Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Gadgets, Oh My!

Long time no write, I know.  What can I say, I've been catching up on my back log.  At any rate, I found and acquired a very neat little handheld, the Retro Duo Portable.  Made by Retro-Bit, it's a hand-held emulation console.

That's essentially it below:
Sort of.  It also comes with an adapter cartridge to play NES games, and it will accept Retro-Bit's Retro-Gen adapter to play Sega Genesis games.

As it is an emulation console, 100% compatibility is not guaranteed.  Of my NES games, only Strider doesn't work so far, and Snake's Revenge and The Guardian Legend have buggered-up music.  Shame; The Guardian Legend has some of the best music on the SNES.

My few Genesis carts that I have tried all work (Aladdin, Zero Tolerance, X-Men, X-Men 2 and Jungle Strike).

All of the SNES carts that I have tried have worked (I have lots of those).

Battery life is okay, and I actually like the ergonomics.  The speakers suck, though.

What's really cool about it is that it's not just a handheld (no, it's three!  Actually, that isn't it, either), you can also connect it to a TV, connect the controller adapter and a pair of SNES controllers, and get your game on.  That's definitely pretty slick.

Battery life is okay; I get around 5 - 6 hours, and it only takes about 2 1/2 hours to charge.

Recently, I've been bringing it to work to catch up on games I just haven't finished, but I really don't have enough break time for that; either way, I do like it quite a lot.

Ergonomically, it's also not so bad to play; the D-Pad isn't particularly uncomfortable, so marathon sessions are possible (battery life permitting).

Hopefully, someone will make a mass-produced hand-held N64 with the expanded memory pack (and a save game pack!) built-in.  I'd buy that for a dollar (or 5)!!

On the topic of handheld game systems, there are quite a lot of skunkworked ones where people have gutted the actual systems to make battery-operated handhelds running off of the native hardware.

If you have a knack for soldering and know a thing or three about electronics, it would certainly make a neat project.

Otherwise, there are a few hand-held emulation systems kicking around.  Hyperkin has one, the Supaboy, and I think YoBo (FC Twin) does as well.  I've puttered around with the FC Twin, and due to a bad battery (sorry, it shouldn't take over 6 hours to charge a lithium ion battery!), I traded up for the Retro Duo Portable after that.

Unfortunately, none of the emulation systems are currently a 100% compatible solution, but possibly with time and technological advances, they well.  After all, Top Gear 3000 can be played through an emulator when at one time, it couldn't due to the graphics mode that it used.

But damn, they are fun nonetheless - and it's kind of its own reward to see which games do work.

Keep up the good gaming, and I'll see you all next time!

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