Unlike many other handheld retro systems, the Evercade plays licensed games, rather than pirated ROMs. Games play smoothly on its crisp 4.3″ widescreen, and come in collections on cartridges, another nice retro touch. The Premium Pack includes Atari, Data East, and Interplay carts packed with 8-bit and 16-bit games.
THE BEST Handhelds
This DIY handheld gaming system offers gamers an opportunity to learn about electronics. The system features a 2.42″ monochrome widescreen and comes with 200 Arduboy games pre-loaded into its memory. Advanced users can even program their own games for it. Available with or without a tool kit.
My Arcade makes pocket-sized gaming systems that each play three classic arcade games. They feature accurate 8-bit graphics, arcade-inspired case designs, and a crisp 2.75″ color display. Available games include Bubble Bobble, Rainbow Islands, Dig Dug, Galaga, Galaxian, Xevious, Ms. Pac-Man, Sky Kid, Mappy, and more.
The Nintendo Switch is a great gaming system, but Nintendo’s dock isn’t exactly easy to travel with. The Switchblade Hub attaches directly to your Switch, adding Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless headphones, an HDMI output, and a kickstand that you can carry with you. It also adds extra USB-A and USB-C ports, and two hidden SD card slots.
This keychain-sized handheld system plays retro gaming emulators. It features a clamshell design that opens up to reveal a 1.54″ LCD screen, and a gamepad style controller. It runs an ARM Cortex-A7 CPU @ 1.2 GHz, and loads games via its SD card slot. It can run ROMs from NES, SNES, SEGA Master System, and even PS1 games.
Basic Fun, the guys behind the portable version of The Oregon Trail, comes another retro-inspired handheld game. This time, we get the educational mystery adventure Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?, complete with authentic sounds, graphics, and gameplay, and a case that looks like a tiny computer from the 1980s.
A diminutive version of SEGA’s 8-bit Game Gear handheld. The system measures just 3.1″w x 1.7″h x 0.8″d, and will come in four colors, each with four games. Its 1.15″ screen is so tiny that they’re selling a magnifier called the “Big Window Micro.” Launching in Japan on 10.6.20 for about $45 each. Collect them all!
This ultracompact gaming PC is designed to play the latest AAA games. It runs Windows 10, and packs a 10th-gen Intel Core i5 CPU, an Intel Iris Plus G7 GPU, a 512GB SSD, and 16GB RAM into a mag-aluminum chassis. It has an 8″ 1280×800 display (189ppi), dual analog gamesticks, a D-pad, ABXY, and shoulder buttons.
Alienware turned up at CES 2020 with a prototype gaming system that’s basically a Nintendo Switch, but with all of the capability of a Windows 10 gaming PC. The portable device can run all of your favorite PC games on its 8″ screen, and has detachable controllers. There’s no word on specs or if it will go into production yet.
There are lots of handheld retro game systems, but the GameShell offers far more versatility than others. In addition to playing emulators for Atari, GB, GBA, NES, MAME, MD, PS1, and more, its modular construction and GNU/LINUX-based dev kit encourages you hack and modify to your liking. Some assembly required.
Folks who love the games on the Nintendo Switch, but who never play on their TV set will want to check out the new Switch Lite, which plays all the games that support handheld mode, but is strictly a portable. Its controls are built in, and the motion and camera abilities are gone. Drops 9/20/19.
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