This is it folks, the RG350 production units are finally available here and here. However you feel about that d-pad placement, there’s no denying that this device looks impressive – with many firsts for a device of its kind.
For the Chinese market, the PocketGo goes by the name Miyoo. It’s the same device albeit with a grey shell colour and different branding on the screen lens. The team behind Miyoo (aka BittBoy and PocketGo) are working on a new handheld which as yet doesn’t have a name.
In my review of the PocketGo the main drawback with the device was linked to a problem which should have been spotted during R&D. The firmware was only capable of driving the LCD at 30hz, meaning that many games suffered from a distracting amount of screen tearing. Whilst it wasn’t obvious in all games, it …
The release of TonyJih’s RG350 is apparently right around the corner, with some rumours suggesting that we’ll see listings go up on AliExpress at the end of this month. But if the manufacturers of the device were quietly confident of having a hit on their hands, they’re probably a little concerned to see a rival handheld that has very cheekily been nicknamed the RG350H pop up.
The Compute Module 3 (or CM3) is a shrunk down version of the Raspberry Pi3 designed for use in industrial and commercial appliances. Its small form factor is the perfect candidate for a handheld. Although there are many homemade and commercial handhelds available that contain the full size RPi3 board, they tend to be very chunky and can have a somewhat “made in the garage” feel to them. We’re definitely not spoiled for choice when it comes to Compute Module handhelds, although I have covered two on this blog previously in the form of the FreePlay CM3 and Creoqode’s Lyra.
The Raspberry Pi Compute Modules have never gotten much love from manufacturers of obscure handhelds. In many ways they’re the perfect candidate for driving these things – the software is already there, the developer community is large and active and best yet, it’s almost guaranteed that a substantial hardware improvement will be released once every few years.
Despite being almost 10 years old, the JZ4760/B SoC from Ingenic is currently living it up in a whole host of different handheld systems. It’s said that they can currently be had for as little as $5 with a large enough order, so it’s hardly surprising that this capable little chip is so prevalent at the moment.
For the past few months speculation has been rife on Tony Jih’s forthcoming RG350 handheld over at the Retro Gaming Handhelds discord server. Finally we have some photos of the brand new open source dual analog device!
Update: 18th September. Now available at Aliexpress!
The hugely popular RetroGame RS-97 from December 2017 has already seen one update in the form of the RS-97 Plus, which features an “analog” nub tacked on to the lower left corner. Unfortunately for the early adopters this first version of the Plus model also swapped out the LCD for one locked at 30hz. This meant that many games suffered from screen tearing and the community developers refused to support the hardware due to this.
Newer versions of the Plus variant now have the 60hz LCDs in them and aren’t a bad choice if you really want that analog nub.
But this week has seen yet another new variant of the device hit the shelves, the RS-97 Plus V3.
The last week or so has seen a whole load of Pocket-Go reviews go up on YouTube, with almost nothing but amazingly positive conclusions. Mine arrived yesterday and I’ve spent the last couple of days playing around on it. Are the YouTubers right? Let’s find out!