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Re: Best inexpensive handheld emulator (that isnt a PSP)?

Posted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:44 pm
by raygank
fuctfuct wrote:Can you even buy a new dingoo a380 anymore?

Not really. I looked into it a while back because I like the form factor, but it's very hard to find for a good price anymore. The A380e is widely available but it's a fake and can't run any of the custom firmware available for the A380.
fuctfuct wrote:How is the d-pad? Are the newer units still having friction problems?

I never really had problems. Some of the early black units had issues because they were (as is pretty common) using white plastic covered with a black coating, and the coating was thicker than expected. My unit is white and I never had any more than a little bit of slight stickiness that was loosened up with a bit of white lithium grease. Now after several months I don't detect the issue at all.

I hear that the newer production runs (like you'd get if you buy through ThinkGeek) don't have this issue at all, but if you want to be safe I'd go for a white unit. That said, I hear it's an easy fix with some plastic safe lubricant or a slight modification to the D-pad if you end up having issues.
fuctfuct wrote:Does yours have light leakage like i see in some vids?

I do have a little light leakage around the bottom of the screen, but I only really notice it when playing in total darkness. The screen image is unaffected, it's just a little bit of light showing through the white plastic of the case. I hear it's also an easy fix (black tape on the inside of the case) but it never bothered me.
fuctfuct wrote:Is NES full speed/screen? Does it have over scan options so you don't have to see any garbage. Like in SMB 3 for example.

Is SNES full speed/screen? What about games like Yoshis Island? A lot of the vids show SNES in a little square. Is pocketSNES the only option?

NES and SNES both run extremely well. There is an option for clipping the sides if you want to hide the border in games like SMB3, as well as some options for if you want it to run at 1:1 resolution, or stretch to fit the screen in a couple of different ways. Same for SNES. SNES is particularly good on it. Yoshi's Island and other SuperFX games seem to run very well, though I don't count frames. They've recently added support for hardware scaling across all apps, so most apps that previously had to spend CPU cycles upscaling or otherwise transforming frames can use those cycles for something else, and this has particularly helped SNES games. I'm not a purist, but it's essentially perfect as far as I can tell.
fuctfuct wrote:Genesis.. run full speed full screen? Sega CD?

Genesis runs SUPER well, though for some reason this emulator doesn't incorporate the hardware scaling feature yet so some games do run with small black bars on the sides. But the native Genesis resolution is very close to the Zero's 320x240 and every Genesis game I've tried on it looks fantastic.

I've heard that Sega CD works but I've never tried it personally. I'm told you have to covert the MP3 soundtrack files to .ogg, as .mp3 support isn't built in for license reasons. YMMV.
fuctfuct wrote:GB/GBC?

Hows GBA? I like the skin ReGBA has so that it is in the correct aspect ratio. Can you run it without that skin but not full screen. In the correct aspect ratio? Does it run full speed? I actually play VBA-M on my PC a lot. The last time i used a different emulator was on the OXbox. Everyone says its "perfect" (just like they say it is on the PSP) but i can see a slight difference. It's quite annoying hehe

GB/GBC is really, really good. They do some really nice upscaling tricks and it runs very smoothly. I prefer it to actual hardware. One current issue is that it doesn't pick up on Super Game Boy palettes for GB games, but you have a huge selection of palates you can select from yourself. Shantae and other GBC games look stunning on it.

GBA is also good, but I have a GBA flash card, a GBA Micro, a GBA SP 101, and a large collection of actual carts as well, so I rarely use it. It used to have issues with a few games (Mario Tennis, Final Fantasy VI), but some recent updates have added support for every game that I ran in to issues with in the past. Performance is good; better than you'd see on a PSP. I don't know if I'd say it's "perfect" but I generally don't notice any issues at all.

Overall I am a big fan. If you have specific stuff you'd like to see, I could try to do a quick video. I think a lot of the stuff you're seeing on YouTube is out of date; progress on the OS and emulators for the Zero has been slow but steady since it came out and things are WAY better than they were at launch. The fact that I'm able to carry around a device with comfortable controls, good battery life, and the entire catalogue of several of my favorite systems loaded up has been pretty great. Definitely worth the money. A lot of the negativity you see online comes from the owner's poor handling of expectations early on, and slow delivery of the Kickstarter rewards. Now that it's available to buy from places like ThinkGeek, I think it's definitely worth it.

Re: Best inexpensive handheld emulator (that isnt a PSP)?

Posted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:21 am
by fuctfuct
Thanks for that. :mrgreen:

I might pick one up after xmas.

Re: Best inexpensive handheld emulator (that isnt a PSP)?

Posted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:19 am
by Nyukki
I'm not 100% sure without googling, but if you want a Dingoo go for the A320, not A380, the resolution is closer to most retro systems and it is better supported for emulators and other software.

Re: Best inexpensive handheld emulator (that isnt a PSP)?

Posted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:26 am
by raygank
I also have an A320 and it's pretty good but seriously underpowered. I wouldn't buy one today. (Many SNES games ran poorly, etc.) The GCW Zero is the closest thing to a true successor to the A320. It is based on the A320, with an evolved version of the same operating system, but with a 1ghz processor instead of 320mhz, among other huge improvements. Most a320 software runs natively on the Zero or will run with a simple recompile, and the developer community for the A320 has largely shifted focus to the Zero.
The a380 is actually not related to the a320, it's just a similar device that uses a similar name to connect itself with the popular A320. It's not bad but it's not as open and it's not widely available anymore.

Re: Best inexpensive handheld emulator (that isnt a PSP)?

Posted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 2:52 am
by Nyukki
I agree that the A320 is by now quite outdated, haven't touched it since I got my JXD S7800b, but it's still an awesome little handheld with great portability and battery life for the price.

Re: Best inexpensive handheld emulator (that isnt a PSP)?

Posted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:41 am
by Erik_Twice
I just got my GCW Zero so feel free to ask me any questions about it.

But as far as I see it, the Zero does not have any problems emulating most games for 16 bit consoles or lower. Virtua Racing Deluxe (32x) runs like a slideshow and I'm sure a game here and there won't work but I think compatibility is very high at the moment and won't prevent you from playing most popular games.

On the arcade side, I've been trying FBA and Cave, CSP2 and Neogeo games work very well which are probably the most demanding games you'll want emulate. Sadly, Tetris The Grandmaster 2 runs only at half speed which is dissapointing.

MAME is also ported and you'll need it to play those older games FBA doesn't emulate like Robotron. It requires a fairly rare romset so you'll need to dig a bit.

What I haven't tried yet are the x86 or PSX emulators. They seem to require more work to get working than something like MAME.

The buttons and D-Pad themselves aren't of the highest quality, they feel too "weak" and hollow but after a while you get used to it.

If we have several posters who own a GCW Zero perhaps we should make a thread about it. Thoughts?