God Tier Gaming? The Odin Handheld From Ayn Is Coming

You’re probably well aware of this handheld by now. Taki has been teasing it for months via discord and more recently his YouTube channel. Initially known as the “199” handheld based on its rumoured price tag, the device went on to be named Project Valhalla before being given it’s official name of “Odin”.

Whilst there has been much talk and some videos of prototype units, things have become a little more official in the past few days. Let’s have a look at what the Odin promises.

ODIN SPECS

The Odin is set to be a true next generation handheld in terms of raw power and performance. Alongside such devices as the KT R1, PowKiddy X18S and RG552 the Odin promises breakthroughs in mid-budget emulation capability.

All but confirmed is the inclusion of a Snapdragon 855+ SoC with 4-8GB of RAM. The octacore CPU found here contains four 1.8Ghz, three 2.4Ghz and one 2.9Ghz cores, and is backed up by the Adreno 640 GPU. This chip can be found in phones such as the Galaxy Z Flip, OnePlus 7T and the Xiaomi Mi 9 Pro. The choice of this SoC is strongly rumoured, but as yet unconfirmed. What is confirmed is the inclusion of both passive and active cooling solutions. It has been said that at least one version of the machine will also be heavily overclocked.

If these specs are realised, we can expect to be adding GameCube and Wii to the list of emulators with a high compatibility level. Vast performance improvements will also be made for emulators currently available on RK3326 machines too, such as PSP and Dreamcast.

Full specs for this device and many others can be found here. This spreadsheet is pain stakingly maintained by timeisart over on the discord server. Kudos to him for such a useful resource.

FORM FACTOR AND FEATURES

On paper the Odin does a lot right. Stand out features include a 6″ 1080P display, Analog R2/L2 shoulder buttons, dual analogs with R3/L3 support and two programmable paddle like buttons on the rear of the device.

Odin Handheld

The analog sticks and sides of the device appear to be lit with LEDs too.

Odin analog shoulder buttons

There are also rumours of a dock, and photos appear to show it having USB and GameCube ports on the front. Whether this will be available at launch, or at all, is unknown. It’s unlikely to come bundled with any of the cheapest funding options though.

The Odin will run on Android 10 out of the box and renders show a wide choice of colours available. The device itself is said to be roughly the size of the Switch Lite, and <300 grams in weight.

Different colours of Odin Handheld

Whilst the $199 price tag might stand true, this will likely be for early backers of the Standard model. From what I understand there will be a Standard and Pro version of the Odin. The way they’re differentiated seems a little strange too.

 StandardPro
Display refresh rate60 Hz90 Hz
RAM4GB8GB
Storage64GB + microSD128GB + microSD
CPU OverclockNoYes

I have read that the base model will not only NOT be overclocked, but it will not be possible to overclock it yourself either. How much truth there is in that I don’t know. I would guess that for most people the Pro version is going to be the preference. If the price difference is kept small enough I can’t see the Standard model selling too many units.

INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN

The Odin is due to be launched on IndieGoGo soon. The holding page is up, and you can register now to be notified once the campaign is live. I really like the look of this handheld, and I’m also really thankful that someone is finally grabbing the bull by the horns and delivering an ambitious and powerful handheld.

Odin Handheld

What I’m not so keen on is funding the project through IndieGoGo. You’re not pre-ordering a product when you back a campaign through there, you are helping the company to deliver a product. Things can still go wrong, and often you’re out of luck if they do. I have great faith that Ayn will deliver the Odin. Having seen Taki’s videos it’s obvious they’ve already invested a lot of time and effort into the device. The Odin handheld appears to be on the final stretch already, and I look forward to picking one up from a retailer once they’re widely available.

INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN
MANUFACTURER WEBSITE

22 thoughts on “God Tier Gaming? The Odin Handheld From Ayn Is Coming”

  1. Those appear to be Nintendo 64 controllers plugged into the dock, not Gamecube — GC controllers’ plugs are about half the size of N64’s. A very bizarre choice. GC controllers have had a second life through Smash and the Wii U’s official dongle for GC -> USB, but N64 controller has been largely relegated to the graveyard of controllers for decades.

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  2. The more I look at, think about and read up on this device the more I like it! Hoping a full distro of AOSP is used, or the community fills in whatever gaps might emerge.

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  3. I wish it was possible for a company that isn’t Nintendo, Microsoft, or Sony to make a console or handheld that plays its own games and not just illegal ROMs or even legal classic games, but entirely new games, and actually succeed…

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    • I think the PlayDate by panic will be a success and have entirely original games made by prominent indie developers and Panic themselves (that made Untitled Goose Game). The analog crank may even inspire new experiences. If you can get passed the black and white screen, I personally think it’ll provide genuinely fun, original games and I think it’ll be pretty successful in it’s own quirky way. I’m definately getting one.

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        • Yeah, I forgot to mention that – it looks so well laid out I might even try to make a game too. Also, I can’t wait to see that super-reflective screen in person, since I think it was seeing that screen tech that inspired them to make the PlayDate in the first place.

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    • It does run Android, and can therefore play Android games. There are at least a few indie games that come out (Dead Cells, Terraria, Minecraft, Limbo, etc.) Not a lot, but they are there. The real issue is convincing developers that Android with controller support is worth the effort.

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  4. Wow – this is the dogs-danglers!

    It sounds like the closest to a no-compromise emulation handheld so far. The design looks considered and mature too. I hope the LEDs can either be customisable to match the console colour or you can turn it off. It looks comfortable too. The only downside I can think of is it not being exactly portable – but that’s what less powerful handhelds like the RP2 and RG351P are for with their receptive 3:4 and 2:3 aspect screens.

    This Odin console with basically be an open-system version of the Switch Lite for playing all those games you own but that don’t release on the Switch. Sign me up for a Pro model immediately if it goes for $250. With any luck I can play my beloved Rogue Squadron 2, F-Zero GX and Metroid Prime on this!

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    • “It sounds like the closest to a no-compromise emulation handheld so far.”

      From that perspective, this is still a big step back from the GPD Win family. I played through BOTW on my Win Max without issue, something this thing won’t be capable of. But it’s also quite a bit cheaper than any of those devices. It’s tough to think of something this powerful as a middle ground between the RK3326 handhelds and that, but that’s about where it sits.

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      • Sure I can see that but for me, and a vast number of people, any handheld console costing over £500, or too be honest £400 may as well not exist since I’d never buy it. But I’m happy you own one and glad you enjoy it. Also I’d personally never emulate current generation games anyway. Even if I could afford a GPD Win device it wouldn’t seem like a good investment since these things are superseded so quickly and are unlikely to hold value for long. I think the price of this Odin device is the top end of what I’d pay.

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        • That’s all well and good, but all those things you mentioned are compromises. This is probably going to be the best price-to-performance ratio handheld for the next while, but if you want no compromises, the x86-based handhelds are it.

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  5. what good is 90hz refresh rate if you only play old games? the extra RAM also may not matter much for performance in emulation as well.

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