The highly anticipated release of RetroPie for the RPi4 was the excuse I needed to grab a RPi4, as well as a nice case to house it in. After hunting around I eventually settled on the Argon One RPi4 case. It’s a very reasonably priced aluminium alloy case with both active and passive cooling, and some other clever tricks up its sleeve.
It’s been 8 months since the original RG350 was released with a non-functioning HDMI port, but Chinese devs have finally solved it. We’ve been teased with videos recently, and finally the code has been released to enable HDMI Output for RG350 and RG350M.
As we thought, the Q400 is now shipping! This RK3128 powered machine runs on RetroArch (we think!) and sports a high resolution 800×480 panel, as well as dual analog sticks and four shoulder buttons. The Q400 costs a very reasonable $80 shipped, and should have far better performance than the RG350 and PocketGo v2 handhelds …
The Raspberry Pi4 was released back in June 2019, but it hasn’t yet found its way in to any mass produced handhelds. There are two main reasons for this. The lack of a more compact Compute Module variant of the RPi4 means that any handheld would have to accommodate the comparatively bulky full sized board. Secondly, there is no official build of RetroPie for the Raspberry Pi4 yet. That hasn’t stopped these guys though, and the PiBoy DMG may be the first RPi4 handheld to be mass produced.
The RG99 is a new portrait mode handheld that has recently appeared on AliExpress. It shares the same shell as the RG300 so you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a rebrand or clone. But under the plastic exterior, the RG99 isn’t what it looks like.
2020 has seen the beginning of a shift towards more powerful ARM SoCs in our obscure handhelds, but does that mean the Ingenic chips of yesteryear are doomed to fade into obscurity? Well, nope. Not just yet anyway. Enter the aluminium alloy RG350m.
Some of the first posts I ever made on Obscure Handhelds were about an upcoming handheld from Panasonic. The Panasonic Jungle was designed as a clamshell device intended for playing MMOs on the go, and it was due to run on Linux. Obviously the handheld never came to light, being cancelled in early 2011 due to “changes in the market”.
The video below shows how to build a ZPG Z-Pocket Game almost in its entirety. It takes the assembler roughly 5 hours from start to end, and at around 41 mins you can see that the donor motherboard is harvested from a Sony Xperia Z1 Compact. This means that the ZPG runs on a Snapdragon 800 series SoC with a 2.2GHz Qualcomm MSM8974 quad core CPU.