizers are not that expensive), please at least do a solid input navigation interface with the built-in controls.
    4. Please do a few different color schemes, such as Super Famicom like theme as opposed to the North American SNES theme shown above.

  9. Just saw the Dreamcast performance on YouTube ‍♂️, the 3326 chip is FAR better than the All winner. Why did they choose this chip? This was supposed to be a home run……

  10. I love the design and the many platform it support but there are two nitpicking features I wish would be implemented for example it needs dual analog sticks instead of just one and I would prefer the Y and X buttons to be concave rather than convex. I’m from NA so I grew up playing a SNES controller Y and X being concave so this is what I would prefer with anything that tries to replicate a SNES controller.

  11. I would never trow my money to a such an embarracement of company wich launches products to market with no quality standards anf literally no support and will to fix i bougt an 8bitDo and it is a dissapointing nigtmare in every aspect

  12. The first PocketGo had a messed up speaker that never stopped buzzing, it also suffers from screen tearing. The New PocketGo had messed up volume that wouldn’t go quiet enough for most systems, the USB port on my unit broke with minimal use.

    I’m past point of gambling on PockerGo products. I doubt this is going to be built in an 8bitdo factory.

    I’m never going to buy another PocketGo product based on past experience. The build quality is poor and for just a few more dollars I can buy something from Anbernic.

  13. I was highly interested until I read “480×320″… Enough with all new interesting consoles always being 3:2, bring back 4:3 !!! Only the GBA and the Wonderswan were 3:2, all other ones were 4:3.

  14. Once again that 480×320 resolution is too low for a multi-system retro handheld in my opinion. And that processor is weak. A really shame because the form-factor and build quality looks on point. I don’t care much about the missing right-stick – but for Doom/Quake ports etc… it would’ve been wise to included it.

  15. Why can’t we get a decent processor and RAM in these devices, I’d gladly pay 150-200 if I could play my Dreamcast games and maybe PS2 flawlessly. Plus needs Android so I can use drivesync to sync save games!

    • Be careful, once you hit the $150 mark you reached a point where it makes more sense to just buy a decent Android phone for about $120 and a controller for $30 to go with it. That setup will allow you to emulate most retro systems including old PC games (using dosbox, scummvm or exagear). Plus the phone itself doubles as a media player even without a sim card.

      • Just to offer you a different insight – many of us adults are specifically looking for very small pocketable handhelds that disappear in the pocket and can go anywhere. Many of us grew up with MUCH smaller handhelds than the Switch, Switch Lite (which is still very big by traditional handheld standards), and phones with telescopic controllers. It sounds like you would like a 5.5 – 7 inch display but that’s a completely different device to what this company is going for. You need to be looking at stuff like the new GPD Win 3 the existing GPD XD+ and so on.

        Meanwhile many of us non 5 year olds are delighted with lots of 3.5inch and small devices coming to market as it takes us back to our beloved GBA and non-XL DS/3DS days.

        Anyway lets hope we all get the ‘perfect’ console we have in our minds-eye one day.

        • The market is full of small formats like this console (and even smaller still), why release another one? We used to have 5 and 7 inch Android consoles, but today almost nothing! This SN30 is good but I find it too small for a good grip, I would have seen it with a 5 inch screen and a larger case.

  16. Okay, that looks absolutely amazing! I’m expecting it to be priced $89+ but depending on performance that would be well worth it for the looks alone. It’s like a dream from my childhood.


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