Retro games are one thing above all: a time machine with which we can relive childhood memories and experience the charm of a bygone gaming era. So it’s hardly surprising that retro handhelds are more in demand than ever before. After all, we are living through a time in which there seems to be an almost insatiable hunger for 80s and 90s nostalgia.
The big advantage is that handheld technology has advanced so far, thanks to smartphone developments, that more and more power fits into smaller and smaller housings. Add to that screens, whether OLED or LCD, that make old games shine in new glory – and we’re talking about an incredible range: from the 8-bit classics of Nintendo NES to Sony’s portable Playstation (PSP). Here we present our three favorite retro handhelds:
RG351MP from Anbernic: This Linux-based handheld marvel is a true all-rounder and can even be had for as little as 80 Euros: Not only Nintendo and SEGA classics can be played on its 3.5-inch IPS screen, but even “newer” games from the 2000s thanks to support for Nintendo DS and Sony PSP games. Eight hours of battery life, a USB-C charging port, and the proprietary, highly acclaimed RK3326 chip provide smooth, stable gaming.
Analogue Pocket: For a true retro gaming feel, only the Analogue Pocket in its vertical Game Boy format comes to mind. Why? Instead of emulation, this luxury handheld relies on the original cartridges. You still have Game Boy, Game Gear, Neo Geo Pocket or Atari Lynx games from back then lying around? Perfect, because the Analogue Pocket plays them all – just like it used to – without any emulation errors or other problems. The stylish design, the shiny screen and the possibility to connect up to four controllers via Bluetooth, USB or WLAN have their price, though, which can easily exceed the 200 dollar mark.
Evercade: The Evercade is the mixture of the two previous devices: Cartridges are also used here, but not the original ones, but ones produced especially for the handheld, which usually contain 10 to 20 pre-installed games. The Evercade costs about 70 Euros in the Starter Pack, while the game packs are available for 20 Euros. We’re talking about classics from the arcade here: Atari, Namco, Data East – all legitimate and authorized versions (as opposed to game ROMs that can be found on the net). Nice bonus: Via HDMI connection, your own TV can be converted into an arcade machine.