Three New Retro Gaming Handhelds Are Too Beautiful To Resist

The Odin2 Mini looks like a PS Vita.

Picture: AYANEO

As the portable gaming market continues to explode, high-end PC gamers aren’t the only ones swimming in options. Retro enthusiasts also have a greater choice of stylish emulation machines, including a handful of new devices with impressive specs and stunning designs.

The first is the Odin 2 Mini. Announced last week by Chinese manufacturer Ayn, it is the most compact version of the company’s popular Android handheld. It sports a Snapdragon 8 Gen2 processor and a mini-LED touchscreen, perfect for streaming games and emulating PlayStation 2 and Wii comfortably through the ears. The battery is smaller, but it might be worth it for fans of the PlayStation Vita-style handheld who are still mourning Sony turning its back on portable gaming. The white version is particularly sharp. The price is high at $340 but the first print run is already sold out.

Then there’s the AYANEO Pocket Micro, an homage to the little Nintendo handheld of the same name. In addition to the D-pad and face buttons, there are also two analog sticks. Slightly larger than its spiritual predecessor, AYANEO promises four times better resolution than the Game Boy Advance with a screen that won’t make retro games feel stretched. I love the minimalist design and horizontal form factor. There is no price or release date, but more information is expected to be announced later this year.

Finally we have the AYANEO Pocket DMG, an obvious competitor to the popular Analog pocket which directly plays the original Game Boy and Game Boy Advance cartridges rather than emulating them. The Pocket DMG will feature a 1,240 x 1,080 pixel OLED display and an analog stick near the bottom mounted on a touchpad. The more confusing layout isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as its analog counterpart, but it should give the Pocket DMG more flexibility for the types of games players can emulate on it. AYANEO has not yet confirmed whether it will also run on Android.

Nobody needs these handhelds, but I still want them all. It’s great to see manufacturers exploring the more luxurious side of the market in the same way that some boutique companies have rounded up prettier, pricier Kindle competitors over the years. When it comes to emulation, handheld computers like the Retrooid pocket 4 Pro, MIYOO Mini Plus Portable, ANBERNIC RG405M each offers a different mix of specs, firmware, and form factor for retro nerds to experiment with and fall in love with.

None of them can compete pound for pound with the power and flexibility of a Steam Deck or Asus ROG Ally, but that’s not the reason to spend $300 to play esoteric early-stage RPGs. from the 2000s like Riviera: The Promised Land on a mega-powerful Game Boy from an alternate future.

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Gn tech

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